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Looking for a non wedding wedding dress!

(61 Posts)
TheWorldAccordingToJC Fri 27-Jun-14 12:29:38

I'm getting married at the end of August ( eek! ) and it's going to be a really really low key affair. No flowers, no photographers ... Just a simple ceremony and then lunch.

I can't bring myself to just throw on an existing outfit from my wardrobe though so I need something! And this is where it gets tricky. I don't want anything white or flouncy or wedding-y or over the top. Maxi dresses are out as I'm not very tall. Oh and nothing that requires heels.. I can wear maybe three inch heels max ... I am 5 foot 4 ( a shade under ) and my other half is 5 ft 7 tops.

I also don't like shoes really. I live in Toms , Vans, Uggs , a pair of pistol boots and a few other pairs of ankle boots.

Here's my stats ...

I'm just under 5 ft 4
I'm size 10. Not a toned, willowy size 10 however - an untoned one with wobbly bits and a fat stomach. 34/36 C or D bra size. So things like bandeau style dresses are tricky because I have a tendency to rolls of fat coming out the top.
I'm fair skin tone with brown hair and hazel eyes.

I'd like something that doesn't accentuate my stomach ( it's like an apron of fat and although I have Spanx , that tends to squidge the fat elsewhere ) and I'm not sure about those dresses that have a band under the bugs and then flare out because they make me look pregnant . I'd like something oyster coloured or mink etc but will consider anything at all bar neon and black / navy. Nothing too light because I fear I'll look enormous

I'm also old ( 42 ) but I don't want anything frumpy. Oh and I'd like to wear said dress with a pair of mink coloured suede mint velvet ankle boots ... Or would this be beyond wrong? In my head, it's cool and makes the look less ' formal ' plus it's more ' me '

So ... Please please please ... Any ideas? I've trawled John Lewis online and now am stuck.

Thank you !!

DenzelWashington Fri 27-Jun-14 12:38:17

Sleeves Y or N?

I would look at US Dept stores that ship here, Coast, Banana Republic, and Baukjen for starters. I found: this one, which is lovely, on Neiman Marcus.

DenzelWashington Fri 27-Jun-14 12:40:52

Oh, depending on budget, Matches is a great shop. My sister went for a special occasion dress and said they were very nice and helpful, even though by their standards her budget was small. They are online at and worth a look for ideas even if over-budget. is also worth a look. It seems daunting but once you refine your search by price, size and colour it's more manageable.

CMOTDibbler Fri 27-Jun-14 12:40:55

First thing that jumps out at me is that you are a size 10, and are wearing a 34/46 band bra. I'm betting you are a 30 band and at least an F cup. Grab a tape measure and follow the instructions on Bra Guru and I guarantee you will look way more svelte in the right bra.

tethersend Fri 27-Jun-14 12:52:37

What's your budget?

Something like this would work well with the ankle boots.

tethersend Fri 27-Jun-14 12:57:07

Or this

tethersend Fri 27-Jun-14 12:58:51


tethersend Fri 27-Jun-14 12:59:39


TheWorldAccordingToJC Fri 27-Jun-14 13:00:02

Ooh sorry! Forgot a few points

Budget is flexible. Hmmm up to maybe £350 £400 odd ? Happy for something fifty quid if it's lovely or £450 if it's amazing

Sleeves ideally. Like three quarter ones? I'd consider not if it's lovely otherwise

Length - knee length ? Tiny bit shorter ? Not too short because I'd look mutton

TheWorldAccordingToJC Fri 27-Jun-14 13:01:36

Cmot - yes bravissimo measure me at something insane like 32 F!! I've had their bras in the past and bloody hell they're tight! I favour the good old £6 lace full cup one from sainsburys... I buy loads of them!

Good point - maybe I should go and get measured again and buy one that holds me in

TheWorldAccordingToJC Fri 27-Jun-14 13:03:39

Tethers - I love the j crew one and really like the ASOS one! The first one is exactly the sort of thing I'm after... Plain ish whilst being nice and special iyswim

The j crew one is on my list definitely.

DenzelWashington Fri 27-Jun-14 13:04:39

Get measured at Rigby & Peller, I find them much better. Bravissimo gave me bras too tight to be wearable.

TheWorldAccordingToJC Fri 27-Jun-14 13:05:58

The bargain one is too garish for me. No patterns like that I don't think. I'd feel like a sofa. The ghost one is lovely but I think it would make my stomach would look huge. I can't stress enough how bad it is. Anything clingy or jersey is a no no... I get rolls of fat. It's like the apron of fat you get after a baby and no exercise shifts it? It can be hidden perfectly well in something structured like jeans though!

tibbysmum Fri 27-Jun-14 13:06:41

omg that ghost dress is gorgeous!

TheWorldAccordingToJC Fri 27-Jun-14 13:07:30

Yes I needed to yank my bravissimo one as I literally couldn't breathe. I'll look and see where rigby and peller are ... I'm in oxfordshire / Berkshire

I've got to go to work now but will check back later

Thanks SO much for suggestions so far. I've got a feeling I'll definitely Be getting some great ideas from this thread

tethersend Fri 27-Jun-14 13:10:17

Oh no, not the patterned one- the 'bargain' one comes in oyster, click on the swatch. The patterned one is awful.

different style

tethersend Fri 27-Jun-14 13:17:38


tethersend Fri 27-Jun-14 13:20:20


somedizzywhore1804 Fri 27-Jun-14 13:20:52

Try Courtesan Boutique

I wore "Dirty Dolly" for my wedding (the spotty one) with a black shrug but I've brought other styles from them for other peoples weddings and formal occasions. They do have a bridal section too which is pretty low key if you fancied something with a nod to bridal but not full on. The pics show their general range.... Prom style, evening style and more cocktaily as well as the bridal section.

Also don't be put off by the strapless thing. I'm a size 16, 5ft 8 and have 36GG bosoms but the backs can be ordered as laced and it fitted me really well. I looked dead slim in it!

whiteshirtandkhakipants Fri 27-Jun-14 13:24:46

i tied the knot in similar fashion and got my dress from TKMaxx.
i went on my own and grabbed a few to try, all pretty random and not necessarily stuff id try normally (am also very casual usually)
stumbled upon a lovely silk-chiffon, stone colour dress with some nice low key detailing that once on i realised really did me favours. was that label the miller sisters did (do?) twenty-seven or something?
anyways. was a bargain, and very nice.
so try there and be open minded; the ones i thought id like on looked horrid and this one looked dullerama on the hanger, i only tried it coz i was wooed by a label i recognised and thought it might be a bargain blush

DenzelWashington Fri 27-Jun-14 13:25:10

What about this one?.

DenzelWashington Fri 27-Jun-14 13:28:04

And I love this sort of thing, but would it be your style?

Scotslasslivinginfrance Fri 27-Jun-14 13:31:58

love this

DenzelWashington Fri 27-Jun-14 13:36:10

Great shape, shiny fabric. Vivienne Westwood is very flattering on women who aren't straight up and down.

tethersend Fri 27-Jun-14 13:40:21

Another vinatge one

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