February 13, 2013 by Amie M
Photo: Justin Alexander
Every since I saw the lovely Justin Alexander 8465, it was love at first sight. I knew, that no matter what I had to have this dress. Not knowing how much it was going to cost, I started looking at alternatives in similar cuts and ideas. I amassed a rather large collection of pins on Pinterest of my ideal dress.
1. Dress: Karen Willis Holmes Couture, Photo: Julian Beattie via Ruffled; 2. Dress: Ruche; 3. Dress: Vintage via Ruffled; 4. Dress: House of Snowball, Photo: Bayly & Moore via Green Wedding Shoes; 5. Dress: Vintage, Photo: Anna Rose via Ruffled 6. Dress: Veronica Sheaffer, Photo: Studio Starling via Style Me Pretty.
They were all tea-length, plenty of tulle in the skirt, and varied in straps. They all had a wonderful, playful, fun, flirty, mid-century vibe to them. And my heart went a-pitter-patter whenever I would just longingly gaze at the photos.
I had listings on Etsy faved for the vintage dresses that would just need some taking in of the bust. I had scoured second-hand vintage dress websites trying to find something similar. I loved the idea of an old dress: giving someone’s wedding dress a second go, to start off another great, long love story.
But people in my inner dress sanctum (Mom, Melissa, Paul) were weirded out by me getting a second hand dress, and the risk involved in buying one online and then having to do alterations or cleanings.
Then in October, Mom and I went to the only bridal salon in town that carried Justin Alexander. The shop lady was wonderful, and she would not let me try on that dress first. She made me try on all sorts of silhouettes, fabrics, and necklines. But the entire time I still had 8465 on my mind and just wasn’t giving any of them their due time.
Then I put it on. Going on, it was heavy. It was poofy, and lovely to down on from above, but talk about heavy! Walking out of the fitting room, I saw Mom’s face, and it wasn’t glowing. It glowed a little with the other dresses I had tried on already. Then I turned and looked in the mirror.
“Oh.” I said. “Hmm, not at all what I expected.”
The skirt length and cut chopped me off at all the wrong places. The big skirt made swallowed me up and gave me no shape. It made me look short.
My heart fell. I had planned a lot of the wedding thus far (yes it was only October, but I had been busy picturing things for a couple years now) based around a tea-length poofy dress that I could have fun swing dancing in.
I lifted my chin up, took a deep breath and moved on.
The next dress I tried on was the one.