March 25, 2011

Why You Should Never Try on Your Wedding Dress 14 Years Later


My in-laws are visiting from California this week. As usual, they brought small gifts for the kids. They also brought something special for me. It came wrapped in a plastic trash bag.

"I cleaned out my closets a few weeks back and found it," my mother-in-law told me.

Inside the bag was my wedding dress.

"I have to try this thing on," I told my husband. I was so excited I could barely stand it.

He advised against my plan for several reasons, all of which centered around the unlikely possibility that the dress might not fit like it used to.

"Of course it's going to fit," I told him. Just to be sure, I waited until after 11pm to try it on, the time of the day when good judgment and perspective on what's really important in life are at their peak.

I don't know what happened to my upper body over the past decade and a half, but my shoulder blades appear to have sprouted into wings. My rib cage has also spread at least three inches.

"It's because you've had babies," my husband said matter-of-factly. "Your body changes."

"I didn't give birth out of my rib cage!" I snapped.

After that, my husband didn't make any more comments about the effects of pregnancy on the female body.

I spent the next ten minutes preparing to send my Spanx into battle.

The supportive undergarment was unsuccessful at getting me into the dress but successful at encouraging me to look up pictures of Victorian corsets on the Internet.

"You are overreacting," my husband told me. By now it was 11:45pm and he was trying to sleep.

To prove him wrong, that night I slept in the constrictive shape wear (super duper comfortable) and didn't eat anything for breakfast the next morning.

Still nothing. Evidently rib cages cannot be put on diets.

49 comments

Leanne said...

I decided long ago that this is the reason that the dry cleaners SEAL the boxes that they return wedding dresses in. Mine is in a sealed box and until my girls want it to wear, it's staying sealed. I know more than my rib cage has spread. Sigh.

Laurel and Jeremy said...

I have yet to have my dress cleaned and sealed...and i am only 7 years into my marriage..but 2 babies later..i know i wont fit into mine and yet i still have the stupid desire to want to try...

Emily Heizer Photography said...

My best friend actually tries her dress on once a year as like a check in point for herself. Of course, she only tries it on when she knows she will fit in it. LOL She is pregnant with baby #5 right now, and will celebrate her 8th anniversary next month.

When she was just barely pregnant with baby #4 ( she didn't even know yet, she found out when we made a pit stop at a walgreen's bathroom on the way home when I flew out to salt lake to visit her) we shot these trash the dress pictures! She had been married six years I think when we shot these:
http://eheizerphotography.blogspot.com/2008/11/kristins-trash-dress-great-salt-lake.html

And then I actually shot her sister's trash the dress last year. She had had two kids, and had been married 5 years when we did it. she had a little more trouble getting in her dress, lol, we actually broke the zipper off of it the night before trying to get her into it, and we had to make her wear an anicient victorian corset to get it on and it was TIGHT! But she was super skinny when she got married too! lol http://eheizerphotography.blogspot.com/2009/05/beauty-in-breakdown-shirlenes-trash.html

I bet you could do it Jana. We just need a little crisco and some fishing line. lol

Why didn't you post a picture?!!!

Jordan McCollum said...

Nobody warned me about the rib cage spreading! My jackets didn't fit after baby #2. (Now, after baby #3, nothing fits!)

Aaron and Devony said...

When I was 5 or 6 months pregnant I decided to try on my dress, thinking it would be the last time I was able to (I anticipated the spreading). I shoved myself into it and was proud that it still fit. Then I realized I couldn't get out of it! It took a lot of wiggling and stretching!

Nichole said...

Just wanted to say, mine is in my Mother-in-law's closet in a white plastic bag as well. It's only been 9 for me, but it would take a miracle for it to fit me!

Crystal Jeffers said...

Ha I got married in Reno Nevada in my jeans and a T shirt. :) no worries there I already know I out grew them after I had my first child. :)

Melody B. said...

Cracking up over here. Cut your poor self some slack though! While rib cages (and hips) may spread, shoulder blades transformed into wings, boobs heading south like two 80 yr. olds to Florida, and a road map of stretch marks have taken up residence on our mid-sections...could ya/would ya trade it for one of those precious kiddos?

Don't answer that! :)

Melody B. said...

I vote for you to post a wedding pic so we can see the dress! :)

Dana Michelle said...

hilarious! love your blog.

dana
http://theabundantlifeblog.com

Kerrie (and Jason) said...

Like Leanne mine is in a sealed box for a very good reason and its been in there nearly 14 years now. It had no hope of fitting me after 2 years of marriage - right about now I reckon I could only get one leg in it. If you know of any ten year old brides who want a dress just PM me. lol

Angela Noelle of SK said...

This post is stellar.

Mom said...

That is exactly the reason I RENTED my wedding dress. After 12 babies, I just didn't want to know...
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

ROTF!My mother just recently sent me my Jr high grad/ sr prom dress. Yes...it fit me both times. Alas...when she sent it to me and I am now in my mid thirties....telling you..I can't even get this dress over my KNEES. I was a size 3 or less back then, and now...I'd be lucky to get that damn dress over ONE of my thighs. My youngest boy...the fashion junkie...saw that dress when it was sent to me...and promptly said..."DAMN! You used to be that skinny?"(ergh) and then..."Can I lend that to my girlfriend?"

Ugh.

So much for tact and teens.

Candee

Q said...

What I don't understand is why the mother-in-law had the dress. Another commenter said her MIL has hers, too. Not in a million years would I trust my MIL with my dress.

Tricia ~~ Handmade Whimzy said...

My dress is also sealed in a drycleaners box. I'm afraid it would turn to dust if I opened it.
And it's been 20 years for me. It was a size 0. Unfortunately, I am no longer a size 0. sigh

I remember back in the day when I would go to Victoria's Secret for new underwear and I would complain because there weren't enough size Extra small. sigh again.

Vicky said...

You brave woman!!! You have more guts than I do!! Kudos to you for attempting the dreaded feat!!

Marissa said...

"I didn't give birth out of my rib cage!"
LOL awesome!

Rocket Ma'am said...

I concur, my ribcage has expanded. At least it makes your waist look smaller.

Grammy T. said...

You are so seriously funny!!!! I am going to send a link of your post to my girls. They will laugh their selves silly. :)

Laurie said...

I love today's post! I just celebrated my 13th wedding anniversary and pulled out my wedding pictures to put one on Facebook. I kid you not, I think I stared at my waist for a good 5 minutes, amazed I was ever that small. Yeah, I don't think I'd dare try on my wedding dress, I know for sure it wouldn't fit.

Talking about wedding dresses, I had a friend make a couple of blessing dresses out of hers for her daughters. I don't know if I'd have the guts to do that to my wedding dress, but I thought it was a cute idea if you were willing to cut it up and do something with it.

Samurai Mom said...

My sisters and I tried on our dresses last year and discovered the same thing, the waists fit but the ribcage no way!

Connie said...

After 20 years of marriage and 8 babies, I lost 45 pounds and was 8 lbs lighter than the day of my wedding. I decided to try on my wedding dress because I felt unconquerable at this point in time. I visualized it hanging on me and kicking up my heels in glee. I tried it on and was unable to zip it! Yes,it was the rib cage. I'm thinking of making dolls out of it.

You're not alone!

jen said...

My grandmother and grandfather don their wedding clothes every 10 years on their anniversary for a photo. After 50 years and 6 kids, grandma's dress doesn't zip up in the back (that ribcage thing!) but otherwise they both look great. I guess that's what a lifetime of farming will do.

AllyM said...

I may have stayed up until 3am reading your blog. Laughing. This is by far one of the best blogs I have ever come across!
xoxo
www.allymullin.blogspot.com

Ruth Ann said...

I remember my mother telling me about her ribcage spreading and what her friend said she did about it: "You just cinch a belt up tight around your ribcage while you do the vacuuming and dusting and such. Every day until it is back to the right size."
I tried it...didn't keep it up or worry about it after awhile.

Pam said...

You should have listened to the hubby on this one! My 6 year old daughter begs me now and then to see me in my wedding dress. I just lay it out on my bed for her to admire because it stopped fitting many, many years ago. I wish I could blame it on expanding ribs!

NanaGo said...

AS a historical costume designer and vintage clothing restorer I'll let you in on a secret. In the 1940's a size 14 was the equivalent of a size 10 in the 1970's. that same Size 10 in 1970's is considered a Size 4 in 2010. So even though you think you were a Size 9 in your wedding dress 14 years ago it really is a size 3 in today's dresses. Can you wear a 3 Today? The world is not shrinking! Just the size charts are.

Sharee said...

Not only have my rib cages widen, but I swear my torso got longer after having my 1st. Anyone else have that? My hips are wide too! I hope one day they shrink back to normal!

Shana said...

Funny post

Anonymous said...

You didn't *just* give birth, you had a set of TWINS, and then one more. For some reason, I wanted to say a long time ago, you said you adopted your perfect daughter, then twins quickly after , then a surprize baby boy? Sorry if I'm wrong. Two times giving birth, one set of twins? Things change! Be kind to yourself.

mom24orsinis said...

I thought you were looking a little heavy lately...

Naw, you know I'm kidding...it is a sad truth for MOST of us...I'm 4 babies and 13 years of marriage and tried on my dress a year ago, when my weight was exactly my wedding weight...the ribs were unkind and the waist wasn't much nicer :(

Truly, I feel your pain :)

Christie said...

Funny post! You've peaked my curiosity and I want to open up my sealed box and try it on! I don't know how brave I am though....

Mamaof3Cuties said...

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mamaof3cuties.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad. I've only been married 18 months and my DS is 5 weeks old. I'm 6 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight and I'm in 3/4 and my ribs and hips are 5" wider! I'm I'm up from a size 0 to a 3/4 and holding strong.

Kyle and Alli said...

Ha ha!! Glad I am not the only one...darn ribcage! :) I also had a broken rib when I got married, so I like to think that it was able to squeeze just a little smaller because of it!

Stefany said...

I also had my ribcage spread during pregnancy. I learned that women used to wrap their ribcages after childbirth while the elastin was still strong so the ribs would go back to where they belong. Unfortunately, after seven children I decided I was done and I am not going to have one more just to try it out!

Shan said...

I started chuckling when I sawhe title... too funny! I spied my wedding gown in a closet today. I'd like to say that you've convinced me not to try it on... but 11:00 will be here soon.

Lissa @ MyThriftyTreasures said...

I just had my first 4 1/2 months ago and while the rest of my body has bounced back fairly well (but not perfectly) I never cease to be amazed at how now my shoulders are wide! Not sure why that was so essential to me giving birth to and raising this baby?! I've ripped more than one cardigan trying to squeeze my shoulders back in.

vinobaby said...

I vote for your bust expanding instead of your rib cage. I can get my dress up most of the way except right at the bust line, which is fine with me. If having a kid gave me a cup size I will deal with it. Plus I think the muscles in the back and chest are stronger (and a bit larger) from years of hauling kid(s) around.
Ces't la vie...that's what pictures are for...memories...

canadianmom said...

My mom kept her own wedding dress and when I got engaged, she begged me to try it on... It fit. Perfectly. But it was horrendously full of lace -which I loathe- and out of style. I RENTED my wedding dress which was the smart thing for me as I have been looking back on my wedding pictures and have realized how much my waist has changed after 4 kids. While I am around my original weight before kids, my body no question has changed.

Renny said...

If it makes you feel any better I couldn't fit into my mom's wedding dress at the age of 11. So when I was in YW and they had a fashion show where all the girls wore their mom's wedding dress I had to wear somebody else's dress.

Also, I don't get trash the dress photo shoots. They make me sad. That is a lot of money you're trashing right there. Donate it to DI or something.

Anonymous said...

This is why I used my dress to make baptism outfits for my children. I knew I'd never fit into it again and I was being realistic that it'd be terribly tacky by the time my daughters got married and they'd want their own dresses.
Now, we have a family baptismal gown for them to use with their children if they so choose and each child received their own bonnet made from my dress.
For their 1st communions I will make each girl a purse from my dress and my son a small white hanky to put in his suit pocket.
No stress.

JungleMama said...

All I can say is "girl what where you smoking?????" there are somethings you should NEVER do. EVER! That's like trying to put on your cheerleader uniform for your 20 year reunion.
Emily>>>hate your friend! wait till she's 40... let's see here pick s then!
Connie>>>> hating you too! JK =)
Hmmmm where's I put those skinny jeans??

pauline said...

HILARIOUS!

Gabrielle Mappone said...

Another reason to add to the list of suggestions for my client of why we should do a 'trash the dress' photo session! So that you will never try to squeeze into it again!

GingerGirl said...

Bringing you your wedding dress in a TRASH BAG??? That sounds like something my mother in law would do. LOL!!!

sarahjane said...

I have a 22-month old son and have about a month to go on pregnancy #2. I have recently started cleaning out my closet and donating any shirts that were XS or S because I have come to the realization that I will no longer fit into ANY of them. My ribcage, also, got bigger post-baby and "the girls" are different since nursing, etc.

Prior to getting pregnant this time around, I had also come to the realization that just because I could CRAM myself into a smaller size of pants, it is better to go for bigger sizes -relying on FIT and COMFORT instead of being stuck solely on the number.

14 years and 2 kids later, I don't think I would have the guts to try on my wedding dress. You are ONE BRAVE WOMAN!

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