Hollywood Costume Exhibit

I’m a huge fan of costume/ fashion exhibits. And, my Baltimore location is a prime location for having seen several over the years including Ivy Style at the Museum at FIT, High Style at the Met / Brooklyn Museum of Art and a backstage look at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Over the last weekend, Trena and I went to see Hollywood Costumes at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

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It was delightful. I’m terrible at describing clothes. But, I will just say I could have spent hours there. A total bonus was meeting up with two other sewing bloggers Meigan of Get My Stitch On and Tommie of Unseamly Girl. Meeting sewing bloggers is SUPER stressful! You just hope you come across as tall and skinny as you try and make yourself appear on your blog.

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Plus, you have to figure out what to wear! I went the comfy route considering the six hours of Saturday driving ahead of me and wore my La Mia Boutique sweatshirt dress. This is truly one of my favorite dresses. I want to make more! But, really have no idea what other color to make that evokes ‘sweatshirt’. Maybe navy blue? Too literal with a collegiate block “R” on it? Because, I totally wood.

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Meigan made her Jalie top and jeans. I am in love with her pink coat. Tommie wore the cutest denim skirt from Grainline and a slub knit top. I tried to make a slub knit dress in black and it was TERRIBLE. I could not control the seams. Her’s, perfect.

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These drinks are St. Germaine and something or the other. St. Germaine is my new favorite. Β Also, a boring note on my hair. I’m slowly trying to vary my hairstyles. I’m bored with me. This is my hair pulled back with two flat twists. My friend Liz saw me and exclaimed I looked like Addy from American Girl. So, I might be trying something else soon -_-.

On Monday I saw Spike Jonze’s Her and American Hustle. I was so inspired by the purposeful costuming in both! Her made amazing use of the color orange on the set and dressing characters in opposite orange and blue. I couldn’t wait to go home and google the thoughts behind this. It’s easy to forget how purposeful costuming is when watching a movie.

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And, finally… remember the party Jordan and I planned to celebrate our marriage? Β With less than week to go, we had to reschedule the December date Β Really happy to say it’s back on for March. But, I’m not quite sure what to wear.

View More: http://lmartinweddingphotography.pass.us/reneeandjordan

Can I ask a honest question? Is wearing my wedding dress corny? I honestly don’t know. I planned on wearing a red China lace dress when it was near Christmas. Once rescheduled, I’ve had several people ask if I’m wearing my wedding dress (or why I’m not wearing my wedding dress) and at first I was totally surprised at the thought. I mean, the wedding will have been five months before and we had a ‘real’ wedding. And when I say ‘real’ wedding, I mean it didn’t feel rushed or elopement or destination. It was honestly the wedding I always wanted but didn’t think I could get away with given the size and proximity of our families. So, if you came to my wedding party five months after the fact, would you roll your eyes at me in my wedding dress?



  1. Oh Honey, I would almost fly across the country from my house on the West coast to see you in the wedding dress. Share the dress with all the ladies who could not see you the first time! Enjoy your dress and let it enjoy the second event and then find someone to preserve it for you for the next generation.

    • Awww, thanks! I need to look up the dress on your blog to see how you did the bustle. I’m might consider just cutting it off so it would be easier to deal with.

  2. Wearing your wedding dress for the reception (no matter how much time has passed) is totally fine, and some people might be disappointed if you wore something else. But you are the bride, so you do whatever your little heart desires. πŸ™‚

  3. Wear whatever makes you feel lovely and comfortable. It’s all up to you, it’s your party! . I think your new hairdo looks good on you. Having been bored with my hair all my life, I understand completely. It’s good to see you back on the blog!

  4. That looks like a wonderful exhibit and company.

    I think your guest will be disappointed if you don’t wear your wedding dress for at least part of the party. You can change into something shorter mid-way.

  5. Does the dress have a train? If so, can it be removed? If it were my decision, that would be my criteria – I’d want to be able to move around freely.
    And that is the crux of my response to your question: it is YOUR decision πŸ™‚

    I can only say what I would do.
    And now that I think about it, I think Howie and I should renew our vows next year for our 10th wedding anniversary. I am craving some kind of fancy dress, and that would make a nice venue for it.

    • Trena suggested I put it on the dress form and tack it up. I started to try that last night. But, it’s harder than I thought! I don’t want to ask my friend Liliya to do it since she gifted me the original alterations. Right now it has a loop for me to carry the train…

  6. It was so nice to meet you! The drink was St. Germaine & Passonfruit. I think I am going to mix one up tonight after the snow blows through & dream of summer! : )

    On the dress front, wear what you want. It’s your party and time to celebrate with your love.

  7. Renee – like the dress? Wear the dress. It’s your party – you can wear whatever you want to. As for what says ‘sweatshirt’? I’d go for dark burgundy (what we call Maroon up here but some might call it ox blood). That’s a popular college sweatshirt color.

  8. I think that Addy is kinda cute. The style actually becomes you. Changing hair is always a lot of fun.

  9. Oh, I agree. If you like the dress, wear the dress. I thought that you looked beautifull in it It’s a celebration so why not? Do what makes you happy.

  10. I think you should wear the dress if you want! I bet lots of people would like to see you all dressed up “as the bride”. My husband’s parents threw us a party about 4 months after we got married across the country, so I wore a white and pink sundress (my wedding dress had a pink petticoat) and my wedding headpiece (informal headband with a little feather decoration). I thought it was a nice nod to the wedding, while also being appropriate for an outdoor party in August.

  11. When I imagine myself as a guest I think I would really like to see you in your wedding dress…..that’s one of my favorite parts of a wedding anyway, the bride in her dress. But if its not comfy to wander around in maybe change at some point a la the traditional change into a “going away” outfit that I remember from weddings in my youth?


  12. You have a great many friends who wish that they could have been at the ceremony itself. Wear the dress! I don’t think there is any question at all about that being “corny” or “tacky” or anything at all except honoring your marriage by dressing the part. It’s such an elegantly simple dress … you could add a shrug or jacket and/or a sash in a bright color, and the dress would not even read as “wedding gown.” Why not orange? You like orange, you look good in orange, it’s a happy and energizing color. Have a lovely time at your party.

  13. I would so not roll my eyes at seeing you in your wedding dress! And, if it’s worth anything, my three DD’s would be sorely disappointed to go to anything wedding related and NOT see the bride in her bridal glory. Wear the dress!

  14. I would be thrilled to get to see you in your wedding dress. Its elegant and you looked fabulous in it, plus it is always a bit sad that we only get to wear them once. You are the bride, do what you want to do.

  15. agreed with above, wear the dress if you want! it would not be weird at all. really, anything you feel good about would work (and be a good thing)–you could even change outfits at some point (for fun!).

  16. Here’s the thing – it’s YOUR party, to celebrate YOUR marriage. If you want to wear your wedding dress, that’s totally OK! Keira Knightley wore her wedding dress to an event BEFORE she got married in it, and then again after and I think it was completely appropriate for anything and everything in which she wore the dress. I think given the intimate nature of your wedding and the fact that the majority of people in attendance at your March celebration were not in attendance at the wedding makes it even more appropriate. I would wager that most (if not all) of them would love to see you in your beautiful dress and most of us “normal” (as in not-Hollywood) folks don’t have an opportunity to wear our wedding dress more than once. You do! I would take full advantage!

  17. Renee, you looked GORGEOUS in your wedding dress. Wear IT! It is a wedding party after all. What is a bride without her wedding dress. You will have plenty of other occasions to wear other dresses but never the wedding dress, so I’d say go for it. And as for people who think its corny… remember its YOUR day. Do whatever you want.

  18. I vote for the wedding dress. You are so pretty in it. My nephew and his bride had 3 parties over 18 months. The original wedding/reception was interrupted by a hurricane in Florida; they still managed to get married that day but no one but immediate family made it down. They had another reception – complete with gown – in the grooms home town 6 months later and another reception – complete with gown – about a year after that to get everyone covered between the families. They laugh about it now as she just had baby #3 and she knows she will NEVER fit that dress again.

  19. Of course you can wear your wedding dress! So few people get to wear them twice, you should consider yourself fortunate to have two opportunities. I wore my wedding dress twice: once for the wedding and then for a reception after our Honeymoon. It never occurred to me it was odd. Wear it and enjoy! πŸ™‚

  20. Renee, look to history (and literature) whenever in doubt.

    From Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence”: As on that evening, she was all in white; and (Newland) Archer, who had not noticed what she wore, recognised the blue-white satin and old lace of her wedding dress. It was the custom, in old New York, for brides to appear in this costly garment during the first year or two of marriage…

    So, women used to wear their dresses after the wedding day at the turn of the century. You’ll just be doing it a few months earlier.

    • This was literally the passage I was thinking of when I pondered if it was appropriate to wear my dress or not! Admittedly, her dress may not have been white at that point. I can’t recall. I think when a wedding dress became a special dress that’s only worn once we stopped thinking of it as your nicest dress.

  21. I’m with a bunch of the others…I think you should wear the dress. It IS a wedding party, after all. And I’ve always thought it kind of sucks that it’s a dress that really only gets worn once. Or maybe you could look at taking up some of the length and going tea- or knee-length. Whatever you wear, I’m sure you’ll look beautiful. And Kali’s – I’m a little jealous. Erik and I were just talking about it the other night and lamenting the fact that we haven’t been there since we had the kids. It’s going to be a beautiful night, no matter what. πŸ™‚

  22. Renee, Mrs. Mole has bustled your very dress right here: http://fitforaqueen.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/cover-my-cleavage/ Also, check out her July 2013 posts. My aha moment was bustling the two layers separate and using a grograin extension to anchor the satin part.

    You are gorgeous and should take every opportunity to wear this dress, Renee. Have fun and take pictures, pictures, pictures πŸ™‚


  23. I would wear the wedding dress. It is great to see the bride in her dress and since they could not attend the wedding I feel your guests would appreciate it.

  24. Few women get to wear their dress twice, so wear the wedding dress. Your female friends would love to see it, and your male friends will think you look great!

  25. Most people never get to wear their wedding dress again, and you diod look gorgeous in it. “Its your party and you’ll wear what you want to”, right?

  26. Your friends and family would love to see you in the dress. And if it can be comfy for you, then go for it. Can J repeat his outfit too? You’re looking pretty cute in the new do–and change is fun!

  27. You don’t really need me to say ‘wear the dress’, I think your guests will really love to see you look the bride and feel like they really are celebrating your nuptials.

  28. Main Rule: Your clothes are a primary means of expression that is yours and your alone, so don’t let anyone’s else’s expectations control how you express your feelings about the event. Old school etiquette prescribes that wearing the wedding dress would not be appropriate, but probably new school rules apply today.

    Wear what you feel like wearing! If you feel the bride-vibe, wear the wedding dress. If you’re feeling more of a let’s party, celebratory vibe, wear the red – it is a show stopper. Other cultures use red as an alternative wedding color, so why not you?

  29. You could wear the wedding dress for a bit at first and then then change to a “going away” or “more comfortable” outfit. Your friends love you and would be happy to see you in your sweatshirt dress ffs. Then the second thing that popped in my head was sexy tuxedo, but I don’t recall if you finished that outfit…Or you could make a super new springy cocktail dress with tulle…or I could just stop. πŸ˜‰ You’ll be beautiful whatever you choose.

  30. Renee, I wore my wedding dress once, and it is still hanging in my closet. Wearing your wedding dress twice for your wedding party would be a wonderful thing to do! Make a beautiful outfit for later in the evening. I can’t wait to see pictures of the great event!!!

  31. I think wearing it again is fine, why not? One caveat, assuming you haven’t had it preserved, take a VERY CLOSE look at it a month-ish ahead of the party to make sure it hasn’t developed any stains (sometimes, stains take time to show up). I had baby clothes that were thoroughly washed and completely clean after Baby #1 outgrew them; upon unpacking them for Babies 2-3 (twins) after 1.5 years in storage, I was dismayed to find a lot of yellowing. Make sure you inspect the dress early enough that you have time to get it cleaned before the party, if needed.

    • Thanks for the tip. I did take it out over the weekend to hang on my dressform. I was trying to sort out what to do with the train. I’ll cover it back now and look at it again in a month.

  32. Please wear whatever YOU want to. There are no rules; it is YOUR party! I’m sure your husband would love to see you wear it again, and your mother will smile down from heaven to see you in it again. Two of my sisters wore their wedding dresses twice, once at the actual ceremony and then again at a reception in the home town. You will look wonderful no matter what you choose.

  33. I thought you looked beautiful in your wedding dress, and the shape was so great on you. So I say wear it. Plus if I were a guest that is how I would like to see you at the party. Does that make sense? plus do you really want to do the dress search for a new one when that one is so lovely? have a great time.
    and if I could have time-traveled to join you at the exhibit/cocktails I so would have, looks like so much fun.

  34. I would wear my wedding dress again in a heartbeat. You looked fantastic, so if you felt fantastic, I say wear it.

  35. Wear your wedding dress. This is a celebration of your marriage, and your dress is beautiful. It would be absolutely appropriate. And it’s exactly what I would expect to see the bride wearing at such a party, even 5 months later.

  36. I vote for wearing the wedding dress too. It’s a party to celebrate your wedding, wear a wedding dress!

    It was great to meet you at the VMFA, thanks again for organizing πŸ™‚

    • I turn my back for a year and your MARRIED!!! OMG what a beautiful beautiful bride! Super romantic wedding! Handsome groom/husband. The Lord’s richest blessings on your marriage. I am so so sorry to hear the news of your mom. I’ve followed your blog ever since you received the pink Morse on your doorstep πŸ™‚ And I know how close you and your dear mama were to each other. She was obviously quite an interesting person and let me say brave. What an honor to have had her in your life. Again, blessings to your whole family. Where the dress again!

  37. Continuing with the “wear what you want” theme — wear the dress as is, without the train or …. have you considered cutting it off to a shorter length and transforming it into a party dress? You can save the cut off section to make something else (christening gown, sashets, dog dress, whatever). The most important part is to be comfortable so that you can enjoy your party. It would be a shame to store the dress – so many brides do that only to find out the next generation has no interest in wearing an outdated style….you looked beautiful in the dress and it fit like a dream so do whatever you can to give it the opportunity to attend another party.

  38. Tradition! In Victorian times the bride was expected to wear her wedding dress to the first several post-wedding social events. I think it was to allow people who hadn’t been to the wedding, the chance to see it in the days before cheap and abundant photographs.

    Besides, if I were lucky enough to be invited to your wedding party, I would cheer you in a gunnysack. Because you are an amazing person.

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