50 Shades of Navy
No, this is not the post where things get really weird and I unveil my knock-off Twilight erotica. (Note to Dad: “50 Shades of Navy” is a play on the very popular erotica series currently on the bestseller list called 50 Shades of Grey. It’s kind of based on that vampire series, Twilight. Ask my sister about it, she read it. I would never read it because I’m your sweet, innocent angel. I don’t even understand half of what it’s about.)
This is the post where we discuss bridesmaid dresses. Navy bridesmaid dresses.
One of my best friends, we’ll call her D for now, is getting married next month, and I’m bringing plenty of honor to the Maid of Honor role. She asked us to pick our own dresses, “Just choose something navy,” she said. This is both awesome and awful. By allowing us to pick our own dresses, she’s giving us the chance to buy dresses we will actually wear again. She’s letting us find something that actually works and sparing us the humiliation of unfortunate cap sleeves and obvious underarm fat. She’s also forcing us to make a decision for ourselves when it would be so much easier to bitch and moan about the terrible dress she picked because she’s a size zero (SERIOUSLY) and doesn’t understand body type. Now if my dress looks terrible, I can only blame myself. In these photos that we’ll see billions of times on Facebook and in picture frames, my horrible dress is a disaster of my own making. Thanks a lot, D.
Luckily, navy is a universally flattering color, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a dress that looks fantastic, right? Um, you’ll see. There are not literally 50 dresses. But there are 30. I’m not kidding.
First up, dresses I already own.
Dress 1: A cotton J Crew Swiss Dot sundress. It’s a beach wedding, so I can go casual. Didn’t feel special enough though. Not very, “celebrate eternal love.”
Dress 2: A J Crew wedding dress with flimsy chiffon layers and a v-neck. The technical term for this is “Mehhhhh.” This is probably what D was trying to avoid.
Dress 3: A swingy knit dress with ruffly layers. Actually, a pretty cute and fun dress, but it felt too casual and I already wore it to the engagement party.
Dress 4: The really great eyelet dress that really doesn’t fit anymore, hence my sucking-in fish face. If I really focused on diet and exercise, I would look great and could not eat a thing during the wedding weekend. NEXT.
Dress 5: The sweet garden party dress with the white linen under layer. Not bad, but there’s a noticeable toothpaste stain on the bust. Damn you, teeth whitening bleach! Also, my weird uneven scoliosis hips are obvious, and I don’t love that.
So, from there we move on to the mall and assorted boutiques.
Dress 6: A business casual Rebecca Taylor number. Anything that requires me to tie a square knot after drinking celebratory champagne is probably not a great option.
Dress 7: A sale dress at Nordstrom. Not bad, but I wasn’t sure she would approve of the white accents. And let’s be honest: I need at least a C-cup for this.
Dress 8: A famous Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. I don’t care how flattering some people say they are; you can see my flanks. I’m like a show pony. Also, putting this one on required extensive knowledge of the laws of physics, and thanks to a really sub-par senior year science teacher, I have no ability there.
Dress 9: A Jessica Simpson dress. Hence the vacant blonde look. I didn’t want to like this. You see JSimps acting like a dumb blond and you’re like, “Ugh, I don’t want to support her making money by acting stupid.” But then you try on the dress that really does hang right and you’re like, “FINE, Jessica. You win this time.” I kept looking on principle though.
Dress 10: The Cape Dress. This is obviously the frontrunner.
Dress 11: This is fine, but it just exists. It’s like The Mentalist of dresses.
Dress 12: This is only here because I look skinny.
Dress 13: The Mermaid Scales dress. Give me a talking crab and a fish friend and I could make this “Part of Your World.”
Dress 14: The Hippie Dress. I think the top part is made of hemp. No, really.
Dress 15: The Ruffle Butt dress. It photographs well, but I was a pair of boots and a can of hairspray away from getting hired as a back up singer for Taylor Swift, which would not be a bad life, actually.
Dress 16: In this one, I channel a Real Housewife of Whatever. Maybe Julie Cooper from The OC.
Dress 17: The dress that tried to choke me. Otherwise: totally cute.
Dress 18: There’s really not anything wrong with this one. It’s totally acceptable. It’s just kind of redundant. It’s the Rock Center of dresses.
Dress 19: I call this one “Ren Faire Skank.”
Dress 20: These are starting to look the same, right? Like maybe I should just pick one already? Whatevs. This one has a belt which I think D won’t like.
Dress 21: Yawn.
Dress 22: At this wedding, we go clubbing. I need some fishnets and some feather earrings and some shoes with goldfish in the bottom.
Dress 23: In this dress, I can channel my inner Stevie Nicks. This is not a small consideration. I can also store snacks in the sleeves.
Dress 24: Oh! This one is totally cute and fits well and has a good shape and flatters my skin tone. It’s not navy, but everyone will be drinking, right?
Dress 25: It’s hard to tell, but the inner shell of this one is covered in sequins. Party in the front, Miss America pageant in the back.
Dress 26: No, you’re right; this one does look pretty swell and my hair is suddenly fantastic and I should probably just go live in the Banana Republic dressing room because everything just works there. But it’s so, “She’s got upper middle management written all over her,” you know?
Dress 27: At least in this one I can eat dessert.
Dress 28: Here’s where I got to Anthropologie and channeled one of those girls with a fashion blog who takes herself really seriously while posting what she wears every day. Also, I feel like an extra on Mad Men.
Dress 29: This is essentially my First Communion dress, but dyed navy and without a sailor collar.
So what’s the verdict? Some of these are okay, but nothing really gave me that special “zing.” I think I found a pretty good one, though. I’m saving it for the wedding, so you’ll have to wait. I’ll give you a hint: it’s navy.