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Dress for a party – Lessons in Fashion Shopping

I had quite a lesson in dress shopping yesterday. I have a friend’s wedding to attend to on Saturday this week, and I had nothing to wear. All my current dresses are black cocktail dresses, and that is not a suitable color for a wedding. Even though historically brides have worn black, and so have the guests, things have changed.

I knew exactly what dress I wanted to get for the occasion, and which I could then wear another time in a business setting. I had done my research online, and the only dilemma for me was the size. Would it fit me. Would the fabric be stretchy enough.

I wanted this dress: Sculptural Shift Dress from Karen Millen. Unfortunately, the shop didn’t have my size anymore. Major problem. I couldn’t even order the dress online and have it delivered to me in time.

I looked for a similar dress, and ended up trying this one: Structured Pencil Dress. Just to see what size I should wear. And no, that dress did not fit me at all. The cut of the dress was not flattering for my body type, the block color made me look huge, and the droopy shoulders made me look like a much older woman. No thank you. The dress looked nice from the side, but that was it.

You can imagine my desperation at that point. 4 days to a wedding, nothing to wear, my sizes are out and my original choice cannot be had. Thankfully the sales girls were very helpful. One of them brought me a dress that was just in: Bold Floral Print Sculpted Dress. I usually don’t wear anything with big prints because I think they are too busy, and floral print has not been my thing. After trying on the Bold Floral Print Sculpted Dress I saw that I had to change my prejudgment.

Karen Millen - Lesson about DressesI also thought that this type of A-line dress would make me look even bigger, but I had to change my mind after seeing myself in the first dress and the floral print dress. A-line dress was much better. As the top part of the dress is form-hugging, it really nicely brings out my small waist, and the way the print had been designed to fit the body, gave a nice illusion of even a smaller waist. Really important!

The other thing with the A-line dress was that even if the skirt was huge, it also gives the illusion that the size of it is just a part of the dress, and not my big hips and bottom. So hiding in plain sight has a whole new meaning for me.

As for the lessons? What did I learn from this shopping trip:

  1. Do your search online, but do not be afraid to change your mind if you see that you choose wrong.
  2. Never leave any dress shopping to the last-minute. You might not find anything, sizes are out and you will accumulate too much stress
  3. Make sure you have a few different types of dresses in your closet so that you can pull out a flattering dress for any occasion. Even if a LBD is a must, it should not be the only thing you own.
  4. Be bold and go for something different if you see that something does not fit or flatter you.
  5. Prints can be your friend, just as block colors can be your enemy. It totally depends on the piece of clothing.

Another personal thing that I took from this experience was that I am so happy I was wrong and that I learned a few important lessons here. And the best part, I will look fabulous for the special occasion!

blue karen millen dress