Monday, August 12, 2013

The Fun Part--Choosing a Style!

Today, we'll talk about some of the things you need to consider before you design your dress.  The most fun question is:  what is your style?
Spend some time figuring out what you like, and what looks best on you.  I recommend three ways to do this: 
1) Raid your closet. 

You probably already have everything you need to know!  Check out your favorite tops, skirts, and dresses to find any common themes. 

I realized that most of my favorite items have some sort of empire waist styling, and I tend to avoid very fitted skirts
2) Search online images and bridal collections. 

What types of fabrics, embellishments, and designs grab your attention?  Don't think too much about it--just bookmark your favorites, or pin them, so you can come back to them later.  Do you like lace, silk, tulle, ruching, gathering, peplum, A-line, mermaid, ball gown, tea length?  Embroidery, tiered skirts, applique? 


I discovered that I love flowing, floating designs, and ball gown skirts.  I also like tulle, contrast color waistbands, and lace.  I am open to embroidery and tasteful applique.  (Although, I have memories of tacky applique from eighth-grade home ec--yikes!)


3)  Ready to multiply the fun?  Try on some dresses! 

If you live near a major department store, you can do this easily without making an appointment or asking for a friend to come with you (although shopping with a friend is super fun--just sayin, some people don't like company in the dressing room).  You don't even have to shop in the bridal section, you can try on special occasion dresses with similar style lines. 

Or, you can go all out and try on gowns at bridal shops and boutiques.  You may walk away with your favorite dress in your price range, and save yourself lots of time, and end up feeling like a princess!  If you go this route, bring a friend who can take some photos for review later. 

{excuse the lack of hairdo/makeup}

Be prepared to be surprised!  I thought I would love the ball gown look, but after trying some on, there was just too much fabric for my petite height and curvy figure. 

So, what did I end up deciding?  The basic style lines of my design are:  strapless, empire waist bodice, gored A-line skirt with tulle overskirt.  I will attach a contrast waistband sash that curves up into the bodice. 

I may use a layer of lace over the bodice, and I may use some lace trim on the skirt.  If I find an embroidered tulle I like, that matches my contrast waistband, then I will skip the lace.  If I find some tasteful applique designs, and if I use lace, I may combine these on the bodice.  (Check out Claire's design at Errant Pear.)

Isn't this exciting?  Now you have an idea of what you want, and you can develop your design as you go.  You don't have to have everything set in stone. 

Some final questions to ask yourself:  How much time do you have?  We'll talk about how to figure this out, and some other creative options that don't involve a huge project, next time.

What do you think, readers?  What are your favorite style lines?

Happy designing!

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