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The Dress I Got Married In

All photos taken by the talented DP.
     There is a lot that I could say about the day I got married. In fact, I think I could probably do a month of posts: describing the groom, the location, our decision not to have a traditional wedding, my friends, our honeymoon, etc. However, that isn't what today's post is about. It is just about the dress. 
     In case you are just joining me here, I love clothes and I love fashion. Once I knew I was getting married, I knew that I was going to have to find something that would make me feel like a boss. I wasn't having a wedding, in the traditional sense (we went to city hall) and while I knew I didn't want to wear white, I didn't know what I wanted to wear, and I didn't have a lot of time to find something. I started out by going on the Real Real, and scouring their dramatic gowns and runway dresses. The only issue was that I had no idea how some of these dresses would fit, and I was concerned about time lost in shipping and returning. I spent a few hours looking at department store websites, seeing if anything jumped out at me. Then, I remembered this dress (the one I ended up wearing) that a friend and I had seen at a consignment store like 6 months ago. It was on a manikin in the window and, to be totally frank, the lady in the store was a little bit rude when I asked about it. She told me not to touch it as it was very delicate. (For the record, I wasn't going to touch it, I just wanted to know what designer it was.) I figured it was unlikely that it was still there, but I should go back, as the store had a pretty deep selection of gowns and at least I could try them on in person. 
     Well, I'm sure you can guess what happened - the dress was still there! Also, since it had been there for a while, it was on sale, and since I can't help myself sometimes, I ended up talking them down on the price even further. I knew I'd have to get the hem shortened and assumed I'd need to find a tailor who could do a proper job, which probably wouldn't be cheap. (It actually was totally reasonable, and was worth every penny.)
    To back up a step, this dress is from the Antonio Marras 2014 Spring Read-to-Wear collection, shown in Milan. This is what it looked like on the model, and I think if I'd only seen a photo, I would not have bought this dress, whereas in person, it was totally dreamy.
Should I have gone with the short-shorts, as shown?
     Additionally, you may notice that this model is wearing flats. Along with a few other minor alterations, I ended up having about 5 inches of the dress taken off, and wore 4 inch shoes (photo evidence below). That lady is tall AF.
     Since it was a typical San Francisco day (bit rainy, bit chilly) I wore my favorite leather jacket, and brought my trusty Mansur Gavriel bucket bag (both of which my friends then thoughtfully carried the rest of the day, so I didn't have to think about them).
     The dress has a tulle skirt, overlaid with hand painted flower designs, and an embellished neckline. Fun fact, at the last minute, as I was getting ready, I thought the waist needed a little extra oomph, so I pulled out a ribbon that came on a Charlotte Olympia box, years ago, that matched the dress perfectly, and I tied it around my waist with a bow in the back (it is a black ribbon with white pipping). I added jewelry that belonged to a much loved, departed grandma (who I think would have loved this outfit), remembered to bring the rings, and that was all there was to it.
Oh yea, the groom looked good too.
So there you have it. I love that I was able to find something unique, beautiful and that still felt like me - and was secondhand, to boot. Because it had been worn before (allegedly only once, by a lady who wore to the opera and then sold it, which I sort of believe because the dress was in mint condition) I ended up buying a $4,000 dress for over 80% off. 

So tell me, what did you wear on your wedding day? 

ps. I have one last picture to throw in here. One thing about getting married at city hall, is that other people are there, not just people getting like, business permits, but tourists as well. In the photo below, I was taking some pictures of the friends that came with us, and this tourist was taking a photo of me doing so, so naturally, we took a photo of her taking a picture of me taking a picture of my friends. I hope she treasures those pictures always ☺.

Dark Florals

Tanya Taylor Nessa Top
Top | Tanya Taylor Nessa (secondhand)
Pants | Citizens of Humanity (secondhand) 
     As someone who generally loves solid colors, and eschews prints, I was shocked that I was so taken by this top. At first glance, it has a lot going on - bright color, embroidery, long sleeves and an off-the-shoulder cut.  That being said, the print has a bit of a nostalgic pull for me. When I was little I took a Ballet Folklorico class (it is Mexican Folkloric Ballet...and pretend there is an accent on the second "o" in Folklorico, I can't figure out how to do it on Blogger), and a lot of the shirts have this same embroidery flower pattern. I don't remember particularly liking or disliking the dancing, as a child, but I did love the outfits.
     Did you ever engage in extra curricular activities solely for the outfits? Honestly, I feel like most of my excitement over youth soccer involved these elaborate fringed ponytail holders that one of the Team Moms made and sprayed with glitter glue.

Fiery Sunset + Weekend Reading

Dress | J. Crew Monday Dress (sold out, but some other red items are below)
Shoes | Coclico
     The weather in the Bay Area has basically turned, and it is officially foggier, rainier, and chillier from here on out. That being said, we had a few last random days of hot 80 degree weather, and I was inspired to be a bit bold. This is a basic cotton dress I bought on final sale, solely because of the color. If given the choice between red and (i) black (ii) grey, or (iii) any color in the navy-family, I usually pick the latter (I never think I look that good in red) but the name of the color of this dress was Fiery Sunset. How can you turn that down? It feels so much more exciting and encouraging than red. For crying out loud, a woman at work told me I looked saucy.

Dressing For Someone Else's Wedding

I did not manage to take a photo of every wedding outfit, but here are the ones I did get. 
Read more about them: Blue Floral Dress | Coat and Boots | Plum Dress| Tory Burch Top

As I've briefly mentioned here before, I have gone to a lot of weddings this year (including my own - but that outfit will get its own post, obvi). For those weddings, it is a rare opportunity to dress up and get out of my 9-to-5 comfort zone. I put a lot of time and effort into outfit planning, and thought I'd share some of my thoughts:

Variety: Taking a step back, if I had wanted to, I could have worn the same dress to every wedding I went to this year (baring inclement weather). I had a brief moment of thinking I shouldn't repeat outfits because "the same guests will be at Wedding X as at Wedding Y" but quickly realized I don't care. My family, friends and co-workers routinely see me in repeated outfits, so I'm not sure why it should matter for wedding guests. Also, I saw a lot of the same men at these weddings and they all wore the same suit, over and over, with no one saying a word about it. If having one go-to outfit is how you like to get dressed for weddings, you do you. 

Dress Code: For me, I think finding the right outfit for these events is something that should be planned out and mulled over. It's almost like a sport (or so I would imagine, not being particularly athletic). You've got to game-plan! I like looking at what the official dress code is (be it Cocktail Attire or Mountain Formal or You Have To Wear This Dress Because You Are a Bridesmaid) and combing through my closet to find something that will honor the theme, while keeping with my personal style.

New vs. Old: I don't think that just because you are going to an event, you have to buy something new. In fact, of the outfits shown above, all of them are entirely comprised of pieces that were already in my closet prior to the year 2017 (including shoes and accessories) except for the floral dress on the left, and the bridesmaid dress on the far right. That one might be easier for me than others, as I have a pretty deep closet and I hoard my clothes (so if you take nothing away from this post, it is keep all your clothes, forever...).

Preparedness: I managed to get through all my weddings with no fashion emergencies. The closest I got was with the plum dress. Something exploded in my suitcase, staining the dress. Thankfully it was water based and washed out once I lovingly blotted out each spot, but it would have been a stone cold bummer if my dress was spotted. In the future, I'd consider a garment bag, or wrapping my dresses in plastic. Other than that, I always carry bandaids, bring at least a few pieces of fashion tape and an extra hair-tie in my clutch (or on my wrist, if we are being honest).

Wearing White: This is an interesting topic, which I've discussed with a lot of ladies at weddings this year. It seems like people are still solidly in Camp Don't-Wear-White, but that peach and blush and other nude colors are creeping in. I often see multiple guests in something vaguely "bridal", and it seems like attitudes are definitely shifting here. I personally don't care about white (everyone wear white!), but nevertheless I take a conservative approach.  If I know the bride well, I can usually guess what she prefers (or she has told me), and if I don't know the bride very well, I stay away from white/blush/cream/ivory. 

Do you have any wedding outfit tips? What is the most befuddling dress code you have ever seen?

Peak Plum

Dress | Diane von Furstenberg
     This dress was made for "staring into gorgeous scenery photos", was it not? The open back is basically the reason I bought this dress, which I purchased (not rented) from Rent the Runway. They used to hold an insane sample sale (think long lines and very aggressive attendees) that I would try to visit when I lived in NY, but they have since started selling dresses that they don't rent out anymore, online. The pricing for the items they sell varies, to be honest, but I was pleased with the markdown on this dress, which ended up being a little over 75% off of its retail price. When I found it, the only dress left was a couple sizes too large, but in looking at the reviewer's photos on the RtR website, I didn't think it would make that much of a difference, since the fit is very drapey and loose. Turns out I was right, it looks like most of the size difference is reflected in a change in the length of the dress, and I knew I'd need to get the dress hemmed no matter what.