Friday, November 30, 2012

Seeking: A simple dress for a busty bride


Hey there,

I'm trying to find a somewhat non-traditional dress for my Sept 2013 wedding.  I'm in my mid-thirties, short, curvy and busty - size 10-14 depending on how fit I am, 5'4" and 36G. Hourglass. I have a budget of about $1000, though I could be flexible for the right dress. Mostly I'm less interested in a specific "look" than just feeling beautiful and comfortable in my own skin.

Aesthetically, I'm drawn to pieces that are simple and architectural, often with one standout feature. Though it wouldn't work on my figure, that Roksanda Ilincic is the kind of thing I really like, as is this one that one of your readers posted recently. I also LOVE the Wren Goddess for Stone Fox [pictured above], but it's out of my price range.

In general, clean lines without fuss look better on me, and I have no interest in trying to look like a 22 year old (which too many dresses I've tried on make me feel like).

I live in Portland, OR, and have so far visited The English Dept and Sarah Seven, but their floaty pieces look terrible on my body. I also ordered this Badgley Mischka, but it was a much peachier color than the photo. The one dress I've tried on so far that I'm considering is the J Crew Corrina (I know, I know, J Crew) - great price, it has SOME style, and it suits me pretty well.


But I'm not committed yet. So now my plan of attack is to order a bunch of dresses from online, and also to visit some stores in NYC this December.

I know that mostly, I need to go try more stuff on, but I'm hoping you and your readers can help direct me in that process. What I'd really like to see are 1) dress suggestions 2) suggestions of brick and mortar places in PDX in particular to try on dresses that might fit the bill, and 3) more pictures of short and curvy brides/ladies in unconventional evening/party dresses to inspire me/give me ideas (so many of the curvy brides in unconventional dresses I see are wearing 50s dresses and that's not me).

Thanks in advance for helping me through this tender process that involves far too much polyester and feeling like a sausage/muffin, 
(you can just leave off my name - I couldn't face coming up with a witty sign-off that involved the idea of "curves")

*****

Ackkkkkk. Not only are the simple, non-traditional wedding dresses (often) more expensive, THEY COME IN THE TINIEST SIZES.

What's a cool girl with boobs to do??

HALPS INTERNETS WE NEED YOUR HALPS.

53 comments:

  1. Wtf? You talk crap about J Crew yet you link to it so someone will buy it and you get money for it? Nice.

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    1. Good job not having any idea how blogs work.

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  2. I have to say, this JCrew dress is really flattering on this curvy bride. And BHLD carries dress sizes up to 14, many times for under $1000 (like this one). If the hip designers aren't going to make dresses your size, sometimes the only way to go is with the bigger manufacturers. Don't worry about who makes the dress- just find one that you feel beautiful in!

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    1. OMG. is that what we're classifying as a "curvy" bride now?! sh$%t. i may never eat again.

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    2. Um, this woman clearly has curves, thus she is curvy. Curvy =/= a bad thing, so please resume eating for the love of god, and stop acting like curvy is a bad word.

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    3. you could probably use a different sash (or not tie a huge bow) on the BHLDN one and it would look more minimal...

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    4. I love that BHLDN one, almost bought it myself. Do they have a good return policy?

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    5. OP: I love that BHLDN too, but they only have it in a 2 right now...will keep looking for it elsewhere.

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    6. Not sure how you feel about the one-shoulder style, but I just spotted this on eBay. Even if you don't like this particular one (I think it's really pretty!), makes me think some eBay searching could be worthwhile!

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  3. Have you tried Lena Medoyeff on NW 23rd? It may look a little stuffy considering its location, but it is full of lovely, simple long gowns that can be made in a variety of fabrics (even fair-trade silk, which, I know, so Portland) and from what I remember the prices are pretty amazing for what you'll find. The ladies that work there are so sweet and easy to talk to, even if you don't find the perfect dress they will give you an idea of what you do want.

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    1. No but thanks - I'll check them out.

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  4. Maybe? Definitely bra-compatible...

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    1. That's not even flattering on the model!

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  5. I know this is generally frowned upon 'round these parts, but i would recommend trying on some strapless styles. i know, i know, but they tend to work well on a busty girl (like myself). i was wholeheartedly against them when i began shopping, but landed on one and it was 1)comfortable and 2)flattering to my hourglass figure.

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    1. i totally agree. as a 34DDD, i found that strapless dresses more so than other designs minimized my bust line and were more flattering. i will also say that i found gowns with structure through the bodice to also be more flattering to an hour glass figure.

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    2. yup! agreed. as a 36(F)-26-38 i was hell BENT on not having some strapless sweetheart neckline fitted waist kind of dress... but it looked bangin' on and was comfortable as all hell.

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    3. Me too. I really wanted straps or cap sleeves or something, but as the original BoobsWeek girl (yeah, humblebrag), I ended up with strapless because a strapless dress that really fit worked best for my 32Fs.

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    4. Me too! I felt "uncool" having a strapless but it looks and fits best on my 32DDs.

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    5. And certainly our favorite busty lady below does strapless with aplomb. The styles I've tried so far make me feel like I'm wearing a towel. Any pictures of strapless dresses styled in a more "cool" way? (Looking at you, original BoobsWeek girl).

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    6. Ladyface, the reason that I'm the original BoobsWeek girl is because I can't find anything myself, ever, including anything styled in a more cool way! But I'll try, and then hope the others save me!

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    7. I feel like we're all falling on our swords here in the name of fashion for the ample-breasted.

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    8. Tell that to the Issa with boob darts below.

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  6. First of all, here is everyone's favorite busty lady in bridal!

    Now to business. I got excited for this dress but then I realized the open back would probably be a no-go for someone with boobs.

    Then I saw this Stella McCartney but I don't know about the fringe and it's double your preferred budget.

    How about this Badgley Mischka? I can't find it any higher than size 10, but it's on sale.

    The neckline on this dress doesn't seem quite right to me, but it's a good price so maybe worth altering?

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    1. I actually tried the Issa, but the darts on the front mangled my breasts and were like arrows to my nipples. Love the Stella in theory, but not the cape fringe. Will look at the Badgley Mischka.

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  7. Have you looked at Leanne Marshall? Not exactly clean lines, but definitely architectural.

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  8. What about this gown? Simple, elegant, size 10, under $1,000.

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    1. I LOVE THIS ONE! The black under the white! Good pic!

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    2. totally beautiful, but sadly, there's no way a 10 made by a proper designer like philip lim fits someone with a big chest. i speak from experience as someone with a big chest, also in the size 10-14 range, depending on the designer and how many salads i've had over the previous week.

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    3. Oh it's so pretty.

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    4. gorgeous - this is my vote. phillip lim is so flattering!

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    5. I love it too, but I agree with Amy. A designer size 10 is typically more like a US size 6-8 from a regular store.

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    6. I was hoping you'd weigh in, Nicole, and I do love this dress for sure - hits the mark - but I share Amy and Lauren's sizing concerns.

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  9. Have you already tried Haunt/Holly Stadler on East Burnside? Personally I'm a fan of this one for you...

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    1. I did try Haunt, but they didn't have the Orcas dress - it's lovely, and I'll definitely contact her to see if there's a way to try on a version.

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  10. What about a Nicole Miller? This one has straps & is waist defining (what all hour glass figures need)...
    But I can't find a price or anywhere to buy it online :(

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    1. That dress is gorgeous. I googled its description which let me to an Oregon Bride Magazine photo shoot where it was used (4th look down), that listed the price ($1045) at the English Department, which is in Portland!

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    2. Nice sleuthing! I'll see if they have it in - when I visited their Nicole Miller dresses were on the road.

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  11. What about something like this? Obviously that slit needs to be sewn up a little.

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  12. Trying to reply to Tonia up there: I have that dress, and I am a curvy girl who fits exactly said size range original poster suggests. I agree with the second J. Crew suggestion (It's the old version of the Cecelia - If you want the dress, let me know - I have it in a 10 or 12 would have to doublecheck, and would basically be willing to give it away to someone). It's actually really quite nice on my figure too and it makes your boobs look amazing. That said, it might be a little less formal than what you're looking for, because the seam on the bottom to make it a bias cut is kinda visible. I dunno. I ended up with a strapless corset back as well as all of these other chicks. It looks hot. You'll find something you like, I promise.

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    1. Thanks for the offer, Heather - I tried on a J Crew quite similar to the one pictured, and it didn't work for me. But I really appreciate the thought!

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  13. What about this: this?

    It has a low back, which is problematic, but it's definitely architectural and it's under-budget, so you can splurge on some crazy boob-hoisting undergarments.

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    1. Ordered! I have a feeling boob-hoisting undergarments will be a must no matter what dress I get.

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  14. Hey all, thanks for the advice. Already I feel much more supported (no pun intended) in the search - some gorgeous options out there.

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  15. Ok,this? I remember seeing cap sleeves on something you had above, and I like a bit of a lower neckline on my dresses, so as not to look like the girls have eaten my chin and are starting on my face.

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  16. Have a look at Australian brand Lisa Ho. Elegant and structural! With built in support! Some around the 1100 mark.

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  17. Check out the Saja 2013 collection specifically style HB6565 and CR6380. I love the simple elegance of their designs, and I think those two styles would look great for your body type. You can order directly from their site. Price isn't listed, but I seem to remember them being in the 1K range. They also go up so size 14.

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  18. What about these two from BHLDN? They are both unconventional and structural and would work well on a busty hourglass. Plus, you could wear a regular bra with either.
    http://www.bhldn.com/shop-the-bride-wedding-dresses/crepe-de-chine-column-gown/productoptionids/fbcaeb8b-b90b-4e9a-9313-32da085940dd
    http://www.bhldn.com/shop-the-bride-wedding-dresses/cassinis-muse-gown/productoptionids/fbcaeb8b-b90b-4e9a-9313-32da085940dd

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  19. Here are a few dresses which I(32F) have tried on. Not super traditional but all bridal in there own way. And yes I am lazy and only ever look in one place.

    All of them work well with boobs and an hourglass figure.

    Rag & Bone

    Burberry

    Nina Ricci

    Clements Ribeiro

    Roland Mouret
    This dress is so ridculously flattering.

    As is this ...Roland Mouret
    Damn you Mr Mouret and your expensive dresses.

    I haven't tried these but lots of curvy London fashion girls are raving about Sophia Kokosalaki's wedding dresses. She is curvy herself so designs with hips and ass in mind.

    Sophia Kokosalaki

    Sophia Kokosalaki




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  20. What about this Badgley Mischka? It comes in a size 14. I don't know if the keyhole would work on someone who's busty, but I'm thinking that if it fits correctly, it should work with a plunge type of bra. But I am flat-chested, so I really have no clue.

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  21. I don't know if I'm too late for people to see this-- but I also hate strapless dresses. If you find a strapless dress you like, I think it's pretty easy to have straps fashioned on by your seamstress or you can buy some pretty great ones on etsy (there are many, but these are some of my faves): http://www.etsy.com/listing/89075532/wedding-gown-straps-only-the-katie?ref=sr_gallery_26&ga_search_query=lace+straps&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/116424022/detacheable-alencon-lace-wedding-gown?ref=sr_gallery_8&ga_search_query=lace+straps+wedding&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/116499027/wedding-gown-shoulder-strap-emblishments?ref=sr_gallery_12&ga_search_query=lace+straps+wedding&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=all

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