In an earlier post I had proposed the question, “What’s up with bridesmaid dresses anyway?” Why are Bridesmaid and Choir Dresses always so ugly? Well, maybe not Always. But more often than not.
Neither of my daughters-in-law wasted money on needless dresses – nor did my sister or I. No bridesmaids. No ugly dresses.
I had once heard someone describe the purposely made ugly dresses allows the bride to shine (Roz Doyle on Frazier)
I love the movie 27 dresses. Roland purchased the DVD one year and gave it to me for my birthday. The movie came with a humorous book called "101 Uses for a Bridesmaid Dress" by Cindy Walker. It provided ways to recycle. There were suggestions such as cutting the dress up into squares and washing your car. Or throwing the dress over the car to protect it from the elements.
How glorious it would have been to own 30 plus years ago. For one of the suggestions was to cut up the dress and make diapers for the first born of the bride who was responsible for dressing you in something so hideous. How cute my cousin would have looked in his great supply of lavender diapers, perhaps not as cute as my niece would have looked and how comfortable she would have been in pink taffeta diapers. Oh, the joys of trying to wash them.
The lavender dress – I kid you not – must have included one yard of fabric just for each sleeve. My aunt was trying to get something that would work on all nine of her bridesmaid (count them, nine, plus two flower girls) as they were all assorted lengths and sizes. It was a lot of fabric. A LOT – we could have dressed a small nation with all that fabric.
We had to keep our arms down as one raise would reveal any underwear that was put on underneath. Another aunt made the comment that we looked like purple bats. I know pictures of these outrageous dresses exist somewhere, but not in my own personal file. I’ll have to look harder.
My sister-in-law had chosen two shades of pink – taffeta of all fabrics. Seriously. The slips had to have sleeves sewn into them as I personally felt like I had brillo pads beneath my arm pits. I must admit that I did use the slip as a night gown, but I wore the dress only one time – and that was while I was in line at Patrick and Sunny’s wedding. Half of us looked like circus tents.
Then there are the choir dresses. For years and years the fabric at my high school had been green. That was the school color after all. I suppose they worked on some girls, but looked very awkward and out of place on others. Most of the shades that were chosen seemed to work. But there was one year it was decided to go with a completely different look. (Though I don’t think having the majority of the choir appear to have jaundice was the intent)
I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to use peach – more than half the girls appeared very sickly in appearance. And although the pale gray suits seemed to work on many of the guys – it didn’t really make any one of them stand out. It seemed to mask most of their facial features, I think. But then I’m no expert. But I don’t think the clothing selector was either.
I remember one choir that was dressed in black and blue. The entire choir itself looked like a giant bruise.
All choir dresses (not so much when they’re seen in a group as just with an individual) speak the language: “I want to be noticed. I want to stand out” and they do. But it certainly isn’t the attention that most girls are looking for. At least the choir dress will be worn more often than the bridesmaid dress (or so I would assume)
They can also be recycled as prom and drag queen dresses. Bless those wise brides that don’t have bridesmaids or at least dress them in silly dresses.