Did you think I was done talking about bridesmaid dresses? Newsflash: I will never be done. Ten years after I’m married, when this blog is covered in Internet cobwebs, I will wake up one morning with more opinions and contemplations on bridesmaid dresses that must be shared with the Universe, and people who forgot to take this out of their reader will be like, “Hitchwhaaa? Oh… that chick. Still going on about the dresses.”
Well, right now bridesmaid dresses are actually a pertinent topic in my life, so I have twice as much to say. Here’s a summary, in case you are pressed for time: shopping for bridesmaid dresses is a freaking nightmare.
First, while I stand by my opinion that bridesmaid dresses don’t deserve their reputation as What Happens to Fabric that Offends the Sartorial Gods, there is still a lot of chaff to separate from the wheat. Mostly these dresses aren’t ugly, they’re just offensively boring.:
Then there are the dresses that attempt to evade dullness with absurd details that add nothing but a hefty dose of “Why?”
[I imagine bridesmaid designers cooking up new styles with a series of roulette wheels. Spin spin spin… chiffon! Spin spin spin… floor length! Spin spin spin… strapless! Spin spin spin… rosette belt!]
And finally, there are the dresses which were probably lovely as designed, but are manufactured so cheaply that they end up looking crummy. See generally, “matte satin.”
And I’ve added my own complications on top of these common bridesmaid dress pitfalls: I think the general principle behind the dull-as-watching-paint-dry-on-toast bridesmaid dress is that can flatter a wide range of body types. Which is a noble and practical goal. But the body type I am trying to dress is “short, skinny, boobless,” so there will be no resuscitation-by-curves. I need a dress that looks good on the hanger, because my bridesmaids are all shaped like hangers. [I must note how grateful I am that the tyrannical reign of the strapless dress appears to have ended.]
Second, I want to dress my bridesmaids in gold, which is a tricky color to find, and even trickier to judge based on a .5 square-inch swatch. Sometimes “gold” is actually mustard yellow, and “champagne” is actually beige. Even for the rare line that makes a gold sample available in shops, I worry that my dye lot might come out unfortunately different. [Dye lots are officially on the list of “Incredibly Unimportant Things to Which I Devote Too Much Attention Just Because Brides Are Supposed to Care About That Stuff.”] It’s too bad I feel pretty wedded to my colors.
And then there is body-shape uncertainty. Collin’s sister-in-law is pregnant, due four months before our wedding. I showed her a contender dress yesterday and asked if she thinks she’ll be comfortable wearing it if she still has a bit of a stomach.”It’s not an issue. I won’t still have any baby weight. I refuse.” I am less sure. Then there are our other two bridesmaids, who are both married women of child-bearing age. Pregnancies happen. Should I be limiting myself only to dresses that have a maternity option?
So with all these concerns in mind, I’ve gone from 90% sure I had picked out a bridesmaid dress, to 90% sure I need to start from scratch. Sigh. I should have told my bridesmaids to pick their own dresses.