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The Wedding Planner: Unmentionables

I bought a backless dress for my wedding reception. I don't know what in the hell I was thinking. I was, obviously, not thinking at all. Such is the splendor of this gown that I was rendered incapable of rational thought.

Had I been in my right mind, I would have realized that backless means braless, and I have not been publicly braless since I was twelve. Even my bathing suits have underwires. Without a bra, I might as well be naked.

One would think that my head would have cleared sufficiently to realize my error when I actually tried the dress on (it's from Bluefly, so I didn't have the chance before I bought it), but no. I was delighted with the way it fit in every way except through the bodice and, once again drunk on beauty, I thought to myself, "I just have to find the right bra." I said exactly the same thing to my mom and my sister when I tried on the dress for them, and they nodded—whether in agreement or the desire to placate me, I know not.

After having tried on mountains of lingerie—corsets, long-line brassieres, foam cups backed with adhesive—I can safely say that there is no right bra for this dress. I realized that it was time to give up hope when I found myself wondering how I might find a local beauty pageant consultant who would no how to tape breasts. So, having officially ended my search for the right bra, I have two choices: I can either find a new dress, or I can attend my wedding reception braless.

I'm really not sure which option is more harrowing.

While I usually have a good relationship with my breasts, this experience has pumped new life into my worst body-image fears. My aesthetic self-esteem, fragile at the best of times, withers away completely after sustained exposure to the fluorescent glare of department-store dressing rooms, and it would take a much stronger woman than me to feel fabulous while spilling out of heavily-boned foundation garments. Thus, the confidence I would require to be a braless bride was quite thoroughly ground out of me as I tried on bra after ill-fitting bra.

As for finding a new dress, I don't have the time, the money, or the emotional energy to begin a new search. And, I do truly love the dress I already have.

I really don't know what I'm going to do. I'm thinking that, for a few days at least, I'm going to ignore the problem. Ultimately, I'll probably resign myself to bralessness, and hope to achieve the moxie required to pull it off between now and the reception. Then, as I prepare for the nuptial cocktail party, I will probably add a festive, fortifying new step to my toilette. To my knowledge, gin has never been regarded as a beauty product, but I'm pretty sure I'll be throwing a flask into my makeup bag.

June 21, 2004 | Permalink

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