Just One Breath

An American girl in Scotland, figuring things out one step at a time

The Dress


Now before you all freak out that I am about to show the dress let me just say Jamie has seen it. Remember, nothing is really conventional when it comes to us so here is the story of The Dress.

When I arrived in Glasgow my number one shopping priority was to find a dress to wear for our Civil Service. I was not sure what size I was over here and I was bombarded with floral prints and leggings everywhere I went. I heard of some nicer stores to go to but I was overwhelmed to say the least. I had many days that I just wandered in and out of the same stores hoping to see something new or have the will power to try on another dress only to have it not zip the last inch due to my bust. I was feeling fat, frustrated and alone.

I wasn’t looking for a wedding gown. Remember, this was going to just be a nice simple service.  How hard could it be to find a pretty dress that didn’t cost the earth and wasn’t bedazzled, feathered or ruffled to death? Well, it was impossible. I went home several days and just cried. I had gone to all of the stores that were recommended and had seen nothing that came close to what I was thinking. I had even tried on things that I didn’t think would be right for the event with my Mother’s words in the back of my head, “Heath just try it. You may really like it once it is on.” She never seemed to be wrong so I really did try things and nothing worked. I had been tormented by so many dresses that were side zips and would not zip up the last 1 to 2 inches due to my bust.  I was about to give up…

One Saturday after a particularly horrible week of endless wandering around shops, Jamie and I were in town and we were passing a store that I had been in about four times, Coast. I asked if he would mind stopping to look at a dress I had seen but didn’t have the heart to try on due to the size available. I was still working out what size I am over here. He said sure. He has a secret guilty pleasure of seeing me find something I love and get excited. 99% of the time he will allow me to go into “just one more shop” without any complaints. He knew I was stressed and I knew I needed someone to give me feedback. We looked at the dress that I knew was too small and no other sizes were available to try so we were basically looking at the style. Long, empire waisted, flowy and simple. He liked the idea but this dress was not going to work for us.

Gutted again we began to leave the store. I don’t know why but I looked toward a dress I had looked at in the regular dress section. Hiding in among the dresses I spotted one dress, something I had not seen before. I had actually found something beautiful, plain, classy and my supposed size… no price tag. No price tag in a store where the average cost is £300 is not a good thing. I called to Jamie and showed him the dress. He lit up like I did. I  paused for a moment, not wanting to try on a dress that I really liked only to have it not fit due to my bust. I put the dress back, walked about three steps and then grabbed it again and asked the shop girl if she could tell me the price. It was the last one like it and it was marked down to £95 ($150). Really?! I had to try it on.

I went into the dressing room took a deep breath and tried to brace myself for the disappointment I was about to have. Off with the clothes and on with the dress then the moment of truth, will it zip up… and Zoooop! It did! Just like that. I cried with relief, took a moment, looked at myself and then called for Jamie. When he saw me in the dress and I saw his face I knew, I knew this was the one. I had the shop girl come back and tie the sash and talk to me about where to get it fitted. Yes it needs to be fitted, guess where. The bust. It was the last dress, my size and on sale. I loved it, Jamie loved it and it was mine. It was like having him there with me was meant to be. His patience and love were what was missing all along. We don’t do anything conventionally so why would this be any different. The person that is supposed to see me in the dress last was the first to see me.

Awwww…. take a moment. The dress is not complete there is more to this story.

Immediately I knew that I would need a shrug or wrap to go over the dress. I began the search online and got some ideas of what I would like. I thought about having one made and also about having it be a color to match Jamie’s shirt and tie. I looked in a few stores with renewed fervor that is until I got sick. I knew this time would come, when my body would encounter a Scottish bug that would get me and man did it get me. I was very sick for a week and really not well for a second. I had barely been out of the apartment except for when we picked out Jamie’s suit. To say that men have it easy would be an understatement. First store. First day. First suit. Enough said.

At the end of week two I knew I needed to get out of the apartment. I had seen a bridal store near where we got Jamie’s suit and thought I could ask if they had any shrugs. I chose not to have a brisk walk into town so I jumped on the train and beelined it for the store. I asked about the shrugs and they didn’t have any. Maybe going out with the sweats looking for a shrug was not the best idea after all. As I was leaving the store the saleswoman said I should try around the corner at Panache.

I walked a few blocks, not in my plan, and went into Panache feeling clammy and generally not well. I was greeted by a tall, young, pretty red headed girl. Generally you don’t get greeted over here when you enter a store. I was pleasantly surprised and it perked me up. I asked her if they had shrugs that would match my dress, as I pulled out the sash to show. She lead me right to the rack and showed me about 10 handmade lace shrugs. One caught my eye. It was the last one of its kind and it was my size… I hoped. I went into the dressing room and took off my shirt and realized I had a black tank top on and that would look silly but I had to see if it fit. And it did! It looked beautiful. I went out and asked the girls opinion. She agreed that it looked like a really good fit. Could this really be so easy? Wait… no price tag. I held my breath and asked what the price of this little peace of heaven was and she said it just went on sale for £50 from £150. I think I actually squealed at that moment. I got the shrug, thanked the girl and went back home on the train. I was elated! Are you seeing a pattern here? Last dress, last shrug, my size and on sale = fate.

The dress and the shrug I found to match. It is like they were made for each other. Notice this is a short dress, not flowy and not empire waisted... My mom was right again.

The Dress.

I will let you know at this time that Jamie has never seen me in the full ensamble. That will be something that I do keep traditional. There has to be one thing, Right? Seamstress is all lined up for the first week of August thanks to my friend Sarah Fraser, Fashion Goddess, suggesting a place I didn’t know about.

I love the dress, I love the man and I can’t wait to wear my new dress with my something old, something borrowed and something blue. x heather




  1. LOVE IT and you will look STUNNING!

  2. I love IT!!!!! how are you going to do your hair up or down?

    • Thanks ladies! My hair is going to be mostly down and curled I think. I am just going to pin back a little bit of the sides.

  3. The dress is sooooo elegant and chic, and the lace adds a wee touch of (demure) sexiness. I think it’s perfect. Love it. xx

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.