Cinnamon Girls’ Dresses

After contemplating a cute, but probably too-casual dress on Etsy, and then a better-on-the-hanger Anthropologie dress, the Cinnamaids have something to wear!

We never really went on shopping trips together – we had the one abortive trip to Anthro, and then I sent them various links to things. It was getting late in planning to not have these booked, so I went and put down a deposit with Amanda Archer for two dresses. Now, I’m not that controlling a bride – it was a dress both ladies had seen pictures of and had said would be nice to wear.

Painted Roses Dress by Amanda Archer on Etsy.

We’re getting it in a nice teal colour called Glacier.

Going the custom route really was the best choice for us, as there is a 10″ height difference between my two maids of honour. Oddly enough, there isn’t a 10″ difference in the length of the dresses from shoulder to hem. I guess A’s height is mostly in her legs, not torso? That difference can also be length preference, I told them knee-ish, above or below, whichever makes them feel best.

Accessories and shoes I am not planning on planning. They’re not clones, and although I wanted them in the same dress, I don’t want them to be exact replicas of each other, that would be silly! One has short spiky pink-and-black hair (currently!) and the other has straight blonde hair. They are both free to accessorize as they choose. It also takes that stress off me! πŸ˜‰

It is so great to have that checked off the list too. Now everyone has clothes to wear! Well, the groomsmen are responsible for their own black suits, so I don’t know how they’re getting on. We’re probably going to cover their vests, and shoes if we go with something other than black dress shoes.

Did you buy any clothes online for the wedding?

We Took Action…

You might remember my soppy love letter to Anthropologie about their Take Action dress. It was a beautiful-looking dress from my favourite clothes store, and in my wedding colours to boot! Match made in heaven, right? I even found a time when both Cinnamaids and I were free to meet at the mall! No mean feat!

20076550_038_b

The Take Action Dress – Anthropologie

We met at the mall, and all was well. Cinnamon Buns dropped me off and said hi to the girls before going to get an oil change and groceries. I thought I was getting a great deal, being left at my favourite store while he traipsed around Safeway!

We picked up the dresses that had been reserved for my girls to try on, and went straight to the fitting rooms. I suppose the first warning sign should have been when the 5’4″ bridesmaid and the 6’1″ bridesmaid said they took the same size in dresses. I suppose my hope deep down was that it would fit tall Cinnamaid A, then we could get Cinnamaid K’s hemmed.

There are no pictures of them in the dressing room because…. it wasn’t pretty. And neither wanted to stay in the dress long enough to be photographed! Needless to say, it was about the right length on Cinnamaid K, and uncomfortably short on Cinnamaid A. The cute little pleat at the neck made the top bag weirdly on each of them. And, there’s something a little odd going on the straps – I’d expect the outside of the strap to be straight up and over the shoulder, but they taper towards the neck a bit. I wouldn’t say it was ‘weird’ but the lines of the garment over the shoulder were not what I generally expect from a dress. It sounded so perfect for us on paper (and in model-less photos) but in reality, it definitely wasn’t meant to be. I was so set on it when we went into the store, but it was easy to leave it behind once each girl came out of the dressing room to an overwhelming ‘eh….’.

The Cinnamaids got out of their matching dresses pretty fast, and we browsed around the rest of store. I hadn’t realised that I would be introducing them both to Anthro that day! Our store is only a couple months old, but I’ve been stalking the website for so long I forget other people don’t know about it.

I have found a new love since the disappointment with the Take Action dress, though:

The Painted Roses Dress by Amanda Archer. It comes in all sorts of colours (samples are on their way to me right now!) and better yet, it is custom made. As in, one can be 6″ shorter than the other!

Did you have your heart set on something, only to find it in no way suited your bridal party? Was it easy to move on?

A Love Letter to Anthropologie

Dear Dearest Darling Anthro,

I am finally putting words to my emotions and am writing this letter to tell you my true feelings. At first I read your name on the internet, and found a cute clothes store that I didn’t think too much about after closing that browser window. Then we bumped in to each other again late one night in Portland Oregon, after I stumbled out the wrong exit of Powell’s Books (reeling from the delicious book fumes). I bought one of my favourite dresses ever that day, and I still treasure it.

When my fiance and I went to San Francisco, not even the excitement of getting engaged could keep me from visiting you, and spending more than I should have. Once I got home and started browsing for bridesmaid dresses, I found this:

anthro bridesmaids

(from The Knot)

It looks like another bride has a similar relationship to you and I! I dreamed about being able to buy bridesmaid dresses (and me dresses!) from you. Every weekend that summer I debated jumping in the car and going to visit you in Edmonton. I almost managed to convince myself that 3 hours of driving in each direction would be worth it for another sight of you, but I never did get in the car. I kept a close eye on your lovely website though, and that is where I heard it, those sweet sweet words: Anthropologie. Opening in Calgary. Winter, 2010. Instantly I started counting down, trying to divine exactly which day of winter 2010 you would open your doors here in my city.

But while I waited, all the countdowns and checklists that brides are assaulted with kept urging me to make a bridesmaid dress decision. I even did the research and found a dress I liked made by someone else. I’m sorry I didn’t trust in you, but at least that dalliance was with an Etsy seller, right?

I was there, the day you opened your doors on December 17th, and every dress I saw was sized up as an option. I’m sorry to say that none of them were right for the wedding. You were too full of corduroy and wool and long sleeves. While I like those things, they do not work for summer bridesmaid dresses. I tried to make it up to you by buying some long-sleeved corduroy dresses for me. :)

The New Year has been rung in, and now that I can say “I’m getting married this year” I started worrying about not having dresses for my ladies. I spent time fondling the swatch of fabric the Etsy seller sent me, looking it at how perfectly it matched the shirt we bought Cinnamon Buns for the big day. I started to think that I wouldn’t get to be an Anthropologie bride. I’m so sorry I doubted you! You made me wait, you tested me, you teased me, and now you send me the perfect wedding (or is it engagement?) present:

20076550_038_b

Anthropologie

A light, floaty dress, with bra-covering straps, a pattern, and in my wedding colours? My patience is rewarded!

Of course dear Anthro, the proof will be in the pudding, as they say. This dress isn’t available online until January 18th, and I don’t know if that means stores don’t get it until then. You can be sure I will check in with you every time I am in the vicinity, and as soon as I see that dress, THAT DRESS in the store I will know if your teal is teal enough, your apple tart enough, the dress cute enough for my ladies. I’m hoping it will be.

Please, don’t let me wait too long, my gorgeous one?

Miss Cinnamon Bun

The Cinnamon Girls

Now that I have my dress all figured out, I have to figure out what to dress my Cinnamon Girls in! I have two Cinnamaids, aka my maid and matron of honour. I’ve seen so many inspiring weddings where the maids weren’t wearing the same dresses that I thought about that for a while. I think I’ve decided (and I reserve the right to change my mind!) that as there will only be two girls, mismatched dresses might end up looking like one girl lost her dress or something. If there were 3 or more, it’d be more obvious that it was a choice.

So: find one dress that flatters two ladies. One who is about 5’4″, and one who is about 6’1″. Easy peasy.

mutt and jeff

My mum told me once that Cinnamaid A and I look like these two when we’re together.

Oh, and both would be more comfortable with straps on their dresses, which is absolutely fine. We can’t all have a bust that doesn’t exist according to certain designer’s size charts. πŸ˜‰

As I’ve mentioned before, I am looking for a nice teal dress, hopefully something they can wear again. I started looking where it made sense: bridal designers. I scoured many websites, looking for that perfect shade of teal, and a perfect dress. I came up with a few things:

Bridesmaid Mosaic

Top to bottom, left to right:

#1 Alfred Angelo 7014, #2 Alfred Angelo 7053, #3 Alfred Sung D435
#4 Dessy 2780, #5 Lela Rose LR110, #6 Lela Rose LR122
#7 Lela Rose LR124, #8 Watters 4335, #9 Watters 4335
#10 Watters 4826, #11 Watters 7341, #12 Watters 7358

Whew, that’s a lot of dresses! They are for the most part pictured in the right colours. #9 comes in the same teal as #11 and #12 (called ‘Nile’) but there wasn’t a photo. #10 would have an aqua skirt, not yellow. #7 is pretty, but doesn’t come in the right blue, just green.

Looking at these all together like this helped me to distill my thoughts:

  • Most of them are floaty, chiffon-y fabrics
  • Lots have interesting details, like flowers or lace
  • Teal can be called: Tealness (Alfred Angelo), Nile (Watters), Oasis, Marine, Caspian, Ocean Blue (the Dessy Group dresses)
  • Aqua can be called Foliage (#8)
  • Apple green can be Kiwi (#1), or Clover (#7)

My absolute favourite, hands-down in this bunch is #11. It is fitting that my dress and my favourite of these dresses are the same design house, I think.

Screen shot 2010-10-27 at 11.06.05 PM

Watters 7341 neckline close-up (in Chocolate)

I. Love. This. Dress. It’s floaty, and it has some flower detail like my dress does! There was also a dress in the Nile colour on a mannequin in the store when I was trying my dress on, and I made a mental note of the colour because it was so perfect. The thing that is not perfect is that the bridal store does not have this particular bridesmaids dress. As the Canadian distributor for Watters, you’d think they’d have them all, but nope. Not the one I want. Also, close inspection of this neckline makes me think that even though there are straps, you’d still need a strapless bra because of the shape. A halter-style bra would show, because the straps go straight down in the back.

I honestly couldn’t tell you which dress would come in second place out of those 12 – that I’d have to leave to the girls.

I’ve had these dresses dancing around in my head for a while, when I decided to search for ‘teal dress’ on Etsy. Jackpot! And, as always happens to me, my top contenders were sellers that were already in my favourites for other things! (click the photos to go to the listing)

Katharina by Lirola on Etsy

Lucky Number 7 by Ureshii on Etsy

Coming Up Roses by Ureshii on Etsy

I’ve been wanting to order a shirt from Ureshii (Canadian company! Yay!) for aaages but have been plagued by my usual indecision. I had a top favourited from Lirola’s store too!

The great thing about these dresses is that they are made from scratch to your measurements. And, extra length can be added! Or taken away! And they’re cheaper than the wedding-designer-dresses.

My favourite here is the Katharina dress. There are a couple different versions in the shop – one is more of a tank shape on the top, but the neckline and armholes are unfinished on that one. I think the finishing on the neckline and the little flutter sleeves on this one make it a bit more polished. It comes to just above the knee, I’d prefer it be at or just below the knee I think, but that’s really about the girls’ comfort level. I think the ruffles are a great echo of the detailing on my dress. I realize that my dress is floral embroidery, which is why I call it an echo, not an imitation. But, at least in the photos, the Ureshii dresses look a bit more finished.

My one concern is that these dresses might be a bit casual? They are jersey, which is a more casual fabric. I have a black jersey dress though, and I love it to pieces: its as comfy as PJs and I can wear any accessories with it. I think I could see Katharina dressed up though, with shiny shoes, nice jewelery, maybe even a belt or sash.

How would you accessorize this dress for a wedding? I’m seeing metallic shoes and sparkly belts, and bouquets in apple green and white.