We received this letter from our internet friend Jen:
My future sister-in-law has asked me to be a bridesmaid in her and my brother’s August wedding. She is mercifully allowing the bridesmaids to pick their own dresses, as long as they conform to our assigned color (mine is olive green). Excited for an excuse to do some major dress shopping, I’ve been thinking about making a trip up to New York City to shop.
Are there stores in NYC that you could suggest? I am not limited to typical bridesmaid dresses – David’s Bridal is my absolute last resort. I’d like something tea/knee length and to be able to wear the dress again in non-bridal settings. I’m a size 18 or 20, roughly pear shaped, and my maximum budget is $200 (and I would love to pay much less).
You love to perplex the Francesca, do you not?
On one of the hands, we have the flexibility in styling. On the other of the hands, the dress must be olive green, quite pretty but not a typical color for the fancy “occasion” dress. Francesca is sorry to have to tell you that finding plus-size occasion dresses in a particular color is not so easy, even in New York, unless that color is black, sapphire, or emerald.
Francesca says: You do not need an excuse to shop in New York City. Go there to poke around at Saks’ Salon Z and at Rootchi and at the boutique of Monif C and at Lee Lee’s Valise and at the plus-size department at the Macy’s flagship store, but do not expect to find the tea-length olive green dress appropriate for your brother’s wedding! Go to have a good time without such pressure! (Also, you must visit the Talbot’s Woman store on Broadway at 82nd Street and tell the wonderful saleslady Veronica that Francesca says hi. Hi Veronica! Hi!)
which is very pretty and perhaps what you want, but also perhaps not elegant enough for the lavish affair. How formal is the wedding?
Sydney’s Closet used to have an olive green dress but it was floor length and frilly and very, very bridesmaid-y. And anyway it is not available any more, and a search there for “olive” did not turn up anything appropriate for this wedding.
So unless the Igigi dress fits the bill or you happen to find what you need in person in the Big Apple (or closer to home), Francesca says: Buy beautiful olive-green material and have a dress custom-designed and made personally for the Jen.
(In this vein, Francesca checked Dress By Design to see if they have any olive material, and they do. Look at this gorgeous swatch of embroidered shantung silk!
But a dress there in this fabric costs over $300, and for this price the Jen can probably have a dress made by her own seamstress.)
Congratulations on your brother’s wedding, and let us know how the search goes for the dress!