These may seem like very obvious comments but you would be surprised how often we forget these basic rules when we go out shopping.
1) First and foremost, you know you best. If you feel good in what you are wearing, that confidence will shine through and you will look good too. It’s not always a great idea to bring a lot of people with you when choosing such an important outfit, as it is unlikely that you will get four or five women to agree on anything unanimously! Like I said, you know you best, so your opinion is the most important. After that, it is important what the bride herself thinks and possibly your husband could give you honest good advice.
2) Although you should never be pushed into anything by a sales assistant, it is important to let them help you work your way through the stock. Remember, they know the outfits that are in the shop, they have seen each outfit on many different bodies, so they know which shape suits which figure. Let us offer you our expertise, after all it’s what we’re here for.
3) Keep an open mind. Nine times out of ten a customer will come in to see a particular outfit that they have seen on our website and they have their heart set on it. If they are open minded It is very rare that this is the outfit that they will eventually choose. Try on lots of different shapes and styles and lots of different colours. Remember what looks OK on a hanger can look fabulous on a body and likewise, what looks stunning on the hanger may not do anything for you.
4) Lay the foundations! Wear a good fitting bra and underwear when you go trying on clothes. It’s amazing how a visible panty line can just ruin a dress that would be perfect with the right underwear. Make sure your bra fits you well and doesn’t create any lumps or bumps that might not be there at all if it was a better fit.
5) Do not worry about the size that is on the label. All too often someone tells us they are say a size 14 and will only try on size 14 outfits. This is totally unrealistic when it comes to different designers and even different cuts and fabrics within the same designer. Some 14’s may be too big, but naturally people have no problem trying the 12. The same doesn’t always apply when the 14 is too small and you suggest they try the 16. Do not worry about the number on the label. It is only a number. Nothing is more flattering than an outfit that fits you well and also, no one else can see the number on the label! Sometimes going up a size in an outfit can make you look two sizes smaller.
6) Colour! All too often people limit themselves to only trying on outfits in a particular colour. Or they get overly concerned about the colour of the bridesmaids or the colour the other mother is wearing. Again the most important thing is to choose a colour that does the most for you. Different colours do different things to our complexions, experiment with colours you wouldn’t normally wear, you might be amazed how much they suit you.
7) Be open to alterations. Bear in mind it is very rare that you will get something that fits you like a glove. Do not dismiss a dress because it is three inches below your knee and you want it just on or just below your knee – just get it shortened. All too often we hear people say “yes I love the dress but I don’t like the length, it makes me look frumpy.” Or “It’s beautiful but it is too big on the hips.” This is a simple problem to alter so don’t let it put you off. Another common alteration is when the dress is too long in the body (from shoulder to waist). Again, this is easily rectified by just lifting the seam at the shoulders.
8) The right shoe is so important. Wear a colour that complements your outfit rather than competes with it. Only wear dark shoes like black or navy if there is black or navy in the outfit or if it is a strong colour like royal blue or magenta pink. Nothing looks worse than black shoes with a lilac dress. Silver or champagne shoes often work best with paler colour outfits. Try and match your handbag to the colour of your shoes. Most importantly, choose shoes that you can walk in comfortably and easily, nothing ruins an outfit more than a pained expression on your face! Remember, this is a long day and you’ll be on your feet for most of it, meeting and greeting, and later on, dancing!
9) Hats and headpieces!! All too often we hear “hats don’t suit me”. Trust me, there is a hat or headpiece to suit everyone. If you choose not to wear something on your head that is fine, but honestly, nothing finishes off an outfit more and makes it extra special than the perfect hat/headpiece. Again, be open and try on lots of different shapes and sizes. Most people prefer to match the colour of the headpiece to the colour of the outfit and this gives a really lovely finished look. However, sometimes it can work really well to contrast the hat, so be sure to try on different colours too.
10) Now you are all sorted, you have your perfect outfit… sit down. No really, sit down in the dress and make sure it is still comfortable. Nothing worse than a seam under pressure while you are sitting! Although you spend a lot of the day on your feet, there’s a lot of time spent sitting, between the car journey, the church ceremony, the meal and the speeches. You want to be able to sit back normally without worrying about the dress being tight on the hip or tummy. So now you’ve followed these simple guidelines, I hope you’ll find the outfit you’ve been dreaming of!