9 Oct, 2010 | by Kathleen Barbosa
The sad reality is that no matter how much a girl loves her wedding dress, chances are she’s going to need to tweak it significantly in order to make it “perfect.” Unless you’re lucky enough to have a gown custom crafted to your exact measurements, you’re more likely than not going to need a seamstress to make it fit your particular specifications. When ordering a bridal gown, the general rule of thumb is that it’s always easier to take the dress in than to let it out, so you should always consult the designer’s size chart, order the size that will accommodate your largest part (in my case, my hips; for another girl, it might be her bust, etc.), and always trust your consultant when she implores you not to order your dress two sizes smaller than what’s advisable because you think you’re going to drop twenty pounds before your wedding. No, you won’t. In any case, for many women, shopping for a wedding dress can be a migraine-inducing ordeal. The reason is simple: Most gown samples are a bridal size 10, which is a street size 6. This can be a rather draconian reality for the average American woman, who measures 5’4″ and wears a street size 14. Some bridal salons carry plus-size sample sizes, but many do not. It also means that the average-size woman can’t find a gown at most sample sales. It’s a rather unfriendly process. For someone short and scrawny like me, however, who takes a 0 in tops and usually a 2, sometimes a 4, in bottoms, it meant ordering my dress in a bridal size 8 (street size 4) to ensure that it would fit my widest part, my hips. Well, that resulted in my gown being enormous on me, especially on the bodice, so I was a little annoyed to know that I would have to shell out $200 – $300 on alterations in order to tighten the dress at its side seams. Most bridal salons include some basic alterations — the hemline and bustle — in the cost of the dress; for the side seams, however, you’re on your own. In any case, I think that when it comes to something as important as your wedding gown, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After all, it has to be perfect, and one just has to bite the bullet, no matter how much of a penny-pinching psycho you’ve morphed into after two years of planning a wedding.
continue reading »
20 Aug, 2010 | by Kathleen Barbosa
I’ve written a few times about my wedding gown, which I love. Without giving too much away, it’s a dramatic trumpet gown of cream Duchess satin by Alvina Valenta. Embellished with crystal appliques and classic in its details and silhouette, my wedding dress helped inspire my current vintage obsession. I bought it last year a few months after becoming engaged and am as excited about it today as I was when it first arrived at Bridal Trousseau last Spring. With that said, however, bridal fashion is really at its zenith right now, with designers like Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier raising bridal couture to stratospheric heights of decadence and artistry, and there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of dresses I admire and could wear just as easily, and enthusiastically, as the one I chose. For example, there’s the subject of this post. I ran across this gown a few days ago, a garment of such beaded fabulousness that I just had to share it with everyone. No, this isn’t actually related to my own wedding, and, yes, it’s a bit of a detour, but this site has evolved into a forum for me to share my general musings on all things wedding-related and to indulge my silly fantasy of becoming an event/wedding coordinator (you know, just in case my law degree really does fail to pay dividends in the future). In that spirit, I’ve decided to devote this post to the one dress I’ve seen in the past year that has given me a mild case of “dress envy.” It’s from Lazaro’s 2010 collection, and it’s utterly glamorous. Feast thine eyes:
continue reading »
13 Jul, 2009 | by Kathleen Barbosa
Well, actually, my gown arrived some time ago. Though my consultant at Bridal Trousseau told me it might take up to six months to arrive when I ordered it in early February, it was more like six weeks! I couldn’t believe it when she called me to say it had already arrived in the salon. That was way back in April; I’ve just been incredibly lazy about keeping up with this blog. I also felt a bit strange about the fact that I had a gown more than a year and a half before the wedding. As of my writing today, it will be at least a full year before I even have my first fitting. Well, no matter. I love my dress!
As you might recall from an earlier post, I purchased a gown several months ago. I learned about a nearby bridal salon in Branford called Bridal Trousseau on Main from theknot.com. Though I thought it would take many months of looking and that I would have to try on dozens of dresses, I found one that I loved relatively quickly and, after a brief hesitation, ordered it more than twenty months in advance of the wedding! My gown is an Alvina Valenta, which is one of the JLM Coutrue labels (Alvina Valenta, Lazaro, Jim Hjelm and Tara Keely). I found the following description of Alvina Valenta on kleinfeldbridal.com, the web presence of the world-famous Kleinfeld, a high-end bridal salon in Manhattan:
continue reading »
11 Feb, 2009 | by Kathleen Barbosa
I’ve never had any sort of bridal fantasy and wasn’t the kind of girl who daydreamed about her wedding day or anything like that; once Rich and I decided to have a wedding, however, the one thing I did grow excited about immediately was choosing a wedding gown! As anyone who knows me even superficially knows, I do love to shop (often to my own detriment). I tackled this critical matter very quickly, putzing around on theknot.com and jlmcouture.com and browsing the dress gallery on Kleinfeld’s site whenever I had a few idle moments. In no time, I had established an elaborate list of contenders, narrowing my focus primarily to several Jim Hjelm gowns that struck my fancy. My ideal sillhouette was set in stone (a trumpet or mermaid gown), but otherwise I had a pretty open mind — silk, satin, lace … whatever! — and I figured that I would choose my gown ultimately based on my own visceral reaction to “the one.” If that’s a sufficiently scientific basis for choosing a fiance, it should work just as well for a dress, right? continue reading »