Say “Not Yet” to the Dress


My Aunt Chris came out to Pittsburgh yesterday to go dress shopping with me.  It was my first time diving1 into Wedding Industrial Complex-sanctioned bridal gowns.

I don’t have any pictures of me in pretty pretty dresses for you. I can’t even link you to pictures of bridal models making bitch faces and holding their arms in tai chi postures while wearing dresses that I’m considering, because the only dress that is even worth writing about was as much designed by Donnie the Sales Consultant than whatever fashion designer is actually responsible for the base dress.

It’s funny, because when my sister went dress shopping for her wedding, she kept saying she didn’t want a strapless dress and the salespeople kept insisting that straps could be added to anything. They’d hold little triangles of lace up against her shoulders and insist after alterations it would look like they belonged there. I never believed them. But when Donnie2 took this dress and tucked some fabric and added some details, I believed it would work. And a dress I thought was pretty but not good enough suddenly became “the dress.”

The owner of the shop made all the other women come in and see what Donnie had done, saying, “learn from a professional.” They swarmed around me like birds and mice around Cinderella to pin all of Donnie’s innovations into place, oohed and ahhed and said they should send a picture to the designer.

I started to get a sinking feeling that I was wearing an outrageously expensive dress, but as it turns out it was reasonably priced. And the sample fit, so I could get a discount.

I didn’t buy it. I’m holding out hope for the Running of the Brides, in large part because I think I will have fun at there even if I don’t buy a dress. And because “reasonably priced” is not inexpensive, even if I get the discounted floor sample.

Before leaving the shop, one of the Ooh and Ahh Birds said, “So are you gonna get it?” And I said, “Not yet.” I think it’s going to be the dress that every other dress is compared to, which means chances are good it will be the dress I get married in. I’ll let you know in two weeks.

1I haven’t practiced my diving formation since Bill Clinton was president! I felt like a Girl Scout again. And all it took was putting on a bunch of dresses that are longer than a loveseat and heavier than a newborn human baby.
2Hearing all the Pittsburgh-accented salespeople say “Donnie” over and over again was a good source of entertainment.


  1. Hi Robin — you are too funny. I think you’ll enjoy the ROTB — you have to come with the right attitude, like, if I find something–great, and if I don’t — I’ll still have the memories. Truth is, most brides-to-be who go to this event do find their dress. My advice: be as open-minded as possible. Sometimes if you’re too focused on a specific style or designer, you’ll blow right past your dream dress. See you there. Pat

  2. Wow, that’s awesome that you found a dress you like and the consultant worked really well with you. Although, I agree that I’d get nervous when everyone came in to see what Donnie had done to the dress on you. But good that it didn’t turn out to be monster expensive.

    Have fun at the ROTB! Can’t wait to hear your account of it (especially after your post on Mouse’s blog).

    • Yeah, it was a great salon experience. Even if I end up buying from Filene’s I’ll hopefully bring the shop business because all my Pittsburgh-area friends who get married here will be hearing from me, “Go see Donnie!”

  3. I think it’s wonderful that you had such a great salon experience! It almost (err, not really) makes me want to try again.

  4. glad to hear it went well! keep us posted with updates!

  5. Pingback: The Rundown | HitchDied

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