|Selecting the Style of Dress:
Consider which of the
four figure types you probably fall into:
The inverted triangle is top heavy and carries weight through
the bust and shoulders. Avoid the halter style! It will tend to
make the bust line bigger. A V neck is good, plus it gives the
illusion of a long neck. Consider the type of fabric in the dress--shiny
fabrics reflect light and will make you look bigger.
The triangle has a heavier bottom half than the top half (ah,
yes, it includes all of us with those great pear-shaped figures!).
If you have this figure type you want to do everything you can
to widen the shoulder area--off the shoulder styles are great
because they create a horizontal line to balance your hips. Lace
that goes across in a bateau neckline is also flattering. A Basque
waistline dips to form a V at the center front and is slimming
to the hipline (and tummy area). Most manufactured wedding gowns
are cut with the Basque waistline.
The rectangle figure is straight up and down and can be either
slender or full. In this case you want to create the illusion
of shoulders and hips with dresses which have horizontal style
lines in these areas. Again, off the shoulder is good, and dropped
The hourglass is well-balanced and well-proportioned. Scale
is important, though, especially in a petite figure. You will
look good in several styles, so try on lots of dresses to see
what you like best.
Recognize that you are probably going to want
to move, hug your new Husband, sit down comfortably to eat dinner,
dance, and enjoy your own wedding reception!
Off-the-shoulder dresses can restrict arm
movement. Make sure you can lift your arms. Don't have your dress
fitted so tightly that you can't breathe! It should fit snugly,
but if you are uncomfortable, then have the seams let out. A word
about tight skirts--make sure you can walk; otherwise, the music
will probably have to be played over and over again to give you
enough time to walk down the aisle taking tiny steps.
Selecting a wedding gown and ordering it from
a bridal store can take up to six months, unless it is in stock
or on sale and you can take it immediately. Having it made can
take 2 - 3 months.
After the dress comes in to the store, it will probably need
alterations (an average dress can cost between $100 and $200 in
alterations), which is usually not included for free. Also, if
you select a dress with an attached train, you will need to have
it bustled. This process consists of sewing buttons and thread
loops on top of the dress (over-bustle) or sewing ribbon loops
and ties between the lining and the dress (under-bustle). The
fabric is thus lifted off the floor and falls in folds around
the back of the dress. Bustling can be expensive, so shop around!
If you have a lot of material or bulky organza over satin, your
dress will require more bustles in order for it to look pretty.
Whether you are having a dress made or purchasing
a dress, look over the dress carefully for the following items:
See if all the beading is on the dress! I did an alteration
once where one sleeve was beaded but the other was forgotten.
Make sure the zipper matches at the top of the dress and that
you cannot see the zipper teeth.
Make sure that any boning is correctly placed. Boning is used
in off-the-shoulder dresses to make them stay up (it is a stiff
piece of plastic flat tubing). The boning should not be directly
over the bust line but off to the side providing support at the
front and back of the dress.
Check for loose threads, puckered seams, etc.
Shop around for the best VALUE.
If you don't happen to find a dress that fits perfectly, consider
the additional costs (and stress) of having to pay more in alterations
and time for fitting appointments. It can take several fittings
when major changes are being made.
Fitting the garment is included when you have a gown custom-made
and once you contract for a specific price, that's it! Also, on
a custom-made gown, it can be cut to leave more material in the
seams, so if you gain weight, it can be let out.