What (not)to wear!

I am so relieved to see that we are, finally, getting a few more wedding dresses through that are slightly different to the standard strapless, boned bodice numbers that have been so popular for the last…….well, actually since I can remember.

We saw a fantastic Jenny Packham number the other weekend.  It was slinky and still strapless but topped with the most funky frilly frothy bolero jacket dripping with swirls and strands of beads.  Combined with white blonde hair in an elfin crop (before Posh even thought of it!) this bride just looked the most amazing vision as she stood opposite her groom.  There was a collective gasp when the guests clapped eyes on her for the first time.

A dress is an incredibly emotive purchase and I’m almost reluctant to say anything about it at all for fear of offending my customers.  However, what I can tell you about are the dresses that work well and why they do.

Sleeveless, but not strapless, is a much safer bet for anyone with a big bust.  A wide neckline with a bit of a plunge will draw attention to a voluptuous bust without making you look too big .   It looks elegant and visually narrows the chest area to make it seem smaller. When you try on a dress look at yourself from all angles.  Walk around in it a while – if you feel vulnerable in a strapless dress with an urge to hitch it up over your boobs in the shop, you’ll be doing it endlessly during the day.  And many photographs will feature you doing your ‘hitching’ and I don’t mean the marrying kind! 

If you have your heart set on a strapless number, and you’re a bigger girl, try to avoid a design which is cut straight across the bust as it will make your shoulders look broader than maybe they really are.  Try something which has a shaped bust line as an alternative. 

However, corsetted dresses with big skirts are good for pearshaped girls whose best features are sometimes their beautiful shoulders and elegant necks.  Be careful to stand up tall, straight and with your shoulders pulled back – a habit that some taller ladies feel uncomfortable doing but which makes them look fabulous.  And a lady without very much bust, but great underwear and a corset style dress can create a cleavage that she didn’t know she possessed!

Older brides need to give some consideration as to whether their upper arms need to be covered or not.  Ultimately its up to you and what makes you comfortable.  But the number of brides I know who wish  that they had covered up when they see their photos afterwards is sad.  Your photographer can do a certain amount to cover blemishes etc but less than completely toned and smooth skin is difficult to enhance.  This is not only restricted to brides but to other key ladies at the wedding.  If you are a guest with a major role to play its worth considering this difficult problem.  My advice would always be to cover those upper arms with a little lightweight jacket or shrug.

If you have a tattoo and you don’t like it,  the best solution is to wear a dress which covers it as it is difficult to eliminate a tattoo from every shot taken.  Trying to avoid seeing it in the shot is distracting for your photographer when he’s trying to concentrate on getting fabulous photos.  On the otherhand – if you’re proud of it, flaunt it!  There’s nothing wrong with that.

For any dress you really need the right underwear – Pure Mischief in Lytham is great for bridal undies and I think that they do a bridal advice service too.   Again, great photos will be harder to achieve if you have a bra strap peeking over the back of your gown.  You’ll also feel better if you know you have on ‘safe’ undies!  It doesn’t mean that they can’t be sexy – though I have seen more than a few Bridget Jones’ numbers during bridal prep in my time!!!

Whatever you do about your dress – and who am I to advise really? – try not to become dazzled by the dress itself.  It is wonderful to wear something in which you feel a million dollars but only if you look a million dollars too.  You need to wear the dress – the dress shouldn’t be wearing you!!

See you soon.