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Topic: Formal/Cocktail/Cruise dress ideas  (Read 1561 times)
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« on: March 19, 2008 09:22:42 AM »

I've been enjoying the posts on the board for several days now...just gleaning information and letting the creative juices start whirling. I especially loved the "Fat Girls and Skirts" thread. But I digress...

I am going on a cruise in May. I'm a homeschooling mom and my son is graduating from high school this year. He and three of his friends are taking the cruise for their senior trip and the moms are going with them (not as chaperones as much as celebrating ourselves...we're all friends anyway).

We will have two formal nights on the cruise and I have nothing to wear! My dilemma in dress shopping online is coming from my "proportions" as I have a smaller bust, a big tummy and wide hips (no butt, just hips and belly)...47, 48, 56. I'm losing weight a bit, but my boobs always go first so that will only make the problem worse. If a dress fits in the top then it's too tight around my hips or if it fits the hips it's huge on top. I still have time to make some clothes, but I don't even know what will look good on me! I haven't worn formal wear in years. Does anyone have any suggestions for styles or patterns? I looked at the infinity dress thread and may try a prototype with some cheap fabric, but I'm leary of all that fabric around my hips. I LIKE the look of http://www.oldnavy.com/browse/product.do?cid=7323&pid=550907&scid=550907002
but I don't know if it would look right either. My upper arms have gotten pretty flabby too, but I can wrap a shawl or something and cover them.

I guess I'm just uncomfortable in my own skin! I want to embrace that I can be big AND beautiful, but it doesn't help any that the other three moms are all truly SKINNY. So, I need something (two somethings) to make me feel really special!!

ANY suggestions/ideas?? I'm on a limited budget too (we have fundraised all the money for the trip...bake sales, candles sales, etc.), so that is to be considered as well. I could use ideas for more casual cruise wear as well, sundresses, etc., but I'm also okay with capris and tops for that part.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008 09:25:52 AM by bretta » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008 09:45:45 AM »

I've got a friend whose built like that and the styles that are most flattering on her are actually relatively straight or A-line cut (but not tight), long dresses in a solid color, with no horizontal seams, unless they're right under the bust.  Also, she looks smashing! in pretty slacks and tunic length blouses/dresses.  I can't stress the smashing part enough.  Gorgeous!  She also has a dress that's mostly straight to the knee, with gores added at the very bottom for a flared hem that's darling.  Good luck, congratulations, and have fun!

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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2008 07:24:23 AM »

What about seperates like a long skirt (straight, mermaid, ballgown, whatever) with a fitted, waist-length top (like a corset style)... Then you can have the skirt to fit your hips and the top to fit your upper body. Plus you can get some cleavage-enhancing.  Cheesy Empire waist and/or a-line may work for you, too.

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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2008 09:13:31 PM »

Thanks for the advice, y'all. I live in a very small town so there aren't a lot of shopping/trying on options, but I will be going to Atlanta later next week, so I think I will try on some things in shops there and see if I can find something. You've been MOST helpful and I really appreciate it!

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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008 09:29:25 AM »

Ooh, one more observation:  in separates or dresses, don't have any horizontal lines crossing the widest part of your body (seams, shirt hems, etc.)  Seams aren't so bad if both fabrics are the same color, but you either want vertical lines (princess seams, usually) or none at all there, because it draws the attention, and will visually make that part of your body look wider than it is.  If you have nice legs, show them off with tunic length blouses that will draw the attention down.

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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008 04:08:07 PM »

No help for you on dress ideas, but just wanted to say I think its such a neat idea to be taking a celebration cruise with your son and friends after all those years of home school.  Bravo to you ma'am!

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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008 10:35:47 AM »

I quite like the Old Navy dress, especially in the blue color.  I think it would look very nice with a pretty shawl and some nice jewelry. 

I have very similar measurements to you, and most of the more formal patterns I've looked at in my size are rather ugly.  I've been thinking about trying Simplicity 2981 (in the Khaliah Ali collection) in a more formal fabric and seeing how that turns out.  I can't find any pattern reviews for it though, so I have no idea how difficult it is to make.

Good luck on finding a dress, and have lots of fun on your cruise.
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008 10:52:20 AM »

I have a similar shape and I've found what works for me is a knee length skirt that's a bit fitted with a bit of a flared shape, and a top with a fairly low v-neck. For formal things I have a beautiful aubergine silk skirt with silver beading & sequins, that I wear with a solid black wrap top with a low v-neck, and sparkly jewelry & shoes & evening bag, often something like a feathery or sparkley hair decoration or hat, and a wrap if it's cold. It draws attention away from my middle, and to my legs and face, and the beading and accessories provide the glam. You can always go with  something tailored and black, and accessorize it to glam it up. For exacmple, a suit can by made into a lovely evening outfit if you like that kind of style, or a black dress or skirt/top. Since I have a lot of "curves" in places I don't want them, I stick to pretty clean lines, it seems like extra foofiness or flowy stuff makes me look even bigger and lumpier. Most importantly, wear something that makes you feel good, and something that you can relax about! And HAVE FUN!

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