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How to work out best wedding dress styles?

by Jeff

Hi Jane, thanks for your mail about the estyle program - you'll be pleased to hear the technical glitches sorted themselves out, so we've guessed it was something to do with our computers rather than your software.

We have another question, would be grateful for your thoughts.

We're getting married this year, and are in the process of getting 2 dresses made for Ann - one for a slightly more formal registry office ceremony, the other a more dressy, but fun and slightly less formal dress for an evening reception. Our problem is finding ideas to explore for shapes/styles for the top of the dresses.

We've been building up a wardrobe for Ann over the last year, slightly complicated by the fact that as she's recovered from a health condition over the last 3 years which at its peak caused quite a lot of weight gain because of the medication. As things settle down, we've experimented, and are fairly clear on colours, style etc that work/don't work for day to day casual and formal wear, but haven't got the same experience and confidence on more dressy situations.

From what we can see on the portfolio, there is little on evening wear or dressy occasions? So our questions are as follows:
- where could we look for to get ideas on basic options of shapes/styles for the top of a dress for these kinds of situations? we've looked at online catalogues for examples, but can't find a way of categorising the basic options we're seeing,
- if we were to provide you with some more information, would you be able to provide any views or guidance as part of your service? we're not looking at a private email consultation at this point, although we may come back to you later for something like that for her business wardrobe, which is the next part of the plan :-)

So we haven't given you in this mail any information on Ann's profile, as we're not expecting anything other than general opinions, and suggestions on where we could look further, before perhaps coming back to you for specific views later ie we are not expecting any specific advice on Ann's situation at this stage.

Hope you can help - and unfortunately we've got some time constraints because of personal circumstances, so would be really grateful if you're able to respond to this as quickly as convenient please.

Finally, we both just wanted to say how great your site and service have been for us over the last year - we've found a lot of your information very helpful in figuring out which risks are worth taking!

Thanks again, and look forward to hearing from you

warm regards

Jane's answer... Hi Jeff & Ann,
I'm pleased to hear you can now see the estyle pictures and that Ann's finding her estyle program useful. You may also be pleased to hear that a men's version of the program is due for release around March/April this year! And thank you for your kind words about my website.

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

Looking at online catalogues is a great idea for getting ideas for Ann's wedding dresses. Also look at pattern catalogues, for example Vogue, there are often separate catalogues for formal and wedding dresses. Ann can also try on dresses in the shops. Take photos of the dresses you like, so you remember them.

As you say, the estyle program doesn't have examples of formal or wedding dresses. However, the style recommendations can still be applied to formal wear...

To work out the styles that will suit Ann best use the recommendations for dresses and lengths, or look at the recommendations for tops and skirts in your estyle program and combine them. Start with the silhouette of the dress then work down from the shoulders. Look at the lifestyle recommendation on each style element to work out if it will be suitable for the occasion (click on the picture of the style element to see the description to the right). For instance a notched collar is suitable for all occasions, a hoodie is more casual.

Consider the level of formality of your wedding and the reception when selecting the styles and fabrics. In general the more tailored the outfit and the stiffer the fabric, the more formal the outfit will look. For more help with levels of formality I recommend the Occasion Magic ebook.

By all means ask me more specific questions either in a comment below or in a separate style question form (you can include photos and scanned sketches in this too). Alternatively I can offer a private online consultation using a combination of email and Skype. Contact me by email if you'd like to find out more about this option.

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jane liddelow

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