My sister's wedding is coming up in November. I was instructed to go to David's Bridal and select a bridesmaid's dress in the color Malibu. It's a turquoise-y shade of blue. The bridesmaids are allowed to choose any dress they want as long as it's in the right color. I was grateful for that. I think we've all seen those wedding parties where the identical bridesmaid dresses result in cuteness and perfection for the bride's tall, tan sorority sister, but lead to sartorial tragedy for the bride's shorter, fatter friend.
I spent quite a bit of time studying the David's Bridal website. I had trouble getting past this photo on the home page:
Anywho, I looked at all of the bridesmaids' dresses but didn't have a clue as to which one would actually look good on me. None of them, was my suspicion. Most of these dresses are engineered for someone a lot younger and more, um, streamlined than I am. I decided I'd better just get my arse over to the local David's Bridal shop and have a look-see. I then attempted to recruit someone to come with me to prevent me from making a horrifying mistake. My niece (well, one of my nieces) took the challenge and volunteered to accompany me.
When we got to David's Bridal, the dress selection was a little overwhelming. There were two rows of voluminous fabric. We began sifting through the gobs of gowns. A salesperson came by to ask if we needed anything. I asked her if it would make sense to take my measurements as a starting point. I already knew that my skinny sister had to purchase a wedding gown in a much larger size than what she actually wears, so I was prepared to be in the same boat with my dress. "Just pick one out in your usual size," she advised me. And then walked away.
My niece and I found a few gowns in my size (or what I thought was my size) and took them to the fitting rooms. We had trouble finding my size in the sample gowns I liked, so eventually we just decided that I should try ANY gown that was available in my size. I was escorted into a fitting room, where I hung the three dresses on the hook. Oh, and the salesperson slapped a "Congratulations, Claudia!" post-it on the outside of the door. Each occupied fitting room had one. The first thing I noticed, once I had closed the door behind me, was that the fitting room did not have a mirror. I think the message there is, "You must come out and share your shame with the masses." I pulled the first dress off the hanger (well, I took my clothes off first) and started battling my way into it. Beads of sweat promptly formed on my forehead. The dress was too tight. The next one fit, but not terribly well. The third one was too tight. All of the dresses would have fit fine except that my bosom had to go and throw a wrench in the works. I got dressed in my regular clothes and then my niece and I went back to the dress aisle to find a few styles in a larger size. It was depressing, but I'll live.
The youthful salesperson was only vaguely helpful. I had been expecting some guidance, such as "this style seems to work well for busty girls." That sort of thing. Apparently we were mostly on our own. My niece was very helpful, though. She gave me her honest opinion and found more gowns for me to try on. When I was in the fitting room, I could hear her giving her opinion to some other bridesmaids and brides. I reminded her that I was not paying her to help other people.
Eventually, I narrowed it down to two dresses that seemed to fit well. Or, as well as can be expected, I guess. I hadn't been sure if I should go with a strapless dress, as I don't want to be tugging at it all night at the wedding. However, I did end up choosing a strapless number. "Congratulations, Claudia!" I will need to buy some appropriate undergarments, of course. As it turned out, they had this dress in stock in the designated color, so I was able to buy it on the spot vs. ordering it. By then, I was sweaty and gross. My make-up was running. I felt fat and mushy. While I was in the fitting room, I heard a woman asking if it was possible to special order a size 0. I briefly thought of knifing her. "Congratulations, Claudia! That's a felony!"
Once we escaped the bridal shop, we walked next door to Red Robin, where I bought my niece a drink at the bar. I figured that the least I could do to reward her for her hard work was to give her a $2.50 glass of wine (in my defense, they were running a special).
In case you're dying to know, the dress I bought is this one . . . about 500 sizes bigger.