As I mentioned in a previous post, my fiancé and I were considering getting legally married this October so I could finally have health insurance, but doing the actual wedding a year or so from now. Well the little legal ceremony is definitely happening. We’re holding it at my parents’ cabin in the countryside of upstate New York, with just immediate family.

We’re not doing any décor, no wedding cake, no rings…we really want it to not be a wedding, because we want the “real” wedding to be next year with all our friends and family; and we don’t want two weddings. The one thing I did need (well, “need”) to get for the mini ceremony was a cute little white frock that isn’t a bridal dress.

Giving myself a budget of $150 or less, I searched around online and came up with the following options:

“Ava” dress in blush from Pin Up Girl Clothing.
“Ava” dress in blush from Pin Up Girl Clothing.

This was the first one that popped into my mind. But it was completely sold out, so it turned out not to be a possibility. It’s also available in a bright white (they even call it “bridal white”), but as a pasty, pale girl, bright white is generally not my friend. In hindsight, I also think it’s a little mature and not quite as playful as I was looking for.

“University of Marilyn” dress from Modcloth.
“University of Marilyn” dress from Modcloth.

PUG put me in the mood for something vintage-looking but young and cute, so I next checked out Modcloth. They had some very cute short dresses, but they were a little too young for me. This Monroe-style frock was an exception, and it even went on clearance shortly after I found it…but the fabric looked cheap and it seemed a little too obvious.

Suzi Chin “Pleated Jersey Dress” from Nordstrom.
Suzi Chin “Pleated Jersey Dress” from Nordstrom.

A nicer version of the Modcloth dress. I really like that it has straps instead of a halter neckline (yay for wearing a regular old bra!). But it’s perhaps a little too ethereal for me. I prefer more tailoring.

“Honey” dress in antique white satin from Trashy Diva.
“Honey” dress in antique white satin from Trashy Diva.

I actually first came across this on Modcloth even though it’s a Trashy Diva frock, which I was planning on looking at anyway. Seeing all the reviews on Modcloth (with accompanying user-submitted photos), I was really on the fence with this one. I love the style and I know TD is high quality and that their sizing schema fits my body, but I was warned to stay away from this particular dress because it’s not aesthetically boob-pleasing. After looking at all the photos on Modcloth, I tend to agree. The under-boob swoop is not really designed to rest under your bust—it spans across it around two-thirds of the way down your boobs, even on smaller-busted ladies. It’s also very square-looking instead of rounded, especially on bigger-busted ladies.

“Ballerina Mini Dress” in ivory satin from Trashy Diva.
“Ballerina Mini Dress” in ivory satin from Trashy Diva.

The Honey dress wasn’t my only TD choice! I could be happy with practically any of their white/ivory frocks, but this one stood out the most after the Honey. I liked the full skirt and the clean, tailored torso.

“Alika Circle Dress” in off white from Bettie Page Clothing.
“Alika Circle Dress” in off white from Bettie Page Clothing.

This is the same dress Mia wrote about in her recent post, only in white.

Can you guess which dress I ultimately chose? The Alika! At first I was going to order four or five dresses and try them all on at home, then return the ones I didn’t want. But there’s a Bettie Page store in Manhattan, so I started by going there in person. And the second I pulled that dress over my head, I knew it was the winner, no contest.

It fits like a glove. The only other garment I own that fits this perfectly is a vintage dress from the ’50s that I inherited from my grandmother. Small wonder that the BP dress fits the same way, since Bettie was famous during the same years! It is just beyond flattering. My boobs look full without being over-emphasized, my waist looks tiny, and the skirt flares so perfectly out from my hips.

The fabric, too, is really wonderful. It’s hard to tell from the photos online, but it has a large white-on-white dot-within-a-dot pattern and a very subtle all-over oil slick-like sheen. That sheen makes me think it could match a range of shoe colors, which is good since I don’t plan on buying new shoes to go with this dress. Since I’ll be on grass, wedges would probably be best, but I was thinking about wearing these pink cuties that I purchased years ago from Aldo:

You can’t get more appropriate than heart shoes, right??
You can’t get more appropriate than heart shoes, right??

Finally, here is a shot of my in the Alika dress. I don’t plan on wearing my purple nerd glasses on the day-of and I desperately need a haircut, but you get the idea:

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Finally, my mom is in town for our yearly trip to the US Open, so we’re also going to get in a little dress shopping for the actual wedding, at David’s Bridal. It’s more of a research trip since I still don’t totally know what I want even after looking through a bunch of bridal magazines (all the ads show the same style—lacy mermaid or giant ballgown…boooooooring!), so expect another bridal blog post very soon.