Thursday, November 11, 2010

Accessorizing a Wedding Dress: Warmth Addition

I am getting married in early April, close enough to the beach that the fog rolls in and chills the nights. I am also a woman who is constantly cold (when I shake hands, my fingers are generally ice-like, and I joke with people "cold hands, warm heart, right?"). 

This is to say, I need some form of warmth for our wedding. Something that has sleeves and isn't one of those adorable shoulder shrugs I'd love to have. Unfortunately, fancy sleeved warmth in spring color tones for a mod-grecian-looking dress is hard to come by (particularly when you're shopping in winter time when lovely charcoal cashmere shawls are heavily featured). But for some reason, I'm digging these arm warmers.

Okay, okay, I know they aren't quite appropriate for my wedding style, but they look so cozy and fun. And warm. They really look warm. Now, off to find something that's in between these and opera gloves. And perhaps even something that covers my shoulders.

This is yet another reason I curse the overabundance of strapless dress styles for wedding dresses, because sometimes I think it's just another way to wring more money out of me for fancy shoulder warmth. And another way to send me on internet chases where I find things I like (arm warmers!) but that I can't afford because I need something weddingy.


  1. Our wedding was in June, but the evenings at our venue tended to be pretty chilly so I was in the same boat as you. I ended up going with a thin cardigan that I found at Old Navy of all places. It would be perfect for springtime too, so my suggestion is that you wait to buy until just a few months before the big day. Stores typically start pushing out spring clothing by March at the latest, so you might have better luck as far as colors are concerned.

  2. I want to get married to those armwarmers. Oh wait... I'm already taken. DANGIT!

    Have you been looking at the shrugs/boleros with full sleeves? What am I asking you this for. I am fairly positive you have been to all ends of the internet in search of pretties. So you really don't need any suggestions from me, here. I just was reminded of the fact that I'd been considering a long-sleeved one until I found my teensy near-sleeveless shrug.

    Consider this, too: if you are dancing, you will get HOT. Even outdoors. We danced outdoors on a cool night and I went shrugless for a fair amount of that time. So you may be able to get away with something cute and fairly light, provided you bring your own coat or jacket for the very end of the night when you're standing in the chilly air around saying goodbye to folks.

  3. I got a little cool at night and our wedding was in April as well. We were inside a room but it was an old private estate without heat in it. I thought about bringing something with me to wear over my shoulders/arms but ended up just going with the tradition of donning my hubby's tuxedo jacket when I got cold. Though it probably wasn't real flattering, nothing beats the yummy feeling of wearing your gentlemanly husband's coat :) Hope you find something you love.

  4. oh man, good luck. i hope you find something still badass, and semi-wedding-ish, but those are awesome.

  5. You don't *need* something weddingy - if you *want* a more weddingy look, then that's different.

    I've seen a few shoulder shrugs out there that have long sleeves...there was a gorgeous knit one making the rounds on Offbeat Bride Tribe when I was a more active poster there - it was like a bolero with bell sleeves, knitted, and looked really good.

    Like this but not so foofy:

    And a little like this but warmer-looking and with bell sleeves:

    I can't find an exact image of the shrug I saw, but there ya go. You could totally get something like that done up on Etsy in a colored knit (which I think would look super - far cooler than white dress/white shrug).

    I am totally with you on the strapless dress thing, though despite what's offered, I do believe it's every bride's individual choice that lands them with a strapless dress - despite requiring more searching, it is possible to refuse to wear strapless. (I did but I'm not a good example; I went too far out of the Wedding Dress World to get my dress to be able to give a relevant personal anecdote). If you want to, of course, that's a different story.

    Having straps but not sleeves doesn't make one much warmer, though! My dress had wide shoulder straps and a deep V in the back and front and I felt a bit chilly on the terrace during the reception (inside, even with doors and windows open, it was fine). I had a shawl but was having too much fun to go get it from my friend and wear it.

    One thing I have always felt: some women really want and love long sleeved dresses, and that's great. (Some of course need to wear them for religious reasons). I've never liked dresses with sleeves and haven't owned one since I was a child.

  6. @Jenna - Oh, my dress is only weddingy in that it's white and my necklace isn't weddingy at all. So really and truly, I agree with you. I should have been clearer in saying I haven't really found anything that matches my dress and necklace yet. Something between arm warmers and gloves and not something knitted/crocheted (the dress has two textures already.)

    I'm sure Esty will have something, but I haven't been brave enough to start the sifting just yet. And a shawl might work too. I'm mostly irritated that a) the wedding accessorizing never seems to end, b) so many of the boleros I've seen are impractical (I want warmth) and c) all this browsing means I keep finding things I obviously want to buy for myself that won't quite work for the wedding. Oops.

  7. if it doesn't work for the wedding it can always work in real life. heh. as if the wedding isn't real life, but you know what i mean.

  8. @Elizabeth - Ha! The look on my California vegetarian, environmentalist hippie friends would say it all. Though my grandmother would totally approve.

  9. FAUX vintage mink wrap. Even in the 40s most women couldn't afford mink. There have to be some fake vintage mink wraps out there...

    On Etsy, instead of sifting, you could put in an alchemy request...materials requested (ie not knitted or crocheted), color, style, etc.. Of course I did that for my card box/guest book and got nowhere - apparently a hexagonal box painted red with a finish that can be written on in paint pen was too hard. Phooey. (I found what I wanted at a thrift store in Taiwan - an old red tea box).

    But the first link I posted - NOT that material (the material is sickeningly weddingy) but that pattern - would go quite nicely methinks with a modern Grecian style dress and the hairstyle you blogged about earlier.

  10. First of all, can you please send a pic of the wedding necklace. I was unaware that you had purchased! Hmm....wondering now if I missed a post.

    Anyway, LOVE the arm warmers. What if you had some more delicately knitted ones that were more spring-like?

  11. I have three tissue paper weight pashminas from Nordstrom's, which are the perfect weight for pretty much every cocktail dress event I go to all year round. They come in a ton of colors, and some colors go on sale at different times of the year. Also, they're smile but very pretty.

  12. Arm warmers!!! I'm so obsessed with the idea of arm warmers. I thought I came up with them years ago and forced my mom to make me a pair and wore them everywhere that winter, and tried to convince my friends to wear them too. They didn't seem to take off in 2004, but maybe this is the year. That was totally random, but I do love the idea of wearing them with a fancy dress. I think that could be kickass.

  13. I'm not sure what your dress looks like, but I really like what this gal did:

    My dress has sleeves but a jacket like that was my backup option, since I, too, am always ridiculously cold (and I'm getting married in early April in LA, too!).

  14. I'm knitting these for my wedding day:

    (Opera Length Lace Gloves)

  15. I too got married in April, and when taking pictures outside knew I'd be freeezing. I managed to tough it out for all the pictures except those at the very end. When I finally broke out my $40 fake fur black jacket from H&M, with a faux leather belt. And let me tell you, that thing was a godsend. Sadly, it now sits in my closet because I don't have all that many opportunities to wear a black fake fur jacket that is cropped to the natural waist. I find H&M has a lot of options like that (in NY anyway) around December time for all the folks going to holiday parties. Couldn't hurt to look!


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