Dress Dilemma- Chapter Three: New Zealand (Again)

When we last left off I had gotten over my painful breakup with Adele Wechsler by trying on some pretties by Nicole Miller. But I still wasn’t sure that a brand new dress was right for me.

A few weeks later, after visiting several bridal shops in the U.S., I went back home to New Zealand empty handed with a picture of Nicole Miller HG0013 firmly positioned on the desktop of my computer and a better idea of what I was looking for in a dress. I had bookmarked the websites of a few used-dress websites and checked them daily, ok, more like hourly to see what was on offer. Turns out there were more used dress options than I knew existed. They were gorgeous, reasonably priced, and reused. I was sold. This was definitely the route I was going to take.

But then, one day while killing a few hours in Hamilton waiting for Mr. Veggie something caught my eye. How could I have not seen this store before? It’s only two doors down from the Salvation Army (a must-visit whenever I’m in the big city). And look at this pretty little number. Pay no attention to my angry looking face or body language, I was actually very happy. Note to self: no hands on hips on the big day.

Yeah, I know its blue. Just ignore that for a minute. This is the Didion Rose dress made by Annah Stretton. She is a Kiwi designer that uses kiwi fabrics.

My thought line here is this: buying kiwi-made supports our local economy. It also saves me from having to ship an American bought dress over to NZ for alterations, thus lowering the carbon footprint of the dress. And, although it is a fairly expensive dress, it is still under $1000 kiwi, which with the exchange rate comes in way under the price of any American dress I found.

But local doesn’t necessarily mean eco. And, this is still a new dress that would be made for me for just one day.

So I did what any sensible girl would do. I went to try it on three more times with various girlfriends. The third time they had the ivory color in stock, so I took some more pictures (with a cell phone, sorry), so I could truly deliberate.

In the end I decided that I liked it, but didn’t love it. The shape wasn’t the most flattering (hello hips). Neither the eco footprint or the pricetag were low enough to justify me buying a brand new dress. Goodbye Annah Stretton. You really are fabulous. Maybe we’ll meet again some day.

By this point the dress hunt was making my brain hurt. Local or not? Eco fabrics or conventional? Used or new? What size, what style, what color? Sanity gone. I need a break from all this dressing.

Was your dress hunt stressful? Please tell me I’m not the only one. What were you most worried about? Any thoughts on how I should proceed?

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