Category Archives: Beauty myth

What I Learned From Dress Fitting Stress

[This is a post that is going to talk about weight, specifically me worrying about my weight and body size even though I am a thin person. So you might not want to read this if you struggle with disordered eating or body image problems or even if weight talk just makes your eyes roll. But it does have a happy ending.]

I bought my wedding dress in August. It fit snugly when I bought it. I weighed myself and I took my measurements and I said, “Self, if you are bigger than this, your dress won’t fit.”

Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for neurotic disaster? It was, and I wish I’d never done it.

Do you want some overly detailed background on my body image? I hope so, because you’re getting it: I think I’m probably a couple standard deviations right of center when it comes to body satisfaction. A big part of that is because I am thin, so society isn’t constantly telling me that I’m lazy, unhealthy, or a bad person, even though I’m usually at least one of those things. In my adult life I’ve weighed thirty pounds more than this and ten pounds less than this and at all points I felt great about how my body looked. [Granted, thirty pounds more than this at best puts me into the “in-betweenie” category. This isn’t that remarkable a feat of personal body acceptance, but sometimes it seems like any woman who loves her body has a supernatural resistance to the kyriarchy].

Losing a lot of weight was weird for me, especially because I didn’t try to do it. I was simultaneously terrified that I was sick, delighted by all the positive attention weight loss brings, guilty because I didn’t “earn” that praise, excited by my new clothes, mournful for my lost DD boobs, fearful that the weight would come back and I wouldn’t love my old body anymore, and immensely irritated because, really, what is so praiseworthy about being thin that a possibly sick person deserves credit for shrinking? [See also]

I wasn’t sick, at least not physically (anxiety can make you lose weight because you burn more calories when you are panicking. That stress is so much more likely to kill you than fat is. Thin != healthy). My weight settled into a happy place where the Wii fit doesn’t make my avatar flop like a wet noodle and I get fewer “eat a sandwich” comments (Sidebar: don’t say shit like that! You don’t get to tell other people what they should eat or their body should look like).

But weddings make you do the wacky. The spectre of my snug sample wedding dress made me worry about my weight in a way that felt foreign and wrong. I went on a new antidepressant and almost immediately gained five pounds. Five pounds which no one but me and the waistband of my jeans noticed. This brought on a minor freak-out that involved a lot of internet research about how much seams can be let out and trying to convince myself I could always buy a new dress (those attempts at rationality always ended in tears). And then, and understand I feel like a traitor when I confess this: I tried to lose those five pounds. I upped my cardio [I already exercise almost every day because a) It tremendously relieves my depression b) I like being reasonably “fit” such that I can lift heavy things and run up flights of stairs without getting winded c) I am mostly unemployed and have a lot of time to kill] and tried drink more water, less beer, and to snack on fruits and veggies instead of cheese and crackers.

I avoided weighing myself to try to hold body hate at bay. But with two weeks to go before my dress fitting, I stepped on a scale: I had not lost one pound. And I cried. I’m ashamed of that, but it is true.

But I somehow snapped out of it. I wore a really tight dress on my birthday, one I’d previously intended to return for being too small, and I felt like a million bucks in it. Maybe I actually was a little slimmer even though my scale number stayed the same. Maybe not. Maybe I just let go and got to be the person I normally am, the person who loves her body, so I felt the dress looked sexy instead of too small, even though nothing had changed.

I realized how much I missed the feeling of loving my body and feeling sexy without subjecting myself to judgment and fear. So even though putting myself through more cardio and dipping carrot sticks instead of pretzels into my hummus might have, possibly, made my dress fit when it otherwise would not have, it doesn’t matter. The moral of this story is not “I worried about my weight so I exercised a lot and then my dress fit, hooray!” The moral of this story is after finding out my dress fit, I realized the stress and the bad feelings about whether or not the dress would fit were not worth it.

I’m writing this and sharing this (with trepidation, because the last thing I want is to perpetuate diet culture and body hatred) so that I remember that over these next two months. I want to look good on my wedding day, sure, but I want to love myself for the rest of my life. So I need to let myself love my body regardless of what clothes it fits into.

I Bought A Million Lipsticks So You Don’t Have To

Remember when Mouse was getting married and she reviewed a million makeup products and it was hugely helpful to anyone DIY-ing their wedding makeup? Well, I’m getting in on that action, only I’ll be covering more cheap-ass drugstore crap because I’m, well, cheap.

For this first installment, I’ll be reviewing long-wear lipsticks.  My lips are the same color as my skin, so long-wear lipstick is essential to my efforts to avoid unpleasant “Jeez, you look tired/sick/ugly today” comments.  For years, I relied on Maybelline SuperStay in Spice to look like blood pumps through my lips like a regular human.  A few months ago, it was discontinued, and I had to find a new everyday lipstick. These are the products I tried on my journey:

Maybelline SuperStay 24 Hour

Suggested Retail Price: $9.99
Color(s) I tried: Eternal Sunset, Won’t Move Mauve, Forever Chestnut
Pluses: In relaunching this brand, Maybelline has in fact improved the formula so it wears longer and more evenly (the old version sometimes flaked off a bit over the course of the day, especially as you got to the bottom of the tube). And like the original, it really does not come off on glasses or clothes or faces so long as you don’t use anything oil-based over it. So yay for that. It also applies a bit more easily with a new slanty tip on the applicator.
Minuses: The problem is with the color. From what I can tell, there isn’t a neutral shade to even come close to replacing Spice, a problem which is exasperated by the complete absence of matte-finish colors. Additionally, Won’t Move Mauve and Forever Chestnut look very different when applied than they do on in the tube (both come out darker and duller). That being said, Eternal Sunset is a great red-family lipstick that feels glam without making Collin make fun of me about “clown makeup” the way my old favorite red does. But it’s certainly not an everyday OR wedding look for me.

L’Oreal Infallible Lip Color

Suggested Retail Price: $11.49, but currently on sale at Ulta for $6.00.
Color(s) I tried: Henna
Pluses: The packaging is cool, like a lipstick spaceship. The balm that comes with it tastes like delicious fruit snacks.
Minuses: Everything else? 1. It is about as infallible as the Large Hadron Collider. 2. It seems like every time I put it on I ended up with lipstick on my teeth. 3. It dries out my lips like crazy, and between that and its very reflective shimmer highlighting every line I felt like it gave me the lips of a 45-year-old woman.

Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipcolor

Suggested Retail Price: $10.99
Color(s) I tried: Best Bubbly
Pluses: I tried this on the recommendation of Bridal Hootenanny member Megan, who made it through an entire wild Halloween party and into the next day with Joan Holloway-red lips. And yes, this is the heartiest of the bunch. It will. not. come. off. Even if you use oil-based balm or gloss over it. Which is nice, because…
Minuses: It doesn’t come with a balm topcoat. And it really needs it, because alone it has the same dried-up wrinklifying effect of the L’Oreal one. Also, the color selection seems kind of limited. This color was a little lighter than what I wanted, and I couldn’t find anything that didn’t seem too pink or much darker (it does not help that every shade was heavily pearlized).

Cover Girl Outlast All Day Lipcolor


Suggested Retail Price: $8.79
Color(s) I tried: Forever Fawn
Pluses: Hallelujah! It’s the right color. Sadly, it took me five other lipsticks to realize the matte finish is key, because it still looks like it could conceivably be my actual lips even when the topcoat has dried up. There are many, many colors and next time Cover Girl goes on sale I’ll be trying more.
Minuses: The finish here isn’t quite as smooth and natural as the Maybelline lipcolor, which is a shame. Also, the color and the topcoat come in separate tubes, which means I can never find the topcoat when I need it.

My current wedding day lipcolor plan, which has had the day-in-the-life test drive but still needs to pass the photoshoot test to be confirmed, is a layer of the CG Forever Fawn with a delicate application of the Revlon Best Bubbly on top, which provides just enough shimmer to make it a little more glam without highlighting every line in my lips as much. Using the Revlon on top also allows a little more flexibility with what I can use as a topcoat: I’ll probably wear some gloss when we do photos but just do topcoat balm for the wedding itself. Which means the total price of my lip makeup is going to be around $22, or about as much as I’d spend on a higher-end brand’s lipstick. And no, I will not be doing the math to see how much money I had to spend to get to here, because that will bring tears to my eyes.

Which reminds me: STAY TUNED for our next installment of the HitchDied Guide to Makeup I Bought, on my hunt for cry-proof long-wearing eyeliner!

[All images are from Ulta, rehosted. No one paid me to try or to write about any of these products, and I hope that makes you happy, because it makes my bank account pretty glum.]

GTL

I may be showing my Jersey roots here a little, but I’m astonished there isn’t more talk of tanning on wedding blogs. I thought almost every light-skinned bride took on a strict tanning regimen before her day in the white dress, especially if her wedding was in the summer.

But the Internet seems to be quiet about it, which leads me to believe I’ve misunderestimated the appeal of tanning to brides-to-be, or everyone is ashamed of intentionally giving themselves skin cancer.  [Actually, given the advent of spray tanning, it can’t be that last thing.]

I am not ashamed: I tan. I have a good excuse, which is that sun exposure dramatically improves my eczema.  But dudes, I also always like the way my skin looks when it is a little tan. I’m not gonna lie. (You can take the girl out of Jersey…)

But this summer I am going to try to avoid getting any more tan than I normally am (I go to the tanning salon about once a month). Usually in the summer I let myself get a deeper tan, feel awesome about how I’m golden and have little to no eczema, but that only lasts about a week.

Because wherever I have eczema, my tan fades faster. So I end up with a speckled look. I don’t usually get dark enough for other people to notice it, but I notice it, and it drives me nuts. So I don’t want it in my wedding photos.

But now I worry that I will look too pale, even though my dress is ivory instead of pure white. I bought my dress in August, when I was a little tan. I don’t know if I will look washed out in it. I guess I’ll find out at my fitting in a couple weeks.

I’m also worried about losing the ability to tan as needed when my eczema acts up (as it tends to when I’m stressed).

So, fess up, folks: I can’t be the only white chick worrying about being too pale in her wedding dress, right? Is anyone else tanning?

Brow-raising

My first day of law school, I made an enemy. We were making nervous small talk before our first-ever class, and she starts going off about what a drag it is to be living in Pittsburgh again after her dreamy undergrad experience in New Yahk Citah.  “It feels like there’s nothing going on here,” she complained. “Plus I can’t find anyplace to get my eyebrows threaded.”

This person sounded like a snob and a lunatic to me, because I had never heard of eyebrow threading, which I guess is no surprise because I was living in podunk PGH.  When I was in undergrad, I joked that going home to New Jersey was “time travel” because trends on the East Coast take a few years to make it inland to PGH.  I hope I didn’t sound as obnoxious as this chick.

Fast-forward to 2011, and Pittsburgh has a threading salon at the mall. [Yes, we still have malls here. Believe me about the time travel yet?]

As I recently mentioned, I hate plucking my eyebrows. I’m a pain baby, and as soon as I rip out one hair my eyes water, and doing precision work through a wall of tears is a challenge. Plus it seems like I can never find my good tweezers when I really need them.

So I’ve been thinking about getting my eyebrows threaded for a while, but I was reluctant to spend more than $0 on eyebrow-maintenance. Plus I was terrified they’d over-pluck and I’d have to draw on my eyebrows with a Sharpie like Drew Barrymore circa 1992.

I like my eyebrows in their natural shape. Just, you know, separated into two distinct brows and with clean edges.

But I’d let my eyebrows get really out of control recently, so with a little encouragement from my friend Megan (a New Yorker who is an old pro at having her eyebrows threaded and other cosmopolitan pastimes like Brunch and Being Groped on the Subway) I decided to give it a shot. I figured if even the results were disastrous, I’d have four months to let my brows grow back before our wedding.

Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about the growth rate of eyebrow hairs, because I’m pleased as a peach with the results. The experience, on the other hand, was so profoundly lame my first trip to the threading salon will probably be my last.  [Well… until shortly before my wedding. The results really are great.]

When I arrived at the salon, before I could say “do you take walk-ins?” the Threading Technician asked, “First time?”

Do my eyebrows really look that messy? “Um, yeah.”

“Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt.  Take a seat. Now tilt your head back and pull your eyelid—OH MY GOD, what happened to you?”

“Um… oh, my scar? I just have a little scar through my eyebrow; hair doesn’t grow there. It’s ok, I like it.”

“How did you get it? It must have been gruesome.”

My face is gruesome? “I was two years old, playing ‘ring-around-the-rosie’ with my sister, and I hit the corner of a coffee table at ‘we all fall down.’ I don’t remember it but I still give my sister crap for it.”

“Sheesh, I would too.” Your sister ruined your face.

“No, really, I like it. I think it is distinctive.”

“Oh…kay. Well, I guess I’ll start with the other one.”  At this point she started ripping hair out of my face.

When she moved on to my left brow, the scarred one, the Thread Tech piped up with, “You know they make brow makeup, right?”

“Sure, I just don’t feel the need to use it.”

“But with makeup your eyebrows could be even!”

“But I don’t want to cover up my scar.”

“But it wouldn’t take much makeup! Just a few strokes with a pencil. Or even a powder to darken it a bit. It would even out your whole face!”

“I think my face is ok uneven.”

“All right.” It’s your funeral, Scarface.

This backsass was definitely the worst part of the eyebrow threading experience, though. I was pleasantly surprised by how little it hurt. Each yank was about as painful as plucking a single hair, maybe less painful, but getting rid of dozens of hairs at once. Unfortunately, the amount my eyes watered increased in proportion with the amount of hair being removed in each pull.  My face was so slippery with tears it was really difficult to hold my skin taut while she worked.  But at least once the tears started flowing the brow architecture was someone else’s responsibility.

I don’t have the income to justify regular threading, or the self-esteem to withstand regular interaction with this particular salon employee.  But like I said, I’ll probably do this again before the wedding.  Even though it will make my already-embarrassing wedding beauty budget bulge a little bit more.

Has anyone else tried eyebrow threading? Anyone else get a tongue-lashing about their beauty failures at the salon?

I Hate Shapewear

Spring is almost here, so Victoria’s Secret is pimping out its new bridal lingerie. I LOVE lingerie, so you’d think I’d use my wedding as an excuse to drop big bucks for something lacy and flimsy for sexytime.

But I don’t really have that impulse, maybe because I don’t usually need excuses to waste money on lingerie, so the itch is already scratched, so to speak.  Plus, the common anti-lingerie argument of “you have to interrupt things to put on a costume that you end up tearing off within five minutes” resonates when I think about my wedding night. I’ve said that I think we’ll be too tired after our wedding for sex, but if I’m being honest with you, I want “wedding night” sex so much I bet we’re going to TRY. But I also bet it is going to be terrible, terrible, LAZY sex. There is no way I’ll have the energy to put a costume change into the mix.

[I just realized that I can totally wear some lacy piece of “bridal” lingerie for the night BEFORE our wedding, which we are totally spending together, “tradition” be damned. Man, I’m so good at convincing myself to spend money.]

Anyway, which leads me to the original point of this post: “foundation garments.”

Victoria’s Secret’s “wedding day” collection is mostly lycra and boning and shaping/slimming/smoothing.  Just looking at this stuff makes me feel hot and bothered, and not in the good way.

I’ve worn shapewear before, because my gigantic dress collection involves some sheer or silky numbers that require it.  I think it is hot and uncomfortable. Wearing shapewear is probably the only thing I do in compliance with the beauty myth that I TRULY hate. Well that and plucking my eyebrows. So I only do it very rarely. And under protest.

Yes, I do have swamp ass.

The idea of spending a long, busy, day, with all that drinking and dancing and getting hitched and stuff squished into a spandex tube is really, really unappealing.

My preferred wedding-day lingerie is this:

And maybe those stick-on boob pads. MAYBE. (My dress already has those “bra cups” sewn in from when a model wore it at a bridal show.)

But some tiny part of me thinks “It’s my wedding day! Everyone will be staring at me! If my waist isn’t cinched and my butt isn’t boosted, they’ll JUDGE ME.” This is part is related to the part of me that worries over not fitting into my dress.  That part of me needs to be stopped.

Did you/are you wearing foundation garments under your wedding dress?  Do you want to preach it’s life-changing virtues to me? Or should I resist the siren song of shapewear, follow my instincts and go with lingerie minimalism on my wedding day?

[“Lingerie minimalism” just surged to the top of my search engine hits.]

Bridalplasty: BUH

E! has ordered reality series Bridalplasty, in which the contestants who prevail in wedding planning challenges (example: writing the best vows) win plastic surgery.

After reading stories like this, I usually check to see if it is April 1st.  For those playing along at home, it is not.

I’m having trouble moving past making retching noises to appropriately respond to this.  I suppose it ties back into the theme of Bride As Uberwoman.  When an average everyday person like you or me plans a wedding and anticipates being a Bride, it somehow taps into all these insecurities woven throughout our sense of selves by that tenacious patriarchy loom, perhaps in an unprecedented way.1

We think, “I’m just a regular everyday chick. I can’t be a BRIDE. I can’t be that perfectly gracious hostess. I can’t be that clever crafter of a beautiful, cute, charming, hand-made with love day. I can’t be that stunning beauty walking down the aisle, deserving all eyes on her.”

And so women getting married start thinking now, more than ever, that they need to lose weight.  They need to whiten their teeth.  They need to have someone else’s skin.  Or, if reality television is involved, they need an Extreme Makeover.

Because the person they are now is just a person, and some serious improvements must be made before they can be a Bride.  Fat chicks can put on a white dress and walk down an aisle, flat-chested chicks can exchange rings and vows with their partner in front of friends and family, chicks with wrinkles can throw a bunch of flowers at their single friends… but there is this pervasive message they won’t be a Real Bride unless they are something more ideal.  On this milestone day in our Womanhood we’ve got to be everything a Woman can be.  Most importantly: nice to look at.

1I would not be surprised if something similar happens to women anticipating motherhood, but I have never done that and have never actually been close with anyone doing that, so I can only speculate on that comparison.

Curly Fuzzy Snaggy Shaggy

I am one of Those Women.  I’m letting my hair grow for my wedding.  And I’m going to whine about it.  And then I will probably cut it all off the day after my wedding.  I am living the cliché.

Some background: My hair is what my shampoo bottle calls “hard to manage.”  I like to call it moody.

Growing up, my hair could best be described as “perpetually tangled,” which in my girl scout years I resolved by having an awesomely hilarious bowl cut, and in my teen angst years I “resolved” through intense conditioning and time consuming blow-drying.

When I was 19, I cut my hair short.  Then shorter.  Until I had “a boy cut” (a misleading name name considering the fact that the average hairstyle of a college aged dude was much longer than my hair). I LOVED having short hair.  But I also got annoyed with the necessity of regular haircuts.  And I sometimes missed the ability to “do something different.”  [I am bad at accessorizing, and moreover, cute headbands weren’t in style like they are now.]

My last year of college I started growing my hair out.  I found the growing-out process completely miserable.  When my hair was finally all one length again, I realized that it was now curly.  Which was really fun and exciting!  Now I live in terror of my hair up and deciding not to be curly anymore.  Because the curl doesn’t always form, if, for example, my hair dries too quickly or I use the wrong product.

Now:  Whenever my hair goes through a bad mood, I always think about cutting it all off.  Shortly before the engagement I had a particularly bad pang, such that I actually went to the salon thinking I would do the big chop.  But I told my stylist about the imminent engagement, and she reminded me of how much growing out hair sucks and what if I decide I don’t want to be a sexy cool bold short-haired bride?  Then I thought, what if Collin, who met me well after the shift to long curly hair, doesn’t like the short ‘do?  What if it doesn’t flatter my more grown-up face?   I shied away from the risk.

My stylist gave me a great shape-up trim and my hair started to behave somewhat more often.  So, for now, I’m sticking to the long-hair for the wedding mold.  I’m curious if within a year I can get past my collarbone, which my hair hasn’t seen since I was in middle school.  My hair normally stops growing longer and starts growing messier when it hits my shoulders, but I never give it much chance after that point.

I remain less than confident that I will actually make it a whole year without grabbing a pair of kitchen shears and cutting off all the hair I can pull away from my scalp, then speeding to the salon, sobbing all the way, barging in and begging, “FIX IT DEAR LORD FIX IT.”

Anyone else deviating from her normal hairstyle (or fighting off desire for major change) in the name of her wedding?

What Not to Tell Me About What to Wear

I am beyond tired with wedding literature that frames all discussion of dress styles in terms of “body flaws.”  I don’t want to hear about how to “correct” a pear-shaped body or about how diagonal lines keep the eye moving so people won’t focus on my “heavy spots.”

Seriously… why?  Like, for some lady products I get it, even if I find it objectionable.  If I am not properly terrified about the life-destroying effects of “fine lines” I will never spend $40 on a half-ounce of eye cream.1 But, I like my body, and I’m still going to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a wedding dress. I don’t think I would spend more on a wedding dress if I woke up tomorrow morning, took a look in the mirror, and finally recognize that my calves are disgustingly short, my shoulders are much too angular, and my neck is too cylindrical… or something.

In fact, I might be tempted to spend an even more ridiculous amount of money if someone was selling me a dress by marketing it as, “A dress that will put your hotness on display.” I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Memo to the folks writing all that rote “dress silhouette” copy: Want to write something new? Try these helpful phrases on for size. Instead of “bust minimizing,” let’s hear about “for ladies with a set of killer yabos.” I don’t even know what “short-waisted” means, but don’t tell me that mermaid dresses will “elongate,” tell me about how they’ll make a round booty go clap. And please don’t assume because I am tall and thin that I need to “create curves.”

And here are some words you should probably eliminate from your vocabulary: Camoflage. Forgiving. Hide. (Unless you want to write a sentence along the lines of “One downside to a full ballgown is that it will hide your getaway sticks.”) Consider: Highlight. Emphasize. Complement.

We’re not going to break off our engagement if we read some body-positivity. There is maybe one bride-to-be in the universe who is only engaged because she’s convinced her fiancé is the only person who will ever love her despite her short-waistedness. We’re still going to shovel our money into the machine. We’ll just be happier people when we do it.

1Which is a good excuse to link to my favorite Target Women: Skin Care Science.

They Look Like Good Strong Hands, Don’t They?

I try not to indulge in insecurity about my appearance.  Admittedly, it helps that I generally think I look good.  But worrying too much about my appearance feels like an exercise in insanity: Beauty standards are warped. There will always be someone better looking.  And good looks are fleeting.

But when it comes to my hands, I really, truly fail with my dreams of Beauty Mythbusting. I’ve written before about my skin problems.  The first place I ever suffered from eczema was on the knuckle of my right index finger, now I have it all over both hands.  Years of dry, itchy, raw, cracked skin, plus the side effects of the steroid creams I use to alleviate those symptoms, mean I have the hands of a much older woman.  Plus I have to keep my fingernails filed down to the quick, which isn’t the most glamorous look.

I really delighted in this post a few weeks back on Shakesville, because I saw Sarah Jessica Parker’s un-retouched hands and thought “those look just like mine!”

And Melissa McEwan described those hands as “beautiful and remarkable,” and not for the first time I wished I could be more like Melissa McEwan.

I mentioned the other day I have a scar through my eyebrow, and that I love it.  I never ever think of it as a flaw in my appearance.  Why can’t I feel that way about my hands?  I remember reading The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle as a child, and when I read these words in the final chapter:

Even as she stood there, holding my hands, a strange look passed across her face.  Slowly she turned my hands over, gazed at the palms, then touched them with her fingertips. “And your hands?’ she asked in horror. “They are so . . . hard.”

I knew this meant to show the reader that Charlotte had grown as a person; her experiences were showing on her skin.  We’re not supposed to be horrified like her mother.  We’re supposed to be proud.

Then again, I didn’t get my rough hands leading a mutiny against a villainous sea captain, so maybe that comparison doesn’t hold water (excuse the pun).

Still, I wish I were more comfortable with my hands, and not just for all these philosophical reasons, but for the simple fact that getting engaged (if you have an engagement ring) means showing your hand to EVERYONE.  Every time I see someone new and they ask to see the ring, I have to shove aside embarrassment about how my hands look.  This weekend I’ll be seeing most of Collin’s family for the first time since the ring arrived, and my hands are in worse shape than usual: picture SJP’s hand up there but with a bunch of scratch marks all over it.

I will probably try to rely mainly on the procedure of taking of my ring and handing it over to anyone asking to see it, even though that can be a little awkward.  In the meantime, I hope I someday learn to love my hard, hyperlinear hands.

It Begins: Dress Shopping

Yesterday marked the start of my wedding dress shopping, you know, sort of in the way Memorial Day marks the start of summer.  Like, technically summer doesn’t happen for almost another month, but nevertheless you’ve been acting like its summer since the first day the thermometer hit 80, BUT I DIGRESS.  I mean to say that I tried on white gowns, thinking about my wedding dress, but I was not REALLY wedding dress shopping.

Here is what I learned:

I am probably not going to be one of those awesome, breezy, no-nonsense, budget-savvy chicks who buys a white dress that isn’t marketed as a bridal gown.  At least I’m definitely not going to be buying a non-bridal wedding dress from BCBG/Maxazria, even though they have a wide selection of floor-length white dresses.

I tried on this dress first:

I am crazy for one-shoulder dresses right now.  But I realize it is a passing fad.  I don’t want to buy a dress for my wedding that will be an avocado fridge in a year.  Anyway, this dress was lovely, but about two inches too short.  Even when I took off the heels the salesperson provided, you could see my entire foot, not just a delicate hint of toe.  I’m not crazy tall (between 5’8″ and 5’9″, closer to one or the other depending on my posture), so I suspected it was an innate design flaw with that particular dress.  I was wrong.  I had the problem with each dress I tried in the store.

[Beyond the jump, more too-short dresses and a possibly-offensive RANT on body size and inept advertising]

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