By Fatimah Simmons
Q: I am overjoyed to have found, not only the perfect man, but also the perfect pair of shoes for my wedding! As wedding-gown fitting approaches, I wonder how my dress will look once it’s hemmed. Will you even see my fabulous shoes?
A: If you have a typical, floor length gown, the hem is supposed to float comfortably just above the ground (no more than half an inch). When you walk, you should see the shoes and your dress should move with you. When you stand straight up, you should see only the very tips of your shoes (or toes). If shoe choice is very important to you, consider shorter dress styles like tea-length (mid-calf) or a high-low hem (higher in the front, flowing lower into the train in back). More importantly, wedding day shoes should boast comfort over style. That’s coming from a stylist!
Q: My fiancé and I are planning an intimate brunch following our super private City Hall ceremony. My personal style is usually pretty understated and conservative. I am clueless about what to wear and I don’t have time to order a dress. What should I do?
A: You have a couple of options. Depending on your dress size, you could research bridal stores in your area for their upcoming sample sales. Most bridal samples are size 8 or 10. Keep in mind that bridal runs at least one size bigger than ready-to-wear. You mentioned having a conservative style. I would suggest companies like J. Crew or Ann Taylor, both of which offer stylish bridal choices at reasonable prices. Then again, you can always roll up your sleeves and embark on a good old-fashion shopping trip. Comb your favorite shopping center or mall. Nothing beats a classically tailored suit, if you’re going for understated elegance. Whatever you do, I would caution against anything poufy, heavy or big. I see City Hall as a backdrop for something narrow and neat, minimal and classic.
Q: I’m sure every bride says this, but I am going to lose 20 lbs before my wedding! I really don’t want to start looking for a gown until I’m at my ideal weight, but I know time is ticking and I need to place an order. How does this work? What happens when I am a different size (when the dress arrives) than I was when I placed the order?
A: You’re right. This is a very common question. The average bridal gown vendor will take your measurements, when you place the order. In an ideal case, you then have six months (on average) until your dress fittings begin. That is your weight-loss window. You should really be whatever size you’re going to be by then. Keep in mind, 10 lbs is a dress size. So every 10 lbs you lose is that much more alterations work it will take to make that dress fit properly. I wouldn’t postpone your shopping any longer; just keep your goal in mind. I advise you to choose a dress that looks great on you now, at your current weight. If you lose the weight, it’ll look even better. If not, it will still look great. Buying something in hopes that it will flatter in the future adds unneeded stress as your big day draws near. Imagine the horror… You didn’t manage to drop the 20 lbs and you’re stuck with a narrow slip dress that broadcasts every bump and bugle. Not fun. Try gowns with sturdy fabric (faille, taffeta or duchess satin) and lots of structure.