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Wedding Belles | Manolo for the Big Girl

Wedding Belles

Dear Summer Brides,

Listen, it’s not that I’m not happy for you. I mean, I’m not saying I AM, but there’s an open bar and I’m just regifting a Royal Albert “Old Country Roses” deviled egg dish (my grandmother SWORE any girl who had Old Country Roses as her china pattern probably had round heels in high school) so whatevs, but seriously…it is TOO FREAKIN’ HOT to have an outdoor wedding in Texas in June.

Then there’s the question of what to wear.

At some point in the past 40 years, we seem to have forgotten how to dress for weddings. We know, mostly, not to show up in all white, but other than that it seems a mystery.

Now I know you all are going to think going to rant about black at weddings. I’m not. Actually, I’m kind of okay with that. It’s not ideal unless it’s an evening winter wedding, but I can deal. What sugars my cubes are dresses that are too short, too casual or not sufficiently supported.

The next wedding guest I see in a smocked tube dress yank-yank-yanking her way through the ceremony is going to be on the business end of an Unpleasant Encounter with a pimento cheese sandwich (on crustless white bread, cut into triangles, of course; aggravated assault is no reason to forget your upbringing.)

Anyhoodle.

Alight.com has been carrying some particularly charming dresses recently, mostly from Donna Ricco, that when paired with a summer weight cardi or shrug (or a shawl if you like that look. I don’t, as it basically says “I’ve got fat arms and am not fooling anybody“) would be perfectly appropriate.

Garden Party DressDonna Ricco pineapple dressVanilla Sky picnic dressDonna Ricco Dots All Folks

(click on the desired dress for links)

While the two on the left might be the most appropriate, I do like a bit of whimsy in a summer occasion dress.  Just as I tell the gal who does my lashes to “take it to ‘Tranny’ and then pull one step back” I think these sorts of events call for a dress that goes right up to, but does not cross over to, twee. The green one is quite a bit younger than the others, but if you look at the detail, which I suggest you do, it’s really not as young as it appears.

I also like a hat at an outdoor wedding.  It probably won’t surprise you that I have Important Opinions on millinery but I understand that it’s just not reasonable for most folks to go out and procure a $700 Peter Bettley chapeau for an event.

For my hat-wearing big girls, is there an online resource for your fabulous chapeaux? Dit moi, y’all, and by the way, when do we start the divorce pool?

27 Responses to “Wedding Belles”

  1. jojokaffe June 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    We know, mostly, not to show up in all white, but other than that it seems a mystery.

    Apparently this is not common knowledge, as a friend who married in the fall learned.
    And to make matters worse, the almost perpetrator was her soon to be mother-in-law, who would immortalize the faux pas in the wedding picture.
    The father and sister-in-law still don’t understand what the big fuss was all about.

  2. Plumcake June 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    No. Freaking. Way.

  3. Mary June 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    Pretty nice post. I just found your site and wanted to say
    that I’ve really liked browsing your blog posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!

  4. Mei June 23, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    Plumcake, I hate to threadjack, but can you do me the biggest favor? In the post andletmetellyou. . . I wanted to know what shirts you have! Pleeeease spill. All I saw was the Harvard tee, and I was wondering what you wear with your jeans and trousers?

  5. Plumcake June 23, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    Mei, giminy crickets, keep your panties on. I have 429 unread messages in my inbox which was empty this morning. Excluding the ones from rich deposed Nigerian princes and people wanting to tell me how to make every girl love me best, I still have a good number to slog through. I really and deeply appreciate your question and there’s a post in the works, but unless you’d like to pay my standard first time consulting fee of $298 (for two hours, $99 for the next six hours, then $90 for every hour after than) you’re just going to have to hold your pretty little horses until I’m good and ready!

  6. Sarah Fowler June 23, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Ohmigoodness with those horrible smocked tube “dress” things – when in heaven’s name did they make the move from bathing suit cover-up to pass for actual clothing? It’s happened in the last five years and it’s atrocious. I have an acquaintance who was recently engaged and in the professionally photographed engagement portraits, which were shot in beautiful locations all over the city, she is wearing a grass green smocked tube dress! She will look back in a few years and shudder. A shame.

  7. dcsurfergirl June 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    One question–how did your grandma equate that china pattern with slutty behavior in high school?

  8. Harri P. June 23, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    I think the dresses you posted, Plummy, are too casual for a wedding. They’re more “backyard get together” than wedding.

    I don’t have opinions on millinery because only hats that come in sizes–ie, ones that cost more than $300–are at all likely to fit my gigantic melon.

  9. Harri P. June 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    >Ohmigoodness with those horrible smocked tube “dress” things – when in heaven’s name did they make the move from bathing suit cover-up to pass for actual clothing?

    Late 70s, actually.

  10. Annie June 24, 2009 at 12:14 am #

    Hey– Old Country Roses is my china pattern, and I’m not a round heel woman.

    Not sure I get the connection between the 2 concepts–is Royal Albert suddenly sexy?

  11. raincoaster June 24, 2009 at 7:35 am #

    No. Royal Albert is … not Spode. People who have Spode only have sex with their help, which means they don’t have sex in high school except with their nannies.

  12. Libby June 24, 2009 at 7:37 am #

    With a nice cardigan, I think the dresses could work for a wedding. Except the pineapple one. I do not want people’s first thought on seeing my bosom to be “That’s a pineapple.” Doesn’t work so well.

  13. class factotum June 24, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    Not online, but I get my hats at TJMAxx or Target. My main criteria is to keep the sun off my face and out of my eyes, but after that, I want something pretty and I have been able to find hats like that at both places for under $20.

  14. ChloeMireille June 24, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    I know the polka-dot dress is kinda “twee”, but I think a proper summer hat and peep-toe heel would fix that.

    I wish that there were more hats readily available in assorted sizes because I have a 24-inch head and a lot of hair. However, there’s a multitude of tutorials online about how to make your own wide-brim, floppy hat from felt. It doesn’t seem hard, but I can’t sew in a straight line, let alone a circle.

  15. TeleriB June 24, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    Freakin’ way. I actually had never heard about the no-white rule until I was showing my pictures from a friend’s wedding to my roommate.

    “Is that the bride?” she asked, pointing to a woman in a white sequined cocktail dress.

    “No, that’s the groom’s mother,” I said.

    “SHE WORE WHITE?”

    And thus I was educated.

  16. mary martha June 24, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    “I don’t have opinions on millinery because only hats that come in sizes–ie, ones that cost more than $300–are at all likely to fit my gigantic melon.”

    I wear hats all the time… and I have a giant head (in men’s hat’s I wear a 7 3/4). I tend to buy vintage hats that sit on the head rather than having to fit around my big skull. In particular I have a great tilt hat that shades my face in the sun during an outdoor wedding – and doesn’t look like I should be at the beach.

  17. marjorie June 24, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    LOVE the green dress. for a daytime wedding? delightful.

    my mother-in-law wore white to my wedding. let us say no more. (ok, lets say one more. she held a separate reception for my husband and me, in her town, that was both larger and fancier than our wedding, and involved ZERO food that i, a kosher-keeping allergic-to-nuts person, could eat. la la la la.)

    moving on: on the hats tip, someone just pointed me toward hatagories.com. prices are seriously all over the place, which i think is a plus. some of the rain hats i think are to die of cute.

  18. bridal girl June 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    I love the two dresses at the top. Although the one on the right top has pineapple on it but the design seems fun.

  19. Orora June 24, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    I love the shawl look, but I think that’s because I’m a knitter. So when someone asks, “Where did you get that lovely beaded silk lace shawl?” I can say, “Oh this? Why, it’s just a little something I whipped up over the weekend.”

    And the fabric for the dress on bottom left just looks like curtains to me.

  20. Orora June 24, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    Rosecampion, I love your philosophy about your upper arms. If people don’t like my naked fleshy upper arms, they don’t have to look at them. But I do cover up in church.

  21. Beth C. June 24, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    ~>I don’t have opinions on millinery because only hats that come in sizes–ie, ones that cost more than $300–are at all likely to fit my gigantic melon.

    Yes! Anyone with tips on womens’ hats that come in sizes (even just S,M,L,XL). Why do mens’ hats always have sizes and womens’ don’t? It’s such a mystery to me.

  22. Leah June 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    Oh. Honey.

    I love me some hats. I will even admit to giving my patronage to the one and only Stella Parton’s Hat House, where if the bigger the hair the closer to God, Honey it can’t hurt to stick a hat up there too.

    There’s a wonderful place in DC called the Proper Topper that almost always has women’s hats in multiple sizes. I second the nod for vintage and also recommend (as I do in every dilemma) that you check Etsy, though that is often a kiss-a-lot-of-frogs scenario.

    Also, MARJORIE, YOU HAVE SINGLEHANDEDLY RUINED MY PRODUCTIVITY by connecting me to endless hat porn. Have you no shame?? Thanks girl.

  23. mary martha June 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    One more word about hats.

    Just because it fits on your head and is the same color as your dress does NOT mean it is appropriate for the occasion. I think that because we are no longer a hat wearing society people don’t realize that the floppy straw hat is for the beach (or beach wedding) not for a formal event!

    I have goten some great hats on etsy. I have found that if I contact the seller they can often make a hat to suit my large head (I like to think that it’s just big because it is filled with useful facts)

  24. the misfit June 24, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    I love Spode – especially the blue-and-yellow garden room print that was only made from 2004-2007 and I therefore will need to buy soon because it was too expensive to register for at my grad student wedding in 2005 – but I think the Royal Albert country rose (that’s the one with LOTS of really ornate roses, right?) may be my favorite ever. I get the whole white-and-platinum-edged china thing, but they sell really pretty white plates at Target that you don’t have to cry over breaking, and if I am going to buy china (which I am, just you wait) it needs to have as many roses as possible, with gold scrollwork in all possible locations.

    And I didn’t have sex with ANYBODY until I was married.

  25. pamici June 25, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    Wait … someone does your lashes? How does that work? Do they dye them or apply false eyelashes? That sounds wonderful!! Where do I get some of that?

  26. La BellaDonna June 26, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    Plummy, I just bought a BATCH of widebrims from http://www.villagehatshop.com, WITH four lovely, long, sturdy hatpins (although they didn’t send me MATCHING Venetian glass ones. OTOH, I didn’t actually request matching ones, but still …!) I bought only one leopard print one, too.

    There are also:
    http://www.ellenchristine.com/ hats
    http://www.bridesheadrevisited.net/
    http://www.leahc.com/
    http://www.homabridal.com/
    http://suzannemillinery.com/
    Complete with OTHER links! Also, courtesy of Gothic Charm School, THIS link: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22039438.

    I love me some hats.

  27. La BellaDonna June 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    Uhn, I’m so lame: Also, victoriantradingcompany.com has some lovely hats AND a wide assortment of hatpins AND two different HATPIN HOLDERS!