I’ve seen it all. A terrible case of static cling, Leaves and branches entwined in the under layers of a ball gown. A nasty case of wrinkles that only a serious photoshop can correct. These are the things you don’t see when you try on your dress in the confines of a lovely dressing room, but they’re all things to consider when picking your gown.
There are ways to overcome all these issues, but keep these points in mind before you buy.
If you’re drawn to . . .
Know that this is a very delicate fabric that can tear easily. Sure, those layers of tulle that make up your ball gown are princess-like, but be careful as you ride off into the sunset with your groom. The fabric can snag and if you’re yearning for a few outdoor photos, expect some foliage to find its way to your skirt. Make sure you’ve got a dutiful bridesmaid who will pick it out.
I’ve got two words for you. Static. Cling. To be completely honest with you, I’ve been burned by chiffon in the past. My bridesmaids’ dresses were lovely floor-length chiffon gowns from Jenny Yoo and up until about three weeks before the wedding (when Yoo offered to reline all eight of my bridesmaids' gowns) I had visions of a bad ‘80s pantyhose commercial walking down the aisle because the static cling was so bad. A little tip if you do decide to try chiffon and find yourself in the grasps of the cling: Hang a safety pin at the base of your gown. All the static is supposed to be drawn to the metal.
The luxury of satin can easily deceive. It’s so silky and smooth and can hug in all the right places. But the moment you sit down, know that there will be creases across your lap that simply won’t go away. This can be avoided with a fuller skirt or with some pleats or rouching, but before you buy satin, think it through. (Keep this in mind for your ‘maids, too. I’ve been in many-a-wedding where all the photos include some less-than-lovely creases across my midsection.)
If you plan to work up a sweat on the dance floor, a silk gown is not for you. In areas prone to sweat, silk has a tendency to pucker and ripple, losing that fit-like-a-glove feel. Also, silk has a tendency to retain body odor. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.
If you’re looking to purchase a lace gown, make sure you consult with a seamstress before you buy. Altering lace, especially a scalloped hemline, is tricky. Plus, if for some reason your gown needs to be let out, since lace is often one-of-a-kind, finding corresponding pieces can prove to be rather difficult.
Otherwise, though, happy shopping!