We'd planned a day of thrift store hopping, hoping to find at least a few dresses that peaked my interest for our special day. Just a week before, I spent and entire lovely day weeding through nearly all of the vintage stores around midtown (there's quite a few fantastic little shops). Although I came home with an awesome gift for my big bro's 30th birthday (Alf viewfinder set- stil sealed) and a delicious pin for my future husband (vintage 70's "Worlds Greatest Lover"), I ended up sadly dress-less. I called my mom and set up the first of what I expected to be many all-day shopping excursions looking for that perfect, offbeat, all-about-my-personality dress.
Our plan was to go to a W.E.A.V.E. thrift store, where it was 50% off all items all day. I knew that they kept all their wedding dresses at one store and that the majority of dresses were priced at $150 or less. I pulled out $100 from our account and readied myself to spend more than the $50 I was hoping for- or not to find anything at all. Yes, I was ready for a day of disappointment, though I knew her mojo would at least score me other things I could use.
On a whim, we stopped by one of the many Good Will thrift stores on our way to the WEAVE store. Now, unlike many stores that price their items individually, this store priced the majority of their clothing items by category (ie. women's shoes- $5, men's pants - $6). This meant that, aside from special items that were individually tagged or in a glass case, all items of that category were the same price, regardless of retail value or condition. We headed over to the women's dresses and found a short, white, halter-style dress not five minutes into our search. I was a formal dress and, yet, not tagged for individual pricing. I wasn't positive that it was the look I wanted, but nonetheless immediately tried it on- I didn't even check the size. It fit- slightly snug, but it fit.
How much was this beautiful base? $6. Yes, that's right, six dollars. The outside was nearly flawless except for a small yellow mark and a bit of dirt around the bottom edge. The inside chest area was very sweat stained, but I figured that wouldn't matter since it wouldn't show on the outside. Although I wasn't planning for an all-white dress, I figured it was a fantastic base and more than affordable to add my own personality to. When I got home, I drenched the dress in a bucket full of warm water and two scoops of Oxo Brite, an earth-friendly whitener that was passed on to me by the queen of good mojo herself. I was just hoping to lighten up the stains a bit, but it completely removed them!
I'm not posting the photo of the dress here since Josh doesn't want to see it before the big day. However, like I said, it's all white- something I'm not keen to. Going for a nature theme, I started searching for DIY modification ideas. I really like the look of this painted dress. This dress is beautiful, but complicated. My dress is 100% polyester. It's extremely hard and dangerous to die polyester, so I'm going to experiment with the wedding-dresses-scraps that were given to me by a fellow Offbeat Bride Tribe member in Davis. I'm going to start with fabric crayons, then, if that doesn't satisfy me, the stamps. More on polyester fabric color options here.
Another option is to add 3D accents. I'm not sure if I could dye the sheer straps on my dress since I think they're also polyester, but I could add some butterflies. Here's a dress decorated with butterflies, though I'd prefer only a handful at the most (wow- dream butterfly dress). I could also inject some color and swagger by adding a showing crinoline. Here's a photo of a bride who dressed up her white dress with multi-colored crinoline. If I did this, I'd want to stick to browns and greens. Of course, plain green or brown would look great, too.
I'd also want to cover up or do something with the rhinestones that line the bottom of the bust, which are well sewed in. They look great on the dress, but that glitzy look isn't what I'm going for. I wrapped a fuzzy green scarf under my chest (flat fabric didn't cover the middle stones) and it looked surprisingly fitting when combined with the plastic butterfly hair clips I had.
My mom is an incredible artist, though she mostly works through crafts and digital photography. I think that the two of us will easily come up with a unique dress that fits my personality, our wedding theme and the importance of the occasion, and I look forward to working with her on it.