For the first round of dress shopping, Mom and I went out in Johnson City, just to try on a few dresses, just to see what shape, style, fabric, etc… would fit and look good, and I was really surprised at what worked. Initially, we were thinking something simple, probably a soft satin, not white, and not strapless.
We started at a sort-of secondhand/sample store and picked the few off-white, non-strapless dresses off the racks. Immediately, we found that wedding dress sizing varies immensely (I tried on dresses from size 10 to 16) and that my shape makes fitting difficult. Often, it would fit on top, but I couldn’t get it over my buns of steel.
So, there were three that fit, all kinda poufy and all with large trains. My favorite was sort of an ivory-gray dress with lace on the edges, and cutouts in the train with lace. Nicely made, but still too much dress.
Next, we went to another local shop, but smaller and more higher-end dresses. The dresses there were lovely and definitely well-made, but nearly all strapless and maybe one of the samples would have fit. Though the dresses were pretty, we left without trying any on.
Since it was a go-see mission, we next went to David’s, figuring I’d be able to try on a bunch of different styles in sizes close to what I’d wear. And, success! We had to wait about half an hour for an appointment, but it was so the shop girl could finally eat lunch, so we went and got a drink nearby. Then… the great dress-trying-on began! They had me go through their catalog and pick out dresses, and I think I checked off every non-strapless dress. The woman helping us was wonderful, pulling out extra dresses that were similar to ones I’d marked, and dresses that she thought might work (like the strapless, lace ones), and questioning me about some of the poufier dresses that I’d marked (since they weren’t working and I didn’t really like them- I’d just marked them because they were not strapless.)
The big poufy dresses were, thankfully, definitely a no-go. For a July Atlanta wedding, any dress in which I was sweating in the store got crossed off the list. The ones that worked best were the allover-lace ones, strapless (surprisingly), tiny-to-no train. And there was one that looked like a head-of-state-ball dress, with the one-shoulder look, that looked pretty good. All of the top dresses from David’s were like regular dresses, no crinolines. It was a pretty successful “let’s go see” trip, but no clear winners stood out.