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5pm wedding attire?
lapsus_lingue wrote in fatshionista
hello, folks.  i am in a bit of a fix.

i have a wedding to attend in mid-june.  i don't know the bride or groom--the groom is my boyfriend's cousin, and they don't talk a lot, but he's expected to attend with date (that's me) in tow--and i feel awkward asking my boyfriend's family about what to wear, since i don't really know any of them yet...

yes.  this is also the weekend i am meeting his family.  (or the paternal half of them, anyway.)

so, i come to the fatshionista hive mind.  you want statistics?  i've got statistics for you!

1.  it's a 5PM wedding in a big old house in south georgia (read: extremely south georgia) in june.  (ALSO:  not exactly a house:
2.  it's an indoor wedding, but it will likely still be hot as fire.
3.  i wear anything from a 14 to a 20 in dresses, as i am littler on top than on the bottom.  i wear a 38C, if that helps?  and i'm lately a pretty solid 20 on the bottom.  my biggest problem with dresses is this:  if they fit in the hips, they're too loose on top.  if they fit on top, they're too tight on the hips.  so.  that.
4.  i am extremely fair, with freckles, and there's no possibility of a tan.  none.  at all.  whatsoever.  so, i look fairly terrible in oranges, corals, reds (and i cannot wear red to a wedding in the south anyway, nuh uh).
5.  i'm about 5'9", 248 pounds.

there's a black calvin klein knee-length somewhat-strappy dress at the tjmaxx around me, and i was thinking of trying that.  but i am not sure about wearing black?  i LOVE black.  and i know that people say wearing black is okay.  but i am not sure how conservative his family is on the issue.  and yes, i KNOW, i ought to just ask.  i ought to ask!  i also have a chocolate brown tea-length satiny skirt and strapless top that were from a bridesmaid performance.  i'd rather not do strapless, but i guess i could find something to go with the skirt?  maybe?  possibly?  anyway, i am thinking some dark jewel tone or a chocolate brown, maybe.  maybe?  not too bare?  i'd like it to be knee-length, at least.

as far as budget goes, i do not want to spend an unholy amount of money.  but i do want to look nice.  and it would be nice if this were a dress i could wear again.

here are a few pictures of me, so that you are not flying all blind and stuff.    of course, none of them is a straight-on shot, but i tried for fullish-body rather than myspacey-face, anyways.  
thanks for your help, o hive mind.

edited to say that yes, okay, i will ask.  also, to stick this other picture behind the elljay cut.  ::shakes fist at elljay cut::
thanks for everyone's help so far.  i still would like ideas about where to shop, etc.  i'm in central alabama, near birmingham, but might possibly be making a trip to atlanta, and i'll definitely be down on the coast before this...but that's just one week before the wedding, so, cutting it close.

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I have a similar body shape as you so I feel a little qualified to answer this :-) Black is a definite no for a summer wedding but you might be able to get away with dark brown. That strapless outfit you described sounded pretty...maybe you should try to find a matching shrug? I've found most of my fancy dresses at ross, to be honest! Maybe you should check them out. Okay, last piece of advice: ever tried a wrap dress? They can be nice and summery and comfy and it would probably look nice with your body type!

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Ymmv, but I think that dress looks too casual for a 5pm wedding.

Your BF should ask, because some southern weddings are very Southern proper. And that will change what everyone else is wearing.

Your body shape would probably do great in an empire waist dress, with a fitted top, and a swingy bottom. I love that style.
Like this one:
I'm not sure that black will work, though. It's nice in a black tie setting, but doesn't work well if it's a Southern Formal with everyone else in something like this:

hahaha. thanks for the levity. i've totally been to that wedding.

also, i love that dress, but alas, the black. meh.

You could definitely go with the brown skirt and a new top. I think if you've got a size difference between top and bottom, it's usually easier to put together an outfit out of separates. But if you're keen to go with a dress, maybe a wrap dress with a short fluttery kind of sleeve would be comfortable and summery.

In my experience, you're not going to pass muster at a southern wedding if you're wearing a skirt + top (or pants and a top, for that matter). My niece wore khakis and a dressy shirt to my sister's wedding a year ago and has yet to be forgiven.

Several years ago Sharon Stone showed up at the Oscars wearing a satin skirt and a white starched men's dress shirt. It looked amazing and I have always wanted to do that. Sounds like you have the opportunity!

Also, I like that polka dot dress in your picture ... You could wear that!

I wore a black dress to the last summer wedding I went to, but I was a bridesmaid and that's what she picked for us. We were supposed to be able to wear them again, since black is so sensible. Of course I never have.

If you're allowing for the kind of old-school etiquette that prohibits red at weddings, don't wear black.

No real advice on what to wear, but check out Ross once the good people of this community advise you. They have a TON of dresses right now.

In the South, wearing a dark color (black, brown, grey), would be considered an insult to the bride and would reflect poorly on your boy's family.

You *might* be able to get away with navy, but that's iffy. And *definitely* nothing bare!!

Seriously, your best bet is to check with his parents, if not the bride herself.

G.R.I.T.S. are notoriously picky, and you can multiply that by a million when it comes to something like their wedding.

see, i AM, technically, a G.R.I.T.S. person. but i must have missed that day (those years?) in my upbringing that taught me how to deal with this. ::cries::

i am right this minute, in another window, composing an email to my boyfriend's sister. maybe she will know, or she can more properly ask, etc.

It's never the bride that does it. It's always the mother.

I would wear the brown bridesmaid dress with a fuscia or purple silk or pashmina wrap. Wrap seems appropriate for the location and crowd.

With your coloring, I bet you'd look fantastic in pink, and that would be the perfect color for a southern wedding at 5, I think (especially with silver accessories and a wrap, maybe). If you like florals, this is colorful and fun, and wouldn't be too hot (you could get a cool wrap to wear with it), this is pretty and very wedding-y, this might work with your body shape, and this is pretty and has sleeves, but there are a bunch more on the Nordstrom site that look pretty (why weren't they there when I was looking for a great dress for a wedding last summer???). Good luck, I'm sure you'll look fabulous (and I love the dress that you're wearing in that first picture!).

i agree with EVERYTHING in this post!

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the first two are really, really pretty. i will keep them in mind, also. thanks!

Yay, Pebble Hill! It's about an hour from where I live, and I've only been there once, but it's really gorgeous. If you need a break from all the family goings-on, wander off and go say hi to the horses. They're really sweet.

That said, checking with the family is definitely the way to go. Not all of us southerners are complete tight-asses, but when you factor in the previous generations, it's always better safe than sorry. For a summer wedding, it's probably best to avoid black and red. Whatever you choose style-wise, go for natural fibers, especially cotton. It goes a long way to keeping you cool and making the most of the few breezes we have around here.

What you want for the wedding is something like this in the turquoise (which is a little darker in person than online, almost more of a bright peacock blue and will look fabulous on you. It's fitted on top, very full-skirted on the bottom. You can wear a little shawl or wrap or cardigan over it if need be but it's great sleeveless as is.

Do not wear black to a Southern Formal wedding.
Do not wear black shoes.
I'm feeling really great earrings.

That is a GORGEOUS dress.

I own that dress in's an amazing dress because it's cotton, so it breaths, but it's that slightly sheeny cotton, so it's dressy. It's also amazingly flattering as it's slightly high waisted, and has those little gathers at the neckline to accentuate what we may or may not have! (I am about a 40C, just a bit bigger than you, but essentially the same body type).

definitely something along these lines, with Great Accessories (we southern girls love our accessories)and shoes.

really? no black shoes? *pouts* but i have HUGE, hard to buy shoes for feet. :( (really?)

i like the dress. i tried on a similar thing in green today. that bright blue makes me NERVOUS, jesus. i am not sure i can do that light/bright a blue. but i will keep this in mind, definitely, thank you.

Perhaps it's a longshot, but I recommend a quick trip to Ross just to see what they have. I don't get to shop there often (since I live in MA), but my Mom lives near a Ross in Pelham and I *always* find pretty plus-size dresses there when I go AL to visit her. I don't know if the dress of your dreams will be there, but I bet you'll find more to try on than they'll let you take into the dressing room at once!

If you could get away with it, what about something like this from Target?

The blue one and a similar purple one. Looks like there's free shipping if you spend 50 dollars.

I tried those on in the store a little bit ago, and they fit my hips hilariously. Thanks, though.

You look AMAZING in that satin spotty ensemble in the top picture, is it a possibility?

I agree! The only problem is it appears to be black & white. :(

thanks! it was a hallowe'en costume dress. it's very day/secretary seeming to me, but i won't rule it completely out, i guess. it is black/white, though.

oh, i am so BAD at this.

wear that first dress up there -- the first pic. it's gorgeous!

I am from the south, and I agree that an all black dress is not the way to go. But I think that polka dot dress is completely appropriate, and it looks great on you to boot! I would not wear anything with thin straps; you risk the elders thinking you look too sexy for a wedding if your shoulders are bare, even if you have a wrap with you.

there are *no* dresses without bare shoulders out right now, except for those super duper matronly ones with sequins and jackets. i'd prefer a cap sleeve or something, but srsly, NOTHING. sad day.

The polka dot dress in the first pic would be perfect!

I have never bought an item of clothing from them that doesn't look gorgeous on. A bit pricey, but well worth the $$$.

I was in Avenue the other day and they had some lovely dresses so that might be a good bet. I love their cotton sundresses but they may not be quite formal enough for the wedding. Their links never work but there's a green one in their special occasion dress section of the website called the Katherine Georgette Dress that looks pretty. I was shopping with a friend last weekend for a formal dress for her and we had the best luck at Macy's (but some Macy's carry more plus dresses than others, you may want to call and ask which if one around you has more.) I also have to jump on the Ross bandwagon. I've had very good luck with finding dresses there. Oh and I love the Nordstrom Turquoise one up there!

B'ham shopping tips...

I also live near are my suggestions:

Collage Consignment, in Vestavia - has a great selection of plus-size clothes and lots of more formal attire

Avenue - down Hwy 280

Ashley Stewart - in Eastwood Village....

Let me know if you need directions to any of these locations...

Re: B'ham shopping tips...

that consignment shop sounds like fun. i'll definitely check it out, thanks! where on 280 is the avenue? how have i not run across it?

Re: B'ham shopping tips...

The Avenue is in the same shopping center as Ulta, Lowe's and Books a Brook Highland Plaza. It's set way back...kind of one of those you have to know it's there to know it's there type places. Good luck!

Maybe try eshakti? I've bought a couple dresses from there (one of the more formal variety) and was very happy with them. They've had some bad reviews in the past, but I get the impression they've improved the consistency of their sizing since.
I think something with a fitted top, a natural waistline, and a full skirt would look good on you, or at least that's what I would go with and I'm about your size and shape. Maybe a shade of blue would work well with your complexion?

I seriously thought I commented here earlier. HMM. Anyway. GIRL, YOU FINE. I don't know nothin' about no wedding attire etiquette - I'm the OTHER kind of Southern, you know what I'm talkin about. I think you should use this as an excuse to spend a bunch of cheese on that f-ing gorgeous Calvin Klein dress above. xoxoxo

i want you to be SHOPPING WITH ME, man. GOD!! i am t'other kind, too! the drive-by truckers kind! the next time you are inclined to go online shopping for someone, do it for me, though. plz.

also, i just sent in an updatey thing with two dress pictures in it. once it's through the moderation queue, lookit it? lmk what you think? I NEED YOU.

that first dress is total class!

while i think those first dresses are lovely, they seem a bit too "day" for this. i'd wear either to work, so i figure they're not okay here. that last one is really pretty + seems nighttime, though, so if i am relegated to online shopping, i will check it out. thanks!

Try Dress Barn Women

I just bought a 1950's style sheath dress for a Friday afternoon wedding. It came in royal blue, kelly green and black. It's knee length and comes with a black patent belt.

They have great dresses. I always go there last minute for an occassion and come away with something great.

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