The hunt for the right outfit: Wedding Guest Edition, Part 1.

I have a wedding to attend in a little under a week, which I am epically excited for!  Apparently I’m getting to an age (albeit still young) where my friends are slowly going to start getting married.  It’s all very fun and lovely, but does present a bit of a predicament:  what does one wear to the wedding of two fabulous friends?

Up until last Saturday had spent a phenomenal amount of time hunting through every possible store in this city to find the right outfit and dress.  Don’t get me wrong, I have perfectly acceptable and lovely dresses that I could have worn, but the problem was the following:  they were solid black.  I love my LBDs  (little black dresses), every single one of them.  I have about four supremely cute black cocktail dresses in which I truly do feel utterly fabulous in, but they didn’t seem quite right for the pending festivities.  What I needed was something with a little bit of flair, a dash of whimsy, and a lot of well dressed chic.  Needless to say they were just either slightly too fancy, or not quite fancy enough.

My search started out at the usual suspect:  Banana Republic.  While I did find a few things that I did quite like, fit and sizing sometimes tend to be a small problem for me there (ie. their clothes are small and I am not).  I could have made something work, but that really wasn’t my goal.  The search continued through every other store in the mall, plus Winners, plus some smaller boutiques around town.  I spent about three separate ventures out into town to try and find the right outfit.  You see, in shopping for a dress now I was breaking my hard and fast golden rule when it comes to dress shopping: never buy it right before the event.  At least the past four formal events I have been to the dress has been purchased solidly well in advance and just chilling in the back of my closet until necessary.  If you have the luxury or the forethought to do this, I highly recommend it.

Nonetheless, my search ended up where oddly enough it has a tendency to end up…Laura.  I normally wouldn’t set foot in the store, but what I do find is that they often have tucked away in the back a rather large selection of dresses year round.  I can almost always go in and pick one up off the rack and it be exactly what I’m looking for.  This time, however (and probably due in large part to the timing), I am venturing somewhere I have never quite been before: to the tailor.  The dress I’ve found is not exactly appealing or particularly attractive in its original untouched form (quickly look to your left, then avert your eyes from that jacket).  It’s pretty awful and comes with a coordinating collarless bolero with two inch thick shoulder pads (cue sarcasm font – don’t you love that style!). Needless to say, some alterations are required.  I offer though the following advice that I can’t stress enough: look past the hanger and the original styling, and see the potential in your clothes.  This dress has a lot of potential in its design and pattern, which means that with a little hemming and getting taken in around the bust, it will be a great spring wedding guest dress.  Oh and another word of advice: FIND A GOOD TAILOR!  It’s a piece of advice that I know we’ve all heard imparted to each of us from numerous a fashion expert, but I’m going to document trying it out with this particular fashion bit to see if it always rings true.

A good tailor is something that I hadn’t found here until recently, and will actually have to thank a dear friend of mine for recommending this particular shop.  You know you’ve found a fantastic tailor when you walk into the shop, love the taste (this one actually is also a home decor studio), and instantly feel as though you are at the altar of a master with a needle and thread.  Following this, you should be able to put on the garment in question and simply say…”Well, it’s just not quite right.”  I promise you, this was about all I said other than indicating that it was too long – which if you look to the right, is painfully obvious.  It’s also too large (the size that would have fit me was not in stock), and while I was just going to leave it slouchy the tailor advised against it and threw in a couple of pins to fix that problem.  The reason why I’m putting up this entry is to hopefully (fingers crossed), demonstrate how a little styling and a great  tailor can fix even the most extreme fashion faux pas.  As seen above and to your right.

Now these are the BEFORE photos – completely unstyled with the exception of the shoes (which are absolutely fantastic!…don’t you think so too?).  What I see in this dress is potential, sheer untapped potential.  The print is fantastic, the fabrics and the concept are there.  Now with a few nips and tucks, the removal of that god awful jacket, and the addition of a few accessories…I think we may have found a winner.

Stay tuned for part two…styling and post tailoring.

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Filed under Defining Chic, H4RO, Pursuit of Fabulous

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