On the Box

What’s six inches tall, has five sides, and is your new best friend?

You would think it’s the box you’re standing on as you try on dresses at the bridal salon. After all, you’re perched there and you feel good and my-o-my do these dresses look good on you.

Well I think you should take a step back and look in the mirror. Quite literally. If you do, kick that box out of the way and try to imagine what that dress will look like when gravity is allowed to work properly. That dress that looked so full and magical on you, may now appear flat and unhappy.

Since you will need a hem, that step up will help you to see what the edge of the skirt will look like if it’s not dragging on the floor. What that box is really doing, though, is holding up your dress by it’s corners. You may also start to think that your legs are a lot longer than they really are. Try bringing a pair of shoes that is most likely the height of your shoes for your wedding day.

The biggest issue with what’s happening on top of that platform comes after you buy the dress. If you don’t need alterations, such as a hem on your tea-length gown, ignore me now. Otherwise you most likely need a hem to make the dress look like the stock photo.

What I tend to see are brides who are confused. They come in, we measure a hem, they come back. Something is off between what they saw in the store and what they see in the mirror. Well, ladies, alterations are about give and take. By accommodating your height by removing the length the dress once had, you lose part of the flare.

For those brides, here are a few solutions

  1. It’s called a petticoat. It’s a ruffled skirt that fluffs out your dress. The negative is that it’s an extra buy and it does show and, thus, kind of changes the style of your hem. The positive is quite the poof that you thought your dress would have had.

  2. A break in your hem. This method is my personal favorite. It’s leaving an extra one-quarter to one-half inch of extra fabric on the floor instead of having the dress hemmed off of the floor. This causes a lot willowy flow. While this may freak a lot of people out because you might be worried you will step on your dress, fear not. Just be mindful of your step, accept help, and don’t bend over to stare at your feet whilst walking. That will only cause your dress to fall into your feet more. The best benefit of a break in your hem, is that these pictures will look significantly better than any other option.

  3. Wear taller shoes. The higher your shoes, the closer your hem will look like how it appeared in store. Remember, you need six inches to replicate the stage of the box.

Life’s not perfect, but your dress can be. Take these bits of advice shopping with you and try to think of how you want your hem (and all alterations) to go when picking out your dress.

Thanks for reading and stand tall, ladies,   

Diana Deane