Monday, May 17, 2010

Search for the Perfect Dress: Chicagoland (Part 5)

When last we left, I was in love with a dress from Elegant Lace Bridal and about to break off my engagement.  The details of said breaking off and getting reengaged are chronicled elsewhere, but for my dress search, this meant that I did not try on another wedding dress for almost exactly 1 year.  I changed a lot in that year.  Maybe that's not quite true.  My circumstances changed a lot in that year (I graduated college.  Nuff said), and I feel like I grew up rather quickly because of it.  I figured my tastes might have changed a little in the last year, but I was surprised at how enamored I was with dresses I would never have bothered with before.

When I went to my first bridal appointment since Elegant Lace, I was still firmly attached to this dress:

(I think Laura was right about it being this one instead of the one that I thought it was).

Since I was pretty sure I still wanted that one, I treated this appointment as an opportunity to explore styles I hadn't really tried on previously.  Namely, mermaids.  I've always had a thing for mermaid dresses, but since I wanted a full skirt, I had barely tried on anything form-fitting during my first round of dress shopping.  But of course I fell in love with the first mermaid dress I tried on at Eva's Bridal of Orland Park.  I didn't get the style number or even the designer from the saleslady, but it looked pretty similar to this dress (which I also love):

OK, actually, looking at it now, the cuts are significantly different, but the feel of this dress is similar to the other one.  Anyway, it was the first time I had fallen in love with a mermaid dress but also the first time I had fallen for lace.  Both of my wedding buddies were big fans of lace when we were looking for dresses together, but I never understood the appeal.  Until now.  Something about that dress just spoke to me, and I started to doubt my original "princess dresses only" approach to dress shopping.

Eva's Bridal also happened to have my beloved Monalisa, and as you know, when I tried it on again, I started seriously thinking about buying it.  Though that didn't really work out, having a dress in mind really shaped my dress search in Chicago because I compared every dress I tried on to Monalisa.

I went to a few other salons around Chicago, but I didn't find anything that really spoke to me.  Part of this was comparing everything to Monalisa, but I think the main problem was that I was looking for dresses in the city.  As I said in Part 2 of my search, I find suburban shopping to be much more fruitful than its urban counterpart, and that experience has definitely stayed true in Chicago.  It wasn't until I visited Demetrios in the northern suburbs that my search actually went somewhere, but as that experience deserves its own post, you'll have to stay tuned to learn about my major moment of self-discovery.

Have your tastes changed over time?  Did you find dresses that you were sure you would buy at the beginning of your search that you were later sure were wrong for you?


  1. Fortunately I found my dress the first time I went out looking for dresses, so I wasn't really able to try on all that many dresses. I'm not sure if my tastes have changed over the year since I bought my dress because I force myself to not look at other dresses with the fear I might fall in love with a different dress. I still am in love with the dress I chose though. I get giddy every time I visit her at my parents' house.

  2. I think that's why it's been so hard for me to decide on a dress. I just don't want to stop looking at them! And I know I wouldn't even if I bought one now, so I don't want to make a decision because I'm afraid I'll find another one I like better later. It's a problem.

  3. Nicole, I would kill to see you in a mermaid dress. You need to at least go back and get pictures of you wearing it.
    I do think that even though you tastes may have become a bit more sophisticated, that you will regret not taking your opportunity to wear a big, pouffy dress.

    Now, if I were to go back and wear a princess dress, I would wear this:
    Granted, it doesn't have your beloved pick-ups, but I think it's princessy and huge while still being sophisticated and uber chic. The bodice is also a great combo between your beading look and the lace.

    That being said, if you're at all still drawn to your original pick-up look, you should go for it. It's you, and I don't want you to regret missing your chance.

  4. I LOVE mermaid dresses... sadly I do not look good in them at all (Wayyyyyy too wide hips!!) So if you can wear something like that I saw Go for it!! They're so elegant and statuesque.

  5. @Laura: Haha, worry not, this story is not over, and when it is, I'm sure I'll still be in a big poofy princess dress.

    I do like that dress. I can definitely see you in that in another life.


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