Kimballs Kreations -  Lorraine Kimball

Selecting the Style of Dress:

Consider which of the four figure types you probably fall into:

The inverted triangle is top heavy and carries weight through the bust and shoulders. Avoid the halter style! It will tend to make the bust line bigger. A V neck is good, plus it gives the illusion of a long neck. Consider the type of fabric in the dress--shiny fabrics reflect light and will make you look bigger.

The triangle has a heavier bottom half than the top half (ah, yes, it includes all of us with those great pear-shaped figures!). If you have this figure type you want to do everything you can to widen the shoulder area--off the shoulder styles are great because they create a horizontal line to balance your hips. Lace that goes across in a bateau neckline is also flattering. A Basque waistline dips to form a V at the center front and is slimming to the hipline (and tummy area). Most manufactured wedding gowns are cut with the Basque waistline.

The rectangle figure is straight up and down and can be either slender or full. In this case you want to create the illusion of shoulders and hips with dresses which have horizontal style lines in these areas. Again, off the shoulder is good, and dropped waist.

The hourglass is well-balanced and well-proportioned. Scale is important, though, especially in a petite figure. You will look good in several styles, so try on lots of dresses to see what you like best.

Comfort:

Recognize that you are probably going to want to move, hug your new Husband, sit down comfortably to eat dinner, dance, and enjoy your own wedding reception!

Fitting:

Off-the-shoulder dresses can restrict arm movement. Make sure you can lift your arms. Don't have your dress fitted so tightly that you can't breathe! It should fit snugly, but if you are uncomfortable, then have the seams let out. A word about tight skirts--make sure you can walk; otherwise, the music will probably have to be played over and over again to give you enough time to walk down the aisle taking tiny steps.

Time:

Selecting a wedding gown and ordering it from a bridal store can take up to six months, unless it is in stock or on sale and you can take it immediately. Having it made can take 2 - 3 months.

After the dress comes in to the store, it will probably need alterations (an average dress can cost between $100 and $200 in alterations), which is usually not included for free. Also, if you select a dress with an attached train, you will need to have it bustled. This process consists of sewing buttons and thread loops on top of the dress (over-bustle) or sewing ribbon loops and ties between the lining and the dress (under-bustle). The fabric is thus lifted off the floor and falls in folds around the back of the dress. Bustling can be expensive, so shop around! If you have a lot of material or bulky organza over satin, your dress will require more bustles in order for it to look pretty.

Quality:

Whether you are having a dress made or purchasing a dress, look over the dress carefully for the following items:

See if all the beading is on the dress! I did an alteration once where one sleeve was beaded but the other was forgotten.

Make sure the zipper matches at the top of the dress and that you cannot see the zipper teeth.

Make sure that any boning is correctly placed. Boning is used in off-the-shoulder dresses to make them stay up (it is a stiff piece of plastic flat tubing). The boning should not be directly over the bust line but off to the side providing support at the front and back of the dress.

Check for loose threads, puckered seams, etc.

Cost:

Shop around for the best VALUE.

If you don't happen to find a dress that fits perfectly, consider the additional costs (and stress) of having to pay more in alterations and time for fitting appointments. It can take several fittings when major changes are being made.

Fitting the garment is included when you have a gown custom-made and once you contract for a specific price, that's it! Also, on a custom-made gown, it can be cut to leave more material in the seams, so if you gain weight, it can be let out.