Let’s start the New Year by rocking a reader’s “CAI/GOI” challenge. Today’s challenge: Finding a new dress for Julianne to love!
I am absolutely in love with this Watters gown; however it is completely out of my price range. I would love something for under $500 with similar detailing on the bottom. Do you have any suggestions on where I should be looking?
Julianne, I’m happy to help! Finding something super detailed and sticking to a tight budget can be super difficult but starting a new year is all about resolutions, right? We’ve got this.
To get the detailing you want for under $500, sales and clearances are going to be your best bet. Lots of places have sales around this time of year. Get out there and look around. If you’re close to a sample size, consider going to stores to see which samples are on sale. I grabbed a sample dress and paid much less for it. It was a tad dirty, but a quick trip to the cleaner made the savings worthwhile.
Ok, let me be really, really honest for a second here. Most of the time, when I look at wedding dresses, I think “Wow! Why would anyone wear that? It looks like a cupcake!” So when envisioning what I would wear on my wedding day, I was really at a loss. First, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to wear white. Eventually, I decided I did want a white dress but I wanted it to be short! A casual, barefoot, short-dress, groom-in-suspenders-and-no-jacket outdoor wedding seemed pretty us. So I started looking at white cocktail and reception dresses online.
The first one I ordered and tried on didn’t wow me.
So I sent it back. Yay free returns! Then I made a big mistake. I ventured into the most (in)famous bridal store of all time. You know the one I’m talking about. David’s Bridal. Honestly, I had no intention of buying a dress there. I’d rather buy a used or independently-designed dress and feel better about where my money is going. But my mom and best friend really wanted to be in on the dress shopping while I was still in Ohio. I too wanted to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience with them. So I repeatedly emphasized that we were only going “for fun” and to see what shapes looked good, not to buy. Also, I really didn’t expect to find anything I liked. I envisioned a whole store full of cupcake-dresses. But off to the DB we went!
They hardly had any short dresses, of course. I tried on a few tea-length gowns and they weren’t very flattering.
It’s kinda 50s but kinda meh.
I don’t even remember how I ended up trying on this next dress. I wanted to try something long just for fun, even though I was pretty set on short. So I put on this dress, and all of a sudden BAM! Oh my God, it looked amazing!!! (Not to toot my own horn, judge for yourselves, of course.)
David’s Bridal Allover Beaded Lace Trumpet Gown
I couldn’t stop smiling. My mom and bestie were loving it. I loved the classic, slightly-vintage elegance of the dress. Here’s the kicker: I’m not the most body-confident person ever. All I ever see when I look in the mirror are the improvements I need to make. But as I looked at myself in that dress, I didn’t want to change a SINGLE THING about my body. As cliche as it is to say it, I felt like a BRIDE! “Nooooooooooooooo….” I started thinking, “You’ve got me, David’s Bridal!”
But don’t think the story’s over yet, because despite all the pros, there are several cons to this dress, and I am the world’s most indecisive bride. First of all, it’s just SO DIFFERENT from what I had envisioned. Not short, not casual; I don’t even know if I can legitimately rock this baby with my dreadlocks. I definitely can’t get super jiggy with it on the dance floor. I love it, but I worry it just isn’t ME enough.
Secondly, and this is a big one, my bestie and I are 99% sure that this is the EXACT SAME dress that a friend of ours wore about a year ago. A friend that is probably coming to our wedding. Uh oh. That’s a big no-no, right? I’m sure that she’d be cool with it if I explained the situation to her, but I don’t like the idea of people seeing me on my big day and thinking “that’s so-and-so’s dress!” Argh, F U David’s Bridal and your massive popularity!
I ended up trying on one more long dress that day.
Forgot the name of this style too
I liked it and it was much more “me” but it just didn’t make me feel drop dead gorgeous like the last one did.
Conundrum! We left the store empty-handed, despite my mom’s willingness to pull out her credit card at the slightest indication (she’s awesome, but as I’ve said before, we’re paying for this ourselves). Since then, I’ve been stalking the dress all over the internet, looking for it used and in my size. I still have the same reservations about about it not being “me” enough and being the same dress a friend wore. But I feel like if I could find it used for a good price it would be a sign to go for it, as buying used would also allow the purchase to fit better with my consumer values and budget! No luck with that so far though.
What do you think, my wonderful readers? Should I go with the ooey-gooey gushy-mushy feeling in my gut and just buy it? Or is the fact that a friend wore it a big no no? Should I have faith and hold out for something that fits my original vision? Was anyone else totally blindsided by ALL THE FEELINGS when dress shopping?
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