Friday, March 4, 2011

bridal conundrum

From BHLDN's Vintage Wedding Gallery
A friend came to me with a quandry for one of her friends - this friend-of-a-friend, let's call her 'Vera,' is getting ready for her wedding and on the dress hunt. Vera's nuptials are set for a yacht club (classy) and she's looking for something simple to wear when she ties the knot, maybe not even a 'wedding dress' by name. Vera's a normal gal in the size 12 range, struggling with the 'one-size-fits-all' or rather, 'one-size-fits-small' options she's encountered. She'd also like to keep the gown in the $500 range and isn't wedded to white. 

Here are a few ideas I've come across - but I'm asking you, my stylish pals, to help a lady out with your suggestions as well!

First: the department stores - off-the-rack prices, plus a wide-range of sizes make these options easy for Vera to peruse in her area. 

A sheer, tank neckline breaks up wider shoulders, a fitted bodice offers plenty of control and a slightly flaired skirt balances top and bottom. BCBG Satin Stripe A-Line Gown - Available at Nordstroms

The same benefits of a tank neckline are evident here, an elongating v-neck and flattering draping make this grecian silhouette popular for larger sizes. Suzi Chin Goddess Dress - Also at Nordstroms

Another Grecian-inspired silhouette - Aidan Mattox Beaded Empire Silk Dress - From Saks

And another - also Aidan Mattox- from Bloomingdales

A silvery Kay Unger dress from Neimans provides more structure in a heavier jacquard.

A playful ruffle adds drama and provides tummy camouflage in this Marchesa One-Shoulder Ruffled Silk Crepe Gown - From Saks

I love the deco feel of this Sue Wong gown - From Bloomingdales

And a beautifully draped simple sheath from Ann Taylor 

Also worth looking at are smaller - alternative bridal designers that may specialize in bridesmaids, but offer an assortment of simple bridal options as well. 

This Jenny Yoo Sheath offers plenty of control through well-placed princess seams and the sash belt. It's also available on the bridesmaid side of her site in dozens of brilliant hues including some very punchy pinks.

Also from Jenny Yoo  this gown with an empire-waist, nicely-fitted bodice and dozens of color options including a gorgeous off-white make this bridesmaid dress a definite option for a bride looking for something different.

This incredibly simple sheath from the aptly named Simple Silhouettes has a 60's feel that would pair so nicely with a birdcage veil.

Yet another Grecian-style gown - this one from Joanna Auguste

Big time bridal houses also have plenty of options - although many cross over the princess line, not in keeping with Vera's wish for simple and classic. 

This empire-waisted chiffon dress from David's Bridal still fits the bill and feels very old hollywood with the draped halter neckline. 

And if our friend-of-a-friend, Vera happens to stumble on a big pile of cash, I don't think there is anyone who dresses brides with curves better than Matthew Christopher with his incredible vintage Hollywood sensibilities. 

What do you think Vera should wear? Have you come across anything in your own searching my bride-to-be pals??


  1. wow. you are kind of a genius. if i ever get married again, i am hiring you. :) XOXO

  2. also, if you have curvy girls looking for gowns, i love
    abbela, check it out. i have purchased several dresses from them, they always fit, they are lined and they look great! ( in fact, i wore one to your wedding! )

  3. Wtoo gowns and Watters bridesmaids might have some good options. I am a huge fan of Wtoo, as the dresses have just the right amount of embellishment in subtle tones (think slight metallic laces and clear beading on mesh for subtle shimmer instead of rhinestones on lace or satin). Plus, the boned bodices offer great support, usually eliminating or minimizing the need for body shaping undergarments, and they are priced in the $600-$900 range. The bridesmaid dresses come in a multitude of silhouettes, colors and fabrics (satin, chiffon, dupioni), and are priced from $170 to about $350. And because the dresses are not embellished and the cuts are clean/classic, there would be all kinds of room to accessorize. I'm sort of a nut for all the Watters lines.

  4. P.S. All the Watters and Wtoo dresses I've encountered in the real world look infinitely better in person than they do on the Watters website. When viewed independently, they tend to be far less Ice Queen-y or Princess Barbie-y.