The Honorable Maid’s Conundrum.

posted in: Family, Fashion 1
      That's me, second from the left. Photo: A bride and her attendants in New Ulm, Minn., in October 1974.
That’s me, second from the left. Photo: A bride and her attendants in New Ulm, Minn., in October 1974.

The engagement happened. The smash hit party for Rebecca happened. The next big event in my younger sister’s nuptials will be the wedding itself. And I need something to wear.

My sister Rebecca, who has been and always will be cooler than me by a long stretch, knows better than to put her Maid of Honor in something she has chosen herself. Being that I am her Maid of Honor, I love her for this. Because when I was married, I got swept up in the whole “let’s put girls who are different in dresses that are the same” thing, and that choice has been filed in my slim folder of regrets.

Rebecca will have no bridesmaids, just me. This fact, and the freedom she’s giving me to select my outfit have caused me a lot of brow furrowing lately. This is the most important wardrobe decision I’ve made in many years. I mean, it took me some time to decide what I’d wear on that date with the doctor, but this feels more special, somehow. (Dr. Lame-o is totally out of the picture, by the way. I’ll tell you later.)

Here’s what we know:

1. Not only would it be disgusting in the extreme to wear something that would distract from the bride on her wedding day
2. …it is impossible to wear something that would distract from a bride on her wedding day because no woman is more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day. I have seen zero exceptions to this.
3. It’s still possible to make a very wrong choice, here.

I need to be classy, naturally. But I ain’t wearing a dun-colored St. John’s suit. I’m thirty-something, not a wizened great aunt. The ever-perfect black dress is out because it feels a) a bit severe; and b) funereal. Yellow is out because yellow is too conspicuous, for one thing, and years later someone who didn’t know my family might assume my sister’s favorite color was yellow (it isn’t) or that yellow was part of her wedding color scheme (she has none.) Here are other things other colors communicate:

RED: “Hi, I’m Mary, the Whore of Honor.”
GREEN: “Hi, I’m Mary. Yes, I look terrible in green but it seemed safe.”
BROWN: “I’m depressed. What? Oh, sorry. My name’s Mary.”
WHITE: “No, it’s a joke! Get it? Like, white wedding??”
ORANGE: “Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the Maid of Honor. I dressed my bridesmaids in orange when I got married. I’m divorced, now. I really hate the color orange. Can I get you a glass of wine?”

My rigorous thought process on all this has yielded what I believe to be the two top contenders: a pale pink or a deep navy. Right? Beautiful, conservative, classy. Yes, but it’s not that easy. My wardrobe challenge doesn’t end there. There’s the matter of style and cut. I want the dress to be architectural, but not Gaga architectural. I want it to be feminine, but not soft. The matter of “softness” was the one guideline my sister gave me. “I know you’ll pick the right thing,” she said, “But I guess… I want to be the soft one that day, you know?” Yep. So no lace, no chiffon overlays, no bows on straps or anything.

And I wanna be kinda hot. I mean… It’s a wedding. But “looking hot” lands way down on the list and one must remember the “What We Knows” listed above.

So, with vorpal sword in hand, I snicker-snack through the jungle of the Internet, seeking the perfect frock, for the perfect couple, on their perfect day. Jeeves, bring me my perfect credit card, darling.