Insecurity, Insanity and the Dress(es)

This past weekend I went to Baltimore with M. to celebrate his birthday and to attend his sister’s fundraiser for a non-profit that she works with. Being that I had nothing suitable to wear, I purchased a dress at H&M that was reasonably priced and cute. It also forced me to bare my upper arms a bit as it was technically sleeveless, though there is a generous ruffle to cover my shoulders. I have decided that instead of trying to surgically deal with the extra skin that I will give it time to sure up a bit more, and thusly need to make my peace with it because it will be attending our wedding. This dress turned out to be a great test run to loosen the grip on the insecurity rope.

We had a WONDERFUL time at the fundraiser, but what I think I enjoyed more was the response to the picture of us (above) that I posted on Facebook. Everyone was obsessed with the dress and how well I looked in it. Perhaps it could be that this is really a good feature of how much weight I’ve lost, but whatever it was I’ll take it!

I decided to build on the momentum by finally starting the Insanity workout yesterday. I’ve been planning on it for weeks, but it’s formulated to start on a Monday and I just couldn’t seem to do it. Well, I did. The fit test was only 35 minutes but it kicked my buns! I’m excited to continue on it, so I even took some before pictures. My goal is to take pics with each fit test (you do them every so often through the program to track your progression) so that I’ll have a total set of 4 to contrast and compare by the time the 63 days are up. It’s difficult so far, but I’m excited to work it out because I’ll be dress shopping in a few weeks with my Maid of Honor in Boston!

Now here’s where that H&M dress comes back into play. The straps with the ruffles really got me thinking that maybe I want a wedding dress with a strap or two. I’ve previously been looking at strapless because it’s what I think is most pretty, but I don’t necessarily like it on ME. Who knows, maybe a strap really is the key to me feeling comfortable in a gown. So now I feel like my entire dress theory has been turned on its side. Looks like the MOH has her work cut out for her in a few weeks. 🙂 Anyway, sorry this was so short but I’ve been a busy gal working a lot! Hopefully I will have some fruitful pictures to show you in a few months of my Insanity makeover. And hopefully my new bod will look hot in the dress of my choice – if I can ever choose!

Thanks for reading! – A

May 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

Thank you to the MIL!

Since I have had unique relationships with mother-figures through my life, I have really enjoyed forging my relationship with Mama M, my future mother-in-law. Initially I was super careful to present myself in the best possible light – afterall, she’s giving me her first born! But the more time we’ve spent together, I’ve felt myself relaxing a bit and I’m able to show the real me. Turns out, I think she likes it. 🙂

So even though I doubt she reads this, I’d like to send a big thank you to Mama M. Last night M came home and handed me a check that she gave him toward my wedding dress. She had mentioned to me that she was going to put a bit toward the dress effort, and I was very surprised. It was really touching because, though I do have a mother, a grandmother, and a “surrogate mother” in the form of a great aunt, it’s nice to have a local Philadelphia branch of the mothering network. I’m really thankful for the relationship we’ve been building and I’m really fortunate to have another wonderful woman to add to my life.

Thanks for reading! – A

May 12, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

Mental Balls of Steel

I am considering the unthinkable. I am considering purchasing my gown online. Silence your gasps! I have heard some good things! I went to a wedding in September where the bride got her dress on eBay for a very reasonable price, and it was great!  But I am a bit of a masochist. I am considering purchasing from a wholesaler in China. Okay, now you can gasp.

I have been stressing over paying for the dress. Hell, I’ve been stressing over finding a dress. At one point, I thought I had found the one but the sales lady really didn’t help me out in the confidence department. Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of time to work this out since I am not officially shopping until the kick off to my dress search 2011 in Boston with my maid of honor. That being said, I am looking at everything I can get my little eyes on to have a better idea of what it is that I want.

Classy. Nothing says "Bride" like a belly shirt.

This led me to the wholesaler’s web site. What a selection they have (good and bad)! But they are VERY careful to not use the actual manufacturer’s names, legal reasons I’m sure. But the pictures are from all the sites I’ve seen them: David’s, Alfred Angelo, even Vera. I had been looking through things and bookmarking. Then I found this beautiful dress. It somehow had everything I was looking for. It’s simple, modern yet classic, and elegant. And it’s plain enough that I can add my own bling’ed out sash.

The gown is $139. I know, it looks like a typo. And there’s free shipping. How could I not? Then M rained on my parade. He found some people bitching about the company online, saying they didn’t get their stuff. Turns out, this company is more like a wholesaler’s eBay. I have a sneaking suspicion that these people didn’t read the fine print. There’s general fine print from the company as a whole, but each seller can also make additional rules. In this case, I’m pretty sure I won’t get cash back if the dress is a dud. However, if it’s not I will have saved myself $1000+. I must be crazy to put myself through this stress. Then again, I have a year if the gown is a flaming piece of crap.

I think if I go into this thinking that I’ve spent $140 for hope and nothing more, I will be able to stomach it. So I ask you, my readers, is this worth the gamble? Spend $140 to potentially save a lot more? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! – A

 

April 14, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

5 Oscar Gowns That Could Easily Be Wedding Gowns

Did you watch the Oscars last night? Me neither. I heard it was terrible. But the fashion!! That’s the best part. After carefully reviewing the gowns this morning, I noticed several of the garments that could easily fill in for wedding dresses, and not even in a pinch! Some of these frocks were pretty translatable right from the red carpet. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.

Halle Berry looks phenomenal in this Marchesa gown. What’s more, I love the wispy train. It makes me want to say “I Do” to a gown in nude.

Mandy Moore looks very demure in this Monique Lhiullier gown. Given that I’ve been looking for ways to camouflage my arms in my gown, I was clearly drawn to the illusion neckline and arms with jewels. The classic silhouette of this dress is basically exactly what I’m looking for. Now if only Monique would make this gown for under $1500…..

Miley Cyrus is not someone I would look to for fashion advice. However, her stylist really hit the nail on the head with this beautiful gown from British designer Jenny Packham. The textural difference between the satin and the tulle, plus the addition of the sparkle at the waistline is really stunning. I’m not gonna lie, I’d try it on at the bridal store!

Hilary Swank is working this feathered Calvin Klein gown. I love how the color gradient goes from light to dark. This gown is beautiful, but I will admit that I think it’s a bit too much embellishment for a girl like me.

Hailee Steinfeld, that cute little girl from True Grit, wore this charming little Marchesa gown to the big show. Perhaps it’s the way she’s styled, but this light pink gown is just so precious and fresh. If we were having a more casual wedding, I’d absolutely go with a short gown to show off the shoes!   

What did you think about the gowns on the red carpet? Did any of them strike your fancy as a good gown to wear on your big day? I’m in love with a few, but I have a feeling they’re not in my budget. Good thing there’s not going to be a red carpet at my wedding. 🙂

Thanks for reading! – A

February 28, 2011. Tags: , . 2011. Leave a comment.

Bridal Camouflage

No, not THAT camouflage!

If you have read this blog before, it is no secret that I am dealing with problem areas since embarking on my massive weight loss. One area in particular are my upper arms, or batwings if I may. Though I have considered getting reconstructive surgery to remove extra skin, I recently saw a picture of a good friend from high school who also had gastric bypass, and her arms look GREAT! Now, I’m not sure she always had quite the arm shape situation that I have but I am hopeful.

That being said, I am going to keep my consultation appointments with the plastic surgeons, but maybe I’m just not giving myself enough time to let my skin catch up. Maybe I need to moisturize more and just really target those muscles since I’m having a good amount of weight loss there. I hear Jergens makes a pretty decent and cost-effective skin firming lotion. But what if I don’t get the results I want in the time that I have and then it’s too late for surgery?

Since I mentioned previously that I have been a girl scout, I like to be prepared. I have been looking at wedding dresses and accessories that might camouflage my problem areas. One in particular is an illusion sleeve (read: sort of see-through t-shirt) that goes under the bodice of your gown, or can be attached to it. And hey, if Vera Wang says it’s good, I’m all for it.Vera Wang "Esther" gown

Another is the traditional bolero, but it’s not really my thing. I feel like I’ve worked so hard that I don’t want to pull the typical fat-girl move with this one and just throw on a cover-up. I want it to look like it could be part of the over-all look.

A third, and I think most interesting option, is this fitted wrap thing I saw from Priscilla of Boston. It appears that the wrap is actually some sort of sleeve that goes on each upper arm. How interesting?! Though I can’t paste a pic of it, you can see it, and a little video of it walking the runway, here. Make sure to check her when she turns around – that’s where you can REALLY see it.

Anyway, I thought you’d find these ideas interesting. I’m sure I can find a decent tailor to make me one of these interesting ditties if I can’t find a gown that comes with one. Besides, dresses with sleeves are somehow making their way back in style – probably thanks to Nicole Richie and her Princess Grace-Inspired gown! If it’s good enough for a Hollywood-royalty turned actual royalty (from Philadelphia, I might add) then it’s good enough for me.

Princess Grace of Monaco

Thanks for reading! – A

February 22, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2011. 3 comments.

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