Wedding dresses, Karma Brown, and a little skiing…

The skiing in this neck of the woods has been quite wretched. Apparently we are blaming El Niño this year (perhaps Sean Penn could interview him in the woods and straighten things out.) But on Saturday, it was beautiful so the kids and I hopped in the car and drove north for a day on the slopes. Skiing is my happy place. I love to be outside. The kids don’t fight. And there are fries. With gravy. Served in a restaurant with a view.

And after three or four runs a full day on the slopes, one can justify eating some fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, better known as the Beaver Tail (only in Canada can we get away with such an outrageous name…) It’s best chased with hot chocolate.

On Sunday, my daughter/bridesmaid and I drove into Toronto for our very own Say Yes to the Dress moment. Yes, we hit Kleinfeld Bridal Salon in Toronto. (The Canadian version of Say Yes to the Dress is filmed at Amanda-Lina’s bridal but I prefer the designers they have Kleinfeld and don’t want to be forced to buy a dress on tv.)

I thought I wanted to do something lace and strapless and so I tried on this Romona Keveza

Then I thought I wanted to see a more simple strapless gown, like this Oscar de la Renta

I was convinced to try on this Carolina Herrera since they were having a trunk show and it turned out to be my very favourite dress. It was 10% off (because trunk show) and I was very, very tempted since it gave me that skinny, UES, ice queen vibe that I’ve always found highly attractive.

But it was more spendy than I’d like and then I could not get the jacket I want (*cough* Saint Laurent *cough*) or go on a good honeymoon… So, I did not say yes to the dress.

I must say that when one is contemplating forking out ten large for a bit of silk, everyone is very, very nice. The shopgirl kept telling me I looked like Lily van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl, which was lies, damned lies very flattering.  I suspect it’s because I’m a forty year old blonde with hair in a bun, but I’ll take the compliment… I loved that show (our dog’s formal name is Ch. Foxmoor Petite Cherie Nevertheless Serena van der Woofsen.)

My daughter and I had brunch in Port Credit (I cannot tell you how thrilling it is to have children I can now brunch with!) and then we hit Pearl Bridal House, which was lovely and slightly lower key.

After trying on a million things (and nearly saying yes to a Tulle New York strapless) I ended up finding a pristine sample gown that was gorgeous and fit me perfectly. I always hate people who find silk-lined amazingness for next to nothing on some sale rack, but this time it was me. It’s totally not the kind of thing I planned to get, but once I had it on, I could not imagine anything else. (You cannot see the dress until the wedding day, of course! Long live Instagram!)

I’ll likely wear it with Black Rockstuds or blue Manolo BBs for my something old or something blue… Or maybe these Manolo Hangisi gorgeousnesses that Dani kindly snapped a photo of

I cannot believe how crazy the whole wedding industry is now. It’s sort of nuts. You have to do a lot of saying, “no, in fact, I do not believe I ‘deserve’ it!” I had one shop girl during the process tell me that “it’s not about the money”, they simply wanted me to be happy with my dress. But when I suggested perhaps a sizeable discount is in order since “it’s not about the money”, suddenly it became very much about the money! Surprise, surprise.

The sample was perfect except for a tricky zipper, which they offered to replace for free. Most places charge about $800 for alterations (!!!!) I need to find a way to get into the bridal business: it sounds more lucrative that the investment banking world I used to occupy.

Anyways, I’m just relieved I found something I like without having to sell an organ.

I finished reading Karma Brown’s Come Away with Me and loved it. Brown deftly handles trauma and grief. Bring tissues: you’ve been warned.

If you are finding winter a struggle, I’ve written a piece on 11 Ways to Give Yourself a Mid-Winter Boost for HuffPo.

Next on the agenda is Valentine’s Day, family day, and other smug holidays. Given that I’m planning a wedding, I guess I can join in this year. I’m always a bit moody at this time of year since so many of my Valentine’s Days have been absolutely disasters. I’ve been mainlining Pema Chodron for support and a pal of mine is using me as Reiki guinea pig, which I hope will help as well! I want to be able to enjoy this one without waiting for the other shoe to drop (unless that other show is a Hangisi pump, of course…)

 Stay strong, my kittens, only 7 more weeks until spring.

** I’m trying out some linky love with some other over-40 style bloggers. I think that stuffing myself into a sample size Carolina Herrera qualifies this as a style post.

The FABulous Journey


  1. You look fabulous in that gown!! But I hear you on the price. Finding a pristine sample is amazingly lucky. But you already knew that. Can't wait to see how you look all done up. This is so exciting for you Jen. I'm very happy for you. Thanks for joining us on My Refined Style! You do look amazing.


  2. But you do look like Lily! Oh gosh how good is her style. And yours too. Dying to see your gown but understand re waiting, but I hope to see it one day. Very very happy you found a perfect sample. Thanks for the link to your shoes. These outings with your daughter sound like a blast. XO


  3. Sounds as if you and your daughter/bridesmaid had a wonderful day with stunning (I'm guessing) results. Skiing here in Europe has not been the best this year either, very little snow and mainly only on the higher grounds. Being in the UK we have to travel far for skiing but hoping to find some this school (Feb) holiday. Will look up the book you mentioned and make sure I have tissues.


  4. Thank you, Naomi. I was told 10 months for some gowns, which is insane. That's couture territory (then again, since some gowns are $25,000+, I guess we are getting closer to that space.) xo


  5. I so agree, Jen. This definitely qualifies as a style post. It's fun walking through your adventure vicariously. Thanks for lending your flair to the My Refined Style Linkup. See you again next month!


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