Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dress Doubt Disorder: A Case Study

I've self diagnosed myself with Dress Doubt Disorder. I can do that...I'm an LCSW, so I am fully qualified. Plus, I made the disorder up, and the person who makes up the disorder can diagnose anyone they want. I just made that rule up, too.

Anyway, I've got the DDD. My behaviors include lusting after classically all lace dresses, and wondering if I should have gone that route. An all lace dress was my second choice gown, after all. Untill I decided they were "trite." What was I thinking????
Oh Vineyard Nora, how I could have maybe loved you....

Or looking at all the new lines coming out, and sighing, and wondering if I should have waited. I also obsessively replay all the positive and negative comments (and facial expressions) that people have made regarding my dress, and I weigh them against one another. The positive comments weigh as much as a feather pillow while the negative ones tend to resemble bricks. That's part of the disorder too.

I think about just walking upstairs to try on my dress that is just hanging up there [side note: I read somewhere that you aren't supposed to hang your dress for a long time, and instead should wrap it in a sheet and stick it under the bed. That sounds like a really, really bad idea since I have a Peeing Princess, aka my cat Isabella, in the house and she likes to pee on things. Thoughts?] and reassure myself that my dress is The One...but then I decide that 1) I don't trust my own opinion, obviously and 2) Maybe the problem is that I look in the mirror and think the dress looks nice, but really the problem is that it does not look good in photos. All the photos of me in the sample dress are not good. So even if I did try my dress on and was happy with how it looked in the mirror, it doesn't matter, because the pics don't lie.

Then I think "But my friends love it, and they aren't fashion disasters. Quite the opposite!" These are the same friends who once plotted and executed a (semi) successful intervention to extricate me from the throes of too many 3/4 length sleeved rugby shirts. Clearly, they must have some fashion knowledge!
OK, maybe I wore these types of shirts like they were my uniform in college.

But then, on the other hand, I worry that maybe my friends just saw how much I loved (thought I loved???) the dress, and just agreed with me that it was a beautiful dress, and now they are stuck because I went and bought the damn thing, and they never DREAMED I would make such a disastrous mistake!!! Well I showed them, didn't I???

In the end, no matter the reassurance my friends give me, it doesn't help at all because my disordered brain has decided that they are all lying to protect my feelings. Really the dress is hideous but they all know it's bought and paid off and I can't afford another one, so they will just tell me it's gorgeous and maybe I can delude myself into thinking it is on the day of until I see the photos from our wedding and realize I looked completely ridiculous and sooooooooo 2011.

Catastrophizing much? I think so. I clearly have a problem.

Should I try the dress on, or wrap it up in a sheet and put it under the bed for Isabella to pee on?


  1. When my dress was being altered, I suffered from major anxiety. I NEEDED to be with my dress again and make sure I looked good in it. I had forgotten it's beautifulness. If I could, I would've pranced around the house in it. I think you should try on your dress again but DON'T dare put it on when you feel ugly/bloated/tired. Do you hair really nice, put on some makeup, and relive the magic of that first time. Because I guess I did have DDD one time - when I tried on my dress at the alterations, fresh out the shower in the morning with no makeup and my hair not even brushed. And I thought, DEAR GOD I'M HIDEOUS IN THIS! So yeah, doll yourself and remind yourself how beautiful you are in your dress!

  2. @Kristin, I know, I think I do need to try it on when I am feeling glowy and happy. The last time I put it on was after someone made the worst remark ever about my dress. Even though I "knew" it was not about the dress, it still made me feel bad. Basically, I'm crazy. That's what it boils down too!

  3. You know, I'm pretty sure there has never been a bride who hasn't experienced DDD at one point or another! So you're not alone. I had it from the time I placed the order for my dress, until it arrived, because I was second guessing my color choice. It didn't matter that I'd always and forever wanted a champagne colored dress, I still doubted the decision. But as soon as I tried it on when it arrived at the dress shop, I stopped worrying. I completely agree with Kristen that you need to try it on again, and when you're in a good mood, looking a little dolled up. I'm sure you'll look and feel wonderful, and free yourself of the second guessing! :)

    P.S. Don't let your kitty near your dress! As one cat owner to another...ick, you know what cat pee smells like, and how hard it is to get out. I think just keeping it in a closed closet is fine, the main key is to just keep it out of sunlight.

  4. Well.. if the cat pees on it.. it's another reason to get a different dress? Ok I know I shouldn't say that to someone with DDD, just thought I'd throw it out there ;)

  5. I am sure your dress is gorgeous and you are just having the normal second thoughts. I had a similar topic in mind for my next blog post, there are so MANY different dresses out there that how do know which one is "the one"?

    I agree don't let the kitty anywhere near your dress!