Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pretty/sexy/sweet/edgy/tacky is all in the eye of the beholder

My long time blog friend, Gail, posted an interesting comment on a previous post about wedding dresses.  She commented that one of my dresses looked very sexy, raising the question of whether brides should be sexy.  Good question, Gail!  What is a sexy bridal gown?

Interestingly, when I search Google Images for "sexy bridal gowns," the top hits are a variety.  Withholding judgment (for now), here they are.

Exhibit A.

Exhibit B.

Exhibit C.

Exhibit D.

Exhibit E.

Now, I'm not about to wear a dress like any of these for various reasons, but I imagine that most of you reading all have your opinions about these dresses.  For example, I don't think any of them are sexy.  I think dress C is rather sweet looking and a little bland (this appears to be a very common design for sale in the States right now), B is a yawn as well, E is arguably modes with its sleeves, and A and D are outright tacky.  I don't know why D is bothering with a veil, as her dress is split to her navel, has a front hemline that looks like it's shorter than the length of her arm (if she straightened it) and the bodice is see through.  But you know, there's no accounting for taste, eh?  Maybe she can get a second wear of it if she becomes a can-can dancer? 

All that trash talking aside, this opens questions about what is sexy, what is modest, what is classy, and what is tacky?  I guess part of this is cultural, and part of this is personal preference.  I have friends from Africa and Southeast Asia who are very modest about their upper arms and shoulders but have no issues baring their bellies or lower backs.  On the other hand, although I enjoy wearing sleeveless tops and dresses, you will never see my belly unless I am in athletic wear.  Or maybe it's more contextual than that.  I remember a few years ago I had the awkward conversation of "just because it's nice doesn't mean you can wear it to work," with an intern who showed up every day of her first week in club wear.  But I guess the thing about a wedding dress is it's all individual taste, right?

There are two sides to this argument.  One, if you can't wear what you want on your big day, well, when will you ever get to wear it?  Two, your "big" day is more than "your" day -- it belongs to all the people who helped you get there, whether it's your parents, friends, and your husband, so shouldn't they see you in something respectful?  Frankly I'm somewhere in between these two camps.  While you won't see me in a can-can dress with see-through bodice and navel exposure, that doesn't mean I'll knock you if you decide to wear it yourself.  Hell, props to you for having the nuts to wear that in front of your grandmother!

What are your thoughts?


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  2. I think someones tacky is another's dream. Personally I don't like A and D - but someone probably does because there wouldn't be dresses like that available. I like your sentiments about "your" day and that it's a day that is shared.

  3. I'm not sure that A & D are actually meant to be wedding dresses so much as a little something for *after* the ceremony if you know what I mean. ;-) I could be way wrong on that though. And I'm fairly confident that my church wouldn't have allowed the ceremony to continue if I'd have worn either of those, maybe if I were to have gotten married at the courthouse?

    I concur with the thought that it's not so much "your" day as it is a day for everyone--at the very least it's "our" day (meaning you and your groom). To call it "my" day seems selfish and contradictory to the whole purpose of the day.

    1. You are too funny! I wonder how many people go for a wedding dress, reception dress *and* an after the festivities dress... That's a lot of dresses!

  4. So much to choose from. Have you made your selection of a dress yet?

  5. I think your post is spot on in terms of what is conceived as sexy or not but I hope we are all in agreement that a and d are out!!

  6. Ok Melissa, I'm revising my thoughts. Sexy (especially view c &e) is fine, slutty is not!! My new question is Is there any woman who would wear exhibit A&D? Perhaps Brynne Edelstein (Australian readers will know her).

    1. I had to google Brynne Edelstein. It's hard to look away. What a character!