Poker Chick got an early start on shopping for the wedding season this year and was reminded exactly why females dread shopping for these ocassions. Fortunately, the pain can be mitigated. Poker Chick presents her own golden rules on formalwear.
1. Know thy assets
(a.k.a. "Move away from the rack! It's not you, and it never will be!")
This rule saves an unbelievable amount of time, not to mention your self-esteem. There are a million dresses out there. You could be a 6 foot size 2 model, and they still will not all look good on you. Everyone's body is different and knowing in advance what works and what doesn't is huge. More importantly, you'll save yourself the tears of looking in a mirror and seeing a dress that's completely horrid. Most of us have natural tendencies to want to try these dresses on. Poker Chick calls this the poor-choice phenomenon. Poor-choice is a dangerous addiction that drives confident, beautiful women to fall apart, start dieting, get boob jobs, etc. Beware pushy salespeople who work on commission. Many are great, but many perpetuate the poor-choice phenomenon by convincing you that something looks great, when in fact - it does not (a good and honest friend can help you avoid this trap.)
How else do you avoid a fashion disaster? The answer varies considerably from person to person. In Poker Chick's case, the first step is to avoid couture that is too long, too busy, too polka-dotty, or has horizontal stripes. Next we eliminate anything that has too much fabric. It's overwhelming to a wee person. Finally, we must accept the fact that PC will never have "T&A"; not without surgery, at least. So we focus on the positive: legs, shoulders and back.
2. If it requires fancy undergarments, let it go.
Anything requiring a push-up, strapless, plunging, or convertible bra is waaaaaay too complicated. If it wants pantyhose, you don't want it. If you need any of those fancy tummy or thigh suckers to look good in it forget it. You need to be able to move. More importantly, you need to be able to eat. It's not worth the money if it's stopping you from indulging in the dessert table.
3. Don't look at price tags.
This one is a bit counter-intuitive. Shouldn't you stick to a budget? Of course. But if price is the first item you use to begin elimination, you'll always lose. "But Poker Chick?" you must be thinking. "What happens if the only dress that works is three times my budget?" Well, first of all, congratulations on finding something that works! One stunning dress at three times your budget is worth a thousand times more than three dresses at your initial budget. But if you still can't walk out of the store with it, you have many options, you just need to be persistent. A few ideas to start with:
- Make friends with the salesperson. Now that they know what you're looking for they can find you a similar cut/style in a better price range. This trick works at different stores too.
- Be persistent. Write down the name and style # and carry it with you. Look at different stores, or online; usually you can find the same dress for much less than you thought, often up to 70% less. (It's true! Poker Chick once fell in love with a $1,000 coat and found it for $299 one week later in a different store.)
- Ask if it's going on sale. Many times they'll hold it for you, or even give you the sale price that day if you promise not to tell anyone.