Saturday, July 26, 2008

#335: spicing it up.


via jcrew

i shared wedding dress pics i've saved up over the past year with my itty bitty cousins who are 18 and 19 years old. when they saw a dress like the one pictured above, their (rather strong) reaction was what i'd describe as a mix of disgust and horror.

"nooooooo! it's wayyyy too casual! you could make your bridesmaids wear something like this in a different color! but not you! you need something GLAMOROUS! don't do it! pleeeease!..." etc.

oh reeeeally. what do YOU know about wedding dresses, you itty bitties?!

but i could see their point. personally, i don't NEED an over-the-top wedding dress (besides, if the venue we want works out, it'll be an outdoor event and warrant a somewhat casual vibe)...but i definitely WANT to bowl over the future hubs in whatever i walk down the aisle in. (side note: not to say he won't be bowled over by the mere fact that i'm walking down the aisle to become his wife for forever and ever and everrrr...ahhhhh!) and i think the itty bitties were trying to say the same thing...in a tactless way (gotta give it to family and youth for keeping it real - and i heart them for it).

and it got me thinking.

what could i do to successfully walk that fine line between casual and STUNNING?

and here's what i came up with. so if i were to use the jcrew dress as a template...

1) PHATTY brooch at the middle/bottom part of the V neckline
2) french veil
3) have a seamstress add a small train to the back
4) tennis bracelet

what would you add, if anything?

update: came across an appropriate post on weddingbee.com which featured this dreamy accessory.

20 comments:

notsojenny said...

maybe it's just because i'm obsessed with lace but i think a lace overlay would take this dress from plain and simple to gorgeous and elegant

ms. mindless said...

hi! i'm a regular lurker. finally commenting. i love your blog! i like the sophia dress. i am a j crew bride. i purchased the goddess dress last christmas on clearance for $185. i love how simple it is. the goddess also has a little sweep train. i am planning to jazz mine up with a brooch and a mantilla style veil with lace edging. some brides prefer dresses with a lot more business going on (i.e lace, beads, sequins) but i prefer super simple wedding dresses, so it was perfect for me. (the price made it even better!)

Claire said...

Maybe I just love that dress because I'm not a frou-frou kind of girl, but I think it's lovely. I would punch it up with some sort of rocking necklace or something--Etsy.com is a great place for creative, one-of-a-kind, often really affordable handmade stuff.

(I'm not shilling for Etsy, I just think it's one of the cooler places on the Internet.)

Anne said...

First, I say, "wear a dress YOU love." It doesn't matter if it's (technically) too fancy for an outdoor event, or if it's too simple for your cousins. Just make sure you're in love with it! Most women will tell you that they fell in love with THE dress the moment they put it on. You deserve to feel the same way about your dress, no matter your budget. :)

Second, I think the MOST important thing about ANY dress is the fit. I've seen some beautiful ball gowns that just didn't fit well,and it completely ruined the effect. I've also seen some really simple sheaths that fit like a glove and made the women look stunning. I would invest in great undergarments, and make sure your shoulders are toned and your skin is healthy. I think this will go a long way toward making a simple dress look really elegant!

Also, have you considered a birdcage veil? They're not for everyone, but I think this style could look really gorgeous with your dress. I got rave reviews from a girl who wore a birdcage veil by this company: http://www.myweddingveil.com/ . Here's a photo: http://www.almasyphoto.net/images/2007blogimages/1229jessicabrett/dayafter/008.jpg

I can't wait to see what you finally decide on!

Spitfiregirl Design said...

I'm a Jcrew bride (to be) as well. I've found that some women's eyes seem to glaze over when i tell them. Like i'm supposed to have this over-the-top, expensive dress. I've just decided to say i have a custom dress, b/c when i'm done with it...it will be!

I bought the Avery dress for a fantastic $100 on sale, and am getting it fashioned up with some vintagey buttons attached to the sleeves, lowering the back and getting it fitted. Simple, sophisticated with a hint of grecian. Total cost, including bling, dress, cleaning and alts? about $350.

There is ALOT you can do with those dresses. You could pinch in the sleeves at the top for a more delicate feel, add some bling, add a lace band at the waist etc. All would cost you significantly less than the usual.

You can always buy and return assuming it's not on sale. GOOD LUCK!

fickle bride said...

you could add jewels, rosettes, or even some sort of braiding/weaving to the middle waistband! or you could add them to the v of the dress as well. i agree that the birdcage veil would look LOVELY with this dress, and if you add it with a flower to your hair, that may be all you need to finish the look!

Kate said...

I think that dress is great. I would add fantastic shoes, maybe that ETSY piece you linked and some great looking jewelry and you'd be perfect. If you're outdoors, you are more than fine. I am planning a destination event and I'm looking at a JCrew dress from their Spring 2009 collection. It's so cute. It's more than that one, but it's still fairly casual. I kinda wish it had a train, but it really fits more than any other dress would. Go with what you want and just remember that nobody will remember what you wore. it's white...that's as much as they'll remember.

Kate said...

Ooh, that's my dress, Sophia. She's silk, and bias cut, and not at all casual I think, though I can see how some might translate the elegant simplicity to casual. I'm wearing her with a french net veil fascinator (with feathers!), and red velvet wedge shoes (also with feathers!), and custom pearl jewelry from etsy. I'm going to add a bit of ivory embroidery to the waistline. I have a little vintage beaded bag for lipstick. And I'm considering making a little faux fur wrap as well, though I'd just wear it for pictures. The great thing about a simple dress is that you have free range for accessories.

Elena said...

I'd go for the waist band. You could either find or fashion some ribbon with either colour or sequin detailing. I bet Mokuba would have something perfect!
I made the mistake of trying on a Carolina Herrera gown yesterday. I've never looked so good in anything but I can't justify spending that much and am now thinking of ways to re-create that.

Becky said...

In my opinion I think simplicity makes a statement. I think sometimes a flashy dress overshadows a brides true beauty. I say go for the bling, more than likely you'll be able to wear the jewelry again at a later date.

Caroline said...

A friend of mine wore that dress to her wedding on Friday night! She looked stunning. I am wearing the J Crew Goddess gown at my wedding in October. To glam it up a little, I am adding scalloped lace to the hem because it came in too short (long eBay story).

What you can't see from a mere photo is the high quality of their gowns. My seamstress told me that the silk used goes for $66 a yard - not cheap. Silk lining, too, and silk covered buttons. The cut and draping is fantastic. Trust me, you will not look boring in that dress. It will be very easy to glam it up with the right accessories - I think you could pull of a wonderful vintage look with the right jewelry, actually.

Anonymous said...

Hi TTO... I'm a lurker too and I love your blog. I'm wearing that exact dress next week for my wedding and i can't wait (outdoors in southern CA). Caroline is right, the quality is amazing, especially for the price you pay. You'll love it! BTW my total is around $9k for the wedding & the RD with one week to go.... I don't feel like I sacrificed anything, I wouldn't change a thing.

Heather said...

seriously a bride could walk down in a sun dress and the husband-to-be would swoon. But to me it all depends on the venue. That dress would totally work for outside. I am getting married in a hundreds-of-years-old catholic church with this huge gold retabula behind the alter with jesus on it. Fair to say I may have to dress it up a bit :)

Villain Extraordinaire said...

Love love love that bolero! Also, simple gowns are great and timeless. Nothing would be worse than looking back in twenty years in horror. All you 80s brides, so sorry!!

Jessica said...

If you find a dress that you just look stunning in, I bet people will hardly notice if it's "too casual" because they'll be too busy whispering to themselves stuff like, "Oh my look at her! She's just gorgeous!"

jenny said...

another jcrew bride checking in. what i liked most about their simple silk gowns is that they are like blank canvases. i was sooooo picky about my wedding dress and found something i didn't like on every dress i tried. so i got a dress from jcrew and now i'm making it my own. having a seamstress alter it slightly and adding the right accessories make these dresses anything but boring.

Sean and Britt said...

Don't discount a touch of color, either. i took a similarly simple dress and tied a gorgeous lavendar ribbon at the waist to match the bridesmaids. It was a perfect embellishment and made my waist look smaller, too!

Noaki Jewelry said...

Love your blog. I'd add a big cuff bracelet and some great chandeliers...

sara said...

My cousin had antique lace (that she bought in New Orleans) appliqued over her white deb dress (plain and cheap). I loved that idea and I could totally see someone doing that w/ a J.Crew dress. Maybe something from a mother or grandmother's dress?

Katie said...

That's my dress! I'm just adding gold sparkly ballet flats and some good etsy jewelry! What everyone else has said about the jcrew dresses is true - the quality is great and they can be as casual or dressed up as you like!