Advice: Best Dressed
Two wedding-fashion experts share tips on looking your best on the big day
Owner, Trillium Custom Tailoring and Design
Growing up in a family of textile and tailoring professionals, Nicole van der Bogert knew that precise, intelligent design and sewing would always be a part of her life. She pursued a career in finance before opening her made-to-measure custom-suiting shop in Bellevue in 2010.
Q| With so many inexpensive options out there, why spend more for a custom-made suit?
A| Most decent off-the-rack suits cost around $600, but they’ll likely need alterations, which can add another $100 or more, and even well-done alterations are limited to waist and length adjustments before the proportions begin to distort. Our personalized, tailored suits start around $800. Grooms will wear these suits again and again, which is not true of most brides and their costly wedding-day attire!
Q| What’s the experience of custom suiting like? What happens during the appointments?
A| We begin with style; whether the client prefers the formality of a tuxedo, the timelessness of a classic suit, or something trendy and modern. With stylistic goals in mind, we select fabrics and linings. This can be time consuming, but it’s also a lot of fun—the perfect fabric inevitably emerges from the crowd of choices. Next, the design selection process. There are many little details that collectively define the overall look. Finally, we evaluate fit and preferences with a try-on suit, and take around 20 measurements. But even with those exact numbers there’s some art to the science.
Q| What are some of the details that help define the look?
A| The design menu consists of 20 elements, each with two to four options. These include collar type (notch or peak, standard or slim), style of pocket (flap or no flap, straight or slanted, standard or narrow), lapel stitching (2 mm or 6 mm), jacket vent (side, middle, none), buttons, and monograms. Fortunately, most grooms have a distinct opinion about at least several of the major design elements, so my role is to help ensure that the remaining choices come together in an integrated and balanced way. If a groom truly had no idea what he wanted, we’d start by flipping through some style books to generate ideas.
Top 3 Tips
When black suiting isn’t desired I like a deep sea blue. It’s warmer and purer than navy, and refreshing to the eyes.
Favorite accent colors for winter weddings Burnt orange or royal purple
Words of wisdom You’ll be telling the story of your wedding for the rest of your life. Most men’s stories include (or exclude) forgettable rental wear, but yours can include an experience, and the pleasure of wearing a one-of-a-kind garment on your special day.
Blogger, The Lingerie Addict
She’s like Cher and Madonna. The locally based and internationally recognized online lingerie expert uses only one name, and she’s got only one mission: to help women understand and appreciate gorgeous lingerie.
Q| At what point in the process of gown shopping should a bride begin looking into lingerie and underpinnings?
A| As soon as she settles on a silhouette and shape for the dress. For example, if she knows she wants to wear a strapless design, she should bring a variety of strapless bras and bustiers to the fittings. Because there is always trial and error involved in the fitting process, I recommend purchasing from a store with a flexible return policy, like Nordstrom.
Q| There’s a whole world of lingerie out there. What are the most important pieces?
A| Aside from the staples—bras and panties—bustiers are also common. They provide more shaping around the waist and torso. Shaping slips are popular; they work well under bias-cut gowns or whenever the silhouette is really fitted through the bust, waist, and hips. And of course there’s hosiery. Tights, stockings, and pantyhose finish the look. Although they’re not directly related to the wedding itself, I also recommend purchasing a robe, kimono, or dressing gown to wear while getting ready.
Q| What fabrics and innovations help provide a smooth, seamless first layer?
A| I’m a huge fan of classic materials like sheer mesh, which is both sexy and supportive. Laser-cut pieces provide a clean line, and silhouettes sans ruffles, bows, ribbons, and seams are best in terms of avoiding wrinkles and unnecessary bulk.
Q| How about once the ceremony and the celebration are over? What do you recommend for the wedding night?
A| I love the idea of a simple and effortless chemise for the wedding night when you’re happy but totally exhausted. Why not save sexy, seductive, complex pieces for the honeymoon?
Top 3 Tips
When white undergarments aren’t desired Think blush, peach, cream, ivory, coral, and eau de nil (robin’s-egg blue).
Favorite lines and local shops Zovo Lingerie in U Village carries Stella McCartney’s line, which I adore. I also love Toad Lillie’s luxury silk lingerie. The designer is based in Seattle, makes every piece to order, and accommodates a wide range of figures and preferences.
Words of wisdom Superbly cut lingerie in eye-catching colors doesn’t need lace or bows to be sexy. Look for lingerie with quiet details like stitching on the cups, split straps or bands, and gold metallic closures or adjusters.