Monday, November 9, 2009

Dress Hunting: Part I

Yesterday I went with my mom to a wedding dress shop in Sacramento, it's the only shop in our area that carries Jim Hjelm, if you don't remember, I have an obsession with this one Jim Hjelm dress; you can catch up here.

I decided to only go with my mom because I was a little cranky (I fell asleep at 7:00 last night and slept until 7:00 this morning, sleep much?) and my crankiness was making my mom a little cranky too. No need to bring innocent bystanders into that situation. I figured I would just try on a few gowns because I'd never tried on any wedding gowns before.

So my consultant lead me to their Jim Hjelm gowns and told me to look through them and pick out a few that I liked, then to some other designer gowns. She picked out some gowns that looked closest to my dream dress and I picked out a few that I had seen in recent bridal mags, just to make sure that I wanted to go with lace. So I began with dresses that were nothing like my dream dress:

A one shoulder gown, I've seen them all over the place. This is not my style. NEXT!

This was cute on the rack, tried it on. Hate it, then my consultant told me that Angelina Jolie wore a dress similar to this to the Oscars when she was prego. Definitely out. NEXT!!

Before I found my dream dress in a magazine, I always wanted a dress that was similar to this. Sleek and simple. You can tell my by face that I'm not really feeling it. NEXT!!!

This next one was an all beaded designer sample sale dress (I want to say it was Marcessa, but I honestly don't know). I didn't think I would like beading at all, but I really liked this one. And it was 50% off to boot!

I held on to the sample sale dress because it was so vintage and pretty glam. The look I'm trying to go for! So that one stayed in the room with me. But lets move on to the lace goodness that I've been drooling over for months:

This isn't "my" gown, but it is a Jim Hjelm and lace.

Dang my butt is HUGE!

I liked this dress more than the others that I had just tried on. And it was clear that lace was the material for me. I love the train of this dress, I loved the sash and I loved the lace (not all lace is equal I learned) but I was not a fan of the neck line or the back of the dress. This is close to my dream dress, but it's not THE ONE!

Moving on: I next tried on a strapless (I don't like the idea of strapless) all lace gown. This was everyone's favorite, except for me and my consultant (there was another bride trying on gowns next to me who had brought her two friends with her, they were giving me their input too. Super nice girls!)

All lace with a sash

My consultant is telling me that she can change the neckline so it looks like my dream dress.

I had a few issues with this dress, even though it is pretty flattering. I don't like the lace on this dress. It was heavier and not the same look at the Jim Hjelm lace I tried on before. Also, I really don't want a tube top. I have teeny tiny boobs (36A) so I just know that I would end up with tons of pictures of me pulling my dress up on our wedding day if I wore a tube top dress.

Let's try another one: This next dress is also a Jim Hjelm lace gown and it's also a tube top. Of all of the dresses I tried on, this one was my favorite.

This lace was so yummy and the train is TDF!

They even put a Cathedral veil on me to see if I liked the whole look (the veil got me pretty excited but not crying excited, which I think disappointed my mom. I think she was under the impression I was going to cry at some point, but I was a cranky-pants, and this still wasn't "my" dress.)

They undid the back a little bit so I could see if I like the low back (like my dream dress), they kept telling me that they could make any alterations to the gown that I wanted.

Showing me again that they could add the lace overlay to give me the neckline of my dream dress.

Hmm...I like it, but it's not "it".

The next one I tried on was Spanish Lace (I have no idea who the designer was) with some beading and a halter top. I wasn't crazy about this dress, as you can see on my face. After trying on Jim Hjelm lace and getting so close to my dream dress, there was no going back. Other lace gowns weren't going to make me happy anymore.

Yesterday I learned that I am in love with Jim Hjelm 8904. I must have that dress, I have no doubts now that that is the dress that I am going to be married in. I have to find it somewhere, try it on and buy it. Le sigh. I was hoping it would be easier than this.

How did your first dress shopping experience go and how many dress shops did you visit before you made your purchase?


Pug(s) and Bugg said...

I like the one that was everyone's favorite except you and the consultant. I think the skirt is the most flattering shape on you... I think you should consider that one with an altered neckline... it would be one of a kind!

Chocolate Lover said...

I too fell in love with a Jim Hjelm dress only to find out that they weren't making it anymore. Sigh

New Mexican Bride said...

If you find a store that carries Jim Hjelm, you should ask them if they can call other stores to see if they have the style you want. The stores here charge a transfer fee that ranges from $50 to $100 and all the stores were more than willing to do that for me when I was searching for a specific Maggie Sotero gown. I think it's hard to try on a dress and say oh this is what the neckline will look like, without actually seeing it on. I had so many issues like that when I was searching. I think I tried on about 20 dresses all together.

Crystal @ MyCarmelWedding said...

@ Chocolate Lover: My best bet is going to a Jim Hjelm trunk show in San Francisco in early December, but that's pushing it as far as ordering goes.

@ New Mexican Bride: Unfortunately Jim Hjelm doesn't have any flagship stores. They only provide their dresses to resellers. So you have to call each store individually (which I've done for almost all of the California stores). I'm considering trying Oregon, Washington and Nevada at this point; but that sounds a little bridezilla to me. Hmm...

Confessions Of A Domestic Goddess said...

Gorgeous! I'm a new follower who just got married in Sept. Have fun dress shopping!! It's the part of planning I miss the most!!

Love your blog!


Katie said...

I also like the one that was everyone's favorite but you and the consultant! It is definitely flattering to your shape! You look wonderful in it!

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Hi Crystal, I found your blog through my new blogger buddy Stacey/Born to be Mrs. Beever and we are definitely on the same page as far as dresses. I'm definitely coming back to chat :)

The Jim Hjelm dress is WOW and it really was the most flattering on you as well! I'm of course biased because I wore the Monique Lhuillier Parisian (jewel neckline) so it's similar but the back isn't the sexy back like this Jim Hjelm. Have you tried the wedding dress resale sites? I blogged about it here:

Have faith and be patient. I went dress shopping 4-6 times and ended up buying my Pronovias reception dress at a sample sale. I bought my ML on eBay 2.5 weeks before the wedding! 90% off and so worth it.

Shannon and Jesse said...

Ohhh... I love the lace look!!

Anonymous said...

I think I love that all beaded dress on you. I love Jim Hjelm too. I ended up with a sleek Elizabeth Fillmore. Nothing like I thought I wuold get. I love lacey dresses and no lacey for me :(

Anonymous said...

I was looking for Men JEWELRY and was wondering if Elizabeth and James is the best designer for Men JEWELRY?

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Anonymous said...

Awesome web site, I hadn't noticed before in my searches!
Carry on the fantastic work!

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