Finally, a Dress Decision!

There’s a programme on BBC 3 that I watch occasionally – Snog, Marry, Avoid. From the title, I think you can tell that this one probably isn’t high up there in the intellectually challenging stakes, but if you want 30 minutes of easy distraction…

In the programme, a member of the public (usually female) is paraded in front of the opposite sex and they rate her attractiveness according to whether they would ‘snog’, ‘marry’ or ‘avoid’ her.

Putting aside my qualms about the over emphasis of female appearance and wondering why the girls don’t just say, ‘why should we care about a random stranger’s opinion of how we look?’*, the subsequent make-under of those taking part usually involves toning down fake tan and make-up, dressing the girls in clothing which displays a little less flesh and banishing false eyelashes and hair.

Inevitably they look better and all of their friends prefer the new under-stated appearance but often the revisit bit of the programme at the end shows the girls reverting back to their tan-tastic, over eye-lashed and skimpily clothed selves.

Anyway, the point of all my reality TV musings here is that like the Snog, Marry, Avoid girls who are unconvinced by their make-under, my two-dress dilemma is still taking up room in my head.

As previously blogged, I tried on a number of dresses at the brilliant Dragonfly Designs. I liked the first dress best when I tried it on. Everyone else liked another choice. I looked at the pictures afterwards and thought, ‘ah, they were right to prefer that one’. Then, my sister sent me a picture she had taken of the first dress. My mind wobbled once more.

I showed the pictures to a number of other people – a colleague, my aunt, my mum’s best friend, my sister and brother-in-law, the Power plate guy and various others. With one exception, everyone plumped for the dress my mum, sisters and friend had liked. It appears that I can’t tell what I look like at all. [Does this mean I ought to take four people out with me every time I buy clothing? That could prove logistically tricky.]

Inside my head, the ‘it’s my wedding I should wear WHAT I WANT’ voice battled with the ‘so much public opinion can’t be wrong, hmm?’ sentiment. I hmm-ed and haw-ed for a few days before coming down in favour of public opinion**.



*In another life, I will only watch programmes that are worthwhile and of good moral standing.

**I toyed with the idea of picturing dress 2 here, but thought I ought to stick with tradition and keep it under wraps, sorry!



Dress Dilemmas

Common opinion is: bride-to-be tries on a dress and knows straight away IT IS THE ONE.

I beg to differ. On Saturday, I tried on dresses and gauged the opinions of my mum, my sisters and my friend. (Also included in this party were my seven-year-old nephew and four-year-old niece. I value their opinions, but I’m not sure they count as Barbie seems to be the style guide for both.)

I was in a vintage shop and it appears the 70s is my era – which seems apt as my own mum and dad got married in the 70s and I was born in that particular decade. The 70s is often lambasted for its fashion style, but honestly the 80s was much, much worse. Lady Diana’s wedding dress? I rest my case.

This was the first dress I tried on…

I loved the first dress I tried on. Made of silk linen, it was very plain and simple. When Lisa (Dragonfly Designs’ very talented owner) added a contrast ribbon to go round the waist, it seemed just perfect, apart from a bit of tightness round the rib cage which is apparently common with vintage dresses as we modern ladies seem to have developed bigger frames. I tried on another dress, which I ‘quite liked’. Everyone else in the party loved it. Lisa agreed with me; she thought the first one I tried on was the best.

But later that evening I looked at the photos my sister had taken and thought my family and friend were right in their liking of dress number 2. I emailed the pics to other family and friends and all came back with the same opinion – dress number 2 is the favourite. And then my sister sent me through a picture of me in dress number one and opinion swayed again…

Ah well, it’s early days yet so I’m going to sleep on it one more night.

Meringues: Delicious to Eat, Best Avoided as a Dress

Ahem, part of me really loves this dress…

You wouldn’t really believe this is supposed to be a wedding blog would you, given that I’ve been writing it for approximately three months and have made scarce reference to the WEDDING DRESS.

There are many, many talented fashion bloggers out there so I felt my own attempts at describing a dress or attempting to correctly name different parts of it (fishtails? Peplum? A-line?) would just be embarrassingly bad. So, I desisted and contented myself with the odd trail through wedding dresses for sale online.

They all looked very similar – sleeveless, strapless, kind of column goes into wide bit at the bottom thingie. [It’s that kind of keen fashion observation which guaranteed that Vogue’s editor with a job offer wasn’t going to materialise.] And blimey, the amounts of money you could spend on a dress that really can only be worn once was incredible.

The charity Oxfam have wedding dresses in 11 of its stores (sadly, I live nowhere near any of these shops) and there are various online options – second-hand dresses for sale, eBay etc. I hummed and haw-ed with a non-wedding dress option and found a fabulous red dress at I even tried it on, it was a fab fit and pretty flattering.

But at the end of the day, the pink, frothy tidal wave that is weddings has sucked me up. I think I need to go and try on dresses in a shop while taking advice on shapes that will suit from an assistant who will no doubt manage to persuade me to go for a garment way beyond the price I had initially imagined. (£100. Yes, seriously.)

To this end, a girly weekend beckons. I’m off to Dragonfly Designs and A.N Other (I’m not being coy, I intend to be spontaneous and head to one of the shops that doesn’t do the appointment thing) armed with my fab mother, sisters, a good friend and their sage advice.

[Wee aside – sister in the middle is bitterly disappointed that DD doesn’t do the whole glasses of champagne while trying on dresses thing; she’s an avid watcher of Don’t Tell the Bride so she knows the whole wedding routine thing like the back of her hand.]

Finally an update on Nigella. The coffee ice cream was absolutely lovely – gorgeous flavour and lovely texture. I decided to try her Tuscan fries recipe. ontroversially, she puts chips in cold oil and heats them up. I wanted to believe, I really, really did. The chief taster (not moi, as a wee bittie frightened of fried carbs) opined that the chips did taste nice as they were helped by the addition of garlic and herbs to the oil. Crisp chips though, they were not…

A Terribly Fascinating Post*

A mannequin somewhere is missing its head

I began to worry my blog was beginning to bore with my twin obsessions around food and diet & exercise so thought I’d explore other topics one might associate – in a Family Fortunes** kind of way – with weddings.

Apt then to pick the topic ‘fascinator’… I went old school and looked up ‘fascinator’ in the dictionary***. It says: “a women’s light, decorative headpiece consisting of feathers, flowers, beads, etc, attached to a comb or hairclip”. (Thank you Ms Oxford.)

So, of late there was a backlash against fascinators possibly triggered by the Ascot rules for this year which dictated size of such head attire. (These rules, btw, also applied themselves to hem length and what was going on with shoulders – bare or not. Shame they didn’t apply themselves to what depth of colour you decided with your fake tan.)

Now, fascinators are the absolutely obvious solution. You don’t want the over formality of a hat, but you want to mark the formality of the occasion. So, a pretend hat (and I do not denigrate the fascinator in any way by calling it ‘pretend’) is an absolute must.

The other point with fascinators is of course they are kinder to hairstyles; hats flatten and frizz your carefully coiffed tresses. Fascinators merely slot in to whatever way you’ve chosen to wear your hair (and back here to the handy online tutorials how to straighten your hair and not damage it) and are a lot easier to match to your, say, earrings.

On that note, you’ll like how I’ve done this piece of subtle marketing, my sister-in-law makes fascinators! Mm-hhm she so does. The one pictured in this post was made by her and if you’re after a fascinator, you’ll see more pictures on this site.


*That, dear reader, could be debatable

**Y’know, “We asked 100 people what they thought ladies might wear at a wedding and they said”, fill in the blanks.

***It also means fascinating person.