Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Friday, January 2, 2009

When Shopping for Dresses Gets Boring

Meg of A Practical Wedding wrote an excellent piece about post-wedding life the other day. One of the ways I keep myself from feeling "let-down" after our wedding is to continue to bring together our nearest and dearest in an effort to build community, connection, commitment, and fun!

My next non-wedding event is my birthday party. My official birthday is February 9, but I think we might have to celebrate it in March, given how busy Matt and I are in my actual birthday month.

Last year I had a Birthday Blowout Get-Away into the mountains of Colorado. We cooked and played board games and went snow-shoeing. The year before, we did a random acts of kindness scavenger hunt around Houston.

This year, I'm going to host a Retro Prom. I'll ask my friends to pick the decade of their choice and dress up in formal wear. We'll have cocktails and appetizers at my house while we take photos (I'm thinking of a cheesy, homemade photo backdrop). Then we'll go out on the town for dinner and dancing.

As for my decade, I'm thinking the 1950s with the poofy, short dresses. I'm still in love with the yellow dress. Is that 1950s style? Where can I find a dress like that?

So far, I haven't found anything good. As I was scouring the internet the other night, I had flashbacks to my search for a wedding dress. The same thing happened: I started to get bored.

The truth is, I settled on a less-than-perfect wedding dress for a couple reasons:
  1. It was inexpensive (we originally budgeted $200, so finding a dress for $20 was a major bonus).
  2. It was comfortable (it was important to me to be able to fully enjoy and relax at my wedding).
  3. It was a blank canvas so I could do something to personalize it (like embroidery).
It was less than perfect for a couple reasons:
  1. I bought it at Target, and I'm always skeptical of the labor origins of inexpensive clothes (well, expensive clothes for that matter, too!).
  2. It made me look bigger than I actually am.
I guess the three benefits outweighed the two negatives. But I also just grew weary of looking for a better dress. It started to bore me.

Some people enjoy the hunt for the perfect item of clothing. I just don't happen to be one of those people! Don't get me wrong--I love finding the perfect item of clothing; I just don't have the patience to spend hours and hours looking for it.

Maybe one of you can point me in the right direction? I don't even think I'll be able to squeeze my non-corseted waist into a 1950s dress...

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Anonymous said...

You could try trashy diva -- they have a $34 cotton dress that's awesome and 50's style (I have one in red that I love), and one yellow one that might be up your alley (though it's more expensive). It's not proper vintage, but it's a good starting point for ideas and ebay searches, and they actually have non-vintage sizes, which is a definite plus.

Anonymous said...

You may be able to check out www.modcloth.com as well. Some of their clothes are a bit pricier, but they have the look you're going for and have great items on sale as well. Have fun!!

AmyJean {Relentless Bride®} said...

I absolutely love those pics at the end of that post... the dress is fabulous! If you find a place, PLEASE let me know.. it's so awesome!


Anonymous said...

unique-vintage.com is GREAT. Every time I go there I drool for hours. And they have a whole line of beautiful, swishy, magical 50's dresses.

Me said...

I don't have anything helpful to say except that yay we're birthday twins!

Emilia Jane said...

Etsy and Ebay are my big vintage dress sources. There are a couple more pricey spots like Posh Girl Vintage or Vintageous. Hope that helps!

Hadeel said...

You could always try your hand at making your own! Butterick has many vintage patterns (I have a few if you'd like to use them to cut down on waste!) that are very similar to Mabel's dress. JoAnne's always has sales on patterns, too.

This way, you can control the quality of your dress. Buying vintage fabric can cut down on waste as well :]

But, if you're not in the mood to tackle this one on your own, I second unique-vintage.com. I have two of their dresses and absolutely love them.

Anonymous said...

Since you live in Houston, I have to recommend the shops around Westheimer, between Montrose and Shepherd. There are a lot of vintage and recycled clothing stores with an eclectic mix of wearables. (Try Leopard Lounge first.) It's easiest to pick one place to park, then walk between all the stores because parking is scarce in that area.

Also, I would second eBay. There is lots of interesting stuff there, and at reasonable prices!

Anonymous said...

you might have already chosen a dress but i say thrift store! with a little bit of work you can find the best prom dresses... once yearly my rugby team has a 'Homecoming Game' where we play in homecoming dresses, i.e. crazy dresses we find at thrift stores in the area.

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