Friday, January 9, 2009

Part 1: My dress search, a story in many parts

When I shop, I am super decisive. That's hot, that sucks. I don't really have much range. I either love something or hate it, and if I'm even the slightest bit undecided, it goes into the hate it pile.

But dress shopping has been an entirely different experience. At the very start I got a glimpse into how helpful my mom was going to be when she said "every bride looks beautiful, just pick a dress." Thankfully, IC's mom is super straight-forward "that's ugly, take it off" and exactly the kind of person I need by my side when shopping for a purchase of this magnitude. She helped me figure out what styles look best on me, and she is really good at telling when something is just not for me.

But still, I am dress-less.

How did I get here? Let us recap.

I only started looking at dress photos after IC proposed. And I saw one right away that I liked a lot. It was Amsale and it just looked glamorous and different.

I went to their shop to try it on and stood in front of the mirror saying "I really think this is it." IC's mom snapped some pictures. I really thought "wow, I'm buying the first dress I tried on."

Then I got home and looked at the photos. And, I looked fat. Here's why that's weird: for most of my life, I was fat. Or, when I'm being charitable, big (really big) for my frame. I can tell you how it wasn't my fault that I teetered on size 14-16 in 2004, about how I had back surgery and had to eat laying down and couldn't even walk or do any excercise but the truth is I was always overweight. And despite that, I never really looked at myself in photos and thought "geez, I'm fat" like I did when I saw myself in this dress.

This is me in April 2002, not quite at my heaviest but definitely on the road there, with IC back when we were really, truly, swear to G-d, just friends (but as my mom said over New Years "I think you always loved her" to which he had no choice but to say "yes, always"), I've got rolls of fat showing and my arm is the size of a linebacker's but look at my face, and I don't just mean my double chin and huge cheeks--does that girl think she's fat? No way.

K and Shai

Today I am a very happy size 8. Would I be an even happier size 6? Or size 4? Sure, but I love my body and would rather have what I've got with minimal upkeep than be a regular gym-goer who only eats lettuce for a smaller size.

All of this is to say--why they hell am I feeling fat in my dream dress? I don't know. I guess it just doesn't fit right on me. Fine, here's my fat shot:

And lest you think it's in my head, here's me in another dress at Amsale, on the same day, which fits very nicely but ultimately isn't my style:

Tell me I don't look half the size.

So, back to the drawing board. Except I don't have a drawing board. Man, I wish I had a drawing board.


  1. Hi Karol! This may not at all be up your alley, but this is a hell of a fun site to visit nonetheless.... some amazing vintage couture dresses, with a big bridal section.

    BTW, the second dress here looks amazing on you. I understand it may not be your style, but damn, you look good.

  2. I think you look fantastic in both, so there.


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  4. Thanks, Aurelie! I will try that site. And if I look half as beautiful as you did on your wedding day, I'll be really happy. ;-)

  5. You don't look fat, but I agree that the dress isn't helping you. Putting big extra poofs of fabric at the hips and waist doesn't help anybody.

    Hell, even the runway model's hiding it, with her hands and a freaking boa.

    [Side note: I can't believe how often I'm commenting on a wedding blog. I'm not married, never intend to be married, and don't like weddings. Or dresses. Or planning.]

  6. Easycure, maybe you like fat chicks. :-)

  7. Hahaha, Tanya, you're my target audience!

  8. I think it's gorgeous! But if you don't FEEL gorgeous in your dream dress, it's not it.

    When I went with my BF to a custom shop to try on wedding dresses she had a list of 3 things she knew she did NOT want in a dress...and then the sales lady brought out one, no joke that had all three of these things on it, she tried it on and it was TO DIE FOR and perfect on her body, and hence her dream dress...

    Keep looking. The right one is out there!

  9. I agree with Tanya -- that fabric at the waist is not flattering for anyone. FWIW, I got my dress at Kleinfelds and had a great experience there. I didn't buy the very first dress I tried on while shopping, but I did buy the first dress I tried on at Kleinfelds.

  10. Kleinfeld's features prominently in part 2 of my dress search story.

  11. The first dress just has extra fabric in all the wrong places, obviously would only suit a size zero. The colour is great on you though, although I love wedding dresses that aren't pure white. The second one is a great fit, I'm sure you will find a beautiful dress and hopefully your decisiveness will help you "know". I do agree you should try on things that you wouldn't normally, my own dress was so not what I pictured but it was the dress for me once I tried it on. Maybe just live blog your dress trying on and we can tell you what we think! :-)

  12. I'm going to be posting more shots of myself in dresses that didn't work soon.

  13. The first dress is lovely, but I think it is cut to create curves--I'm guessing you might need to go simpler? Simpler might go better with a destination wedding at/near the beach. Can't wait for part 2; you tell a good story. :)

  14. Agree with Steffany, try on things you wouldn't normally.