Objects of Desire: Party dresses

  • Photo by Tim Johnson
From the July 26, 2012 edition

I have spent the past two weekends preparing for and attending weddings. One cannot understate the importance of sartorial selections at these events, and I’m not just talking about what the bride is wearing.

In fact, I’ve been to enough weddings in my life that all of those white dresses blend together in my memory. The gowns have become as predictable as I wish the happy couple’s sex life will not become.

The most important dress at weddings I attend has become this: the one that is exactly like the one I’m wearing.

This, luckily, hasn’t happened to me yet. (The only time I have worn the same dress as someone else in a public setting was at ComFest this year. The other woman and I smiled at each other from a distance and air-cheered with our neon mugs. It was an amicable exchange, but I know our respective sets of friends were totally talking smack about how we looked so much better in the dress than the other one did. Girlfriend code, y’all.)

We were dangerously close to playing double duty at last weekend’s wedding. The event might as well have been sponsored by Express. There were three women in attendance wearing three different dresses I had tried on at the store the night before. Thankfully no one was in the ruched lace number I had chosen because it was stretchy and I knew I’d be able to dance in it.

The key, I’ve concluded, to not showing up somewhere dressed the same as another attendee is to style your dress with a unique accessory; add a scarf, a different belt or a jacket. No awkward air cheers for you, pretty lady.

Finding the perfect party dress takes some patience, some creativity and some luck. Kind of like finding a partner to eventually walk down the aisle toward, no?

∙ Objects of Desire is a biweekly column that explores the items Columbus shoppers crave. Follow Jackie Mantey on Twitter at @Jackie_Mantey.