Thirty two dresses. Wasn’t that a movie? In Mia’s case, it would be a depressing documentary, about how fashion designers are missing the mark when it comes to curvy, petite women.
“My advice to designers is to recognize that the average height of U.S. women is 5’4”—a huge demographic that is willing to buy from you. 'Petite' is most associated with height, not weight, which causes all sorts of problems for a curvier figure.”
After so many returns that she started to feel like an Amazon distribution center, Mia did find “the one” for her daughter’s destination summer wedding in London.
The bride and groom, Kathleen and Tim, met at an outdoor restaurant in Boston, where they live. Tim hails from Olney, England. "I think the accent grabbed Kathleen’s attention,” Mia says with a smile. After five years of dating, they decided to get married in England, where Tim’s parents reside. They chose the Buffini Chao Deck at the National Theatre in London for its breathtaking views of London. The wedding, which was quite formal, took place in July.
Kathleen suggested that her mom, Mia, look for a shorter dress to show off her lovely legs, and flatter her petite frame. “I am a petite curvy woman,” Mia says. “I have endured so many obstacles finding clothes that fit and flatter. I knew I wanted to feel beautiful and confident.”
Dress number 32 was the charm: the “Songho” v-neck peplum cocktail dress with elbow-length sleeves, in iris blue, by Chiara Boni La Petite Robe from Saks Fifth Avenue. Chiara Boni is known for its stretchy fabric, which can be intimidating, but Mia says it felt instantly flattering. “Besides the beautiful color, the dress had no buttons or zippers. You step in and pull it up. The fabric was amazing on my skin.” She found a Boston-area seamstress to shorten the hemline for a knee-skimming fit. She paired it with a Betsey Johnson gold jewel encrusted pointy toe sling back pump.
“Through laughter and tears, this dress made me feel confident,” Mia says. “A close friend who knew I was getting frustrated came over to see it on me in person and convinced me to say yes to the dress!”
Mia had one more surprise up her (short) sleeve: a blue fascinator to match the dress. She found it on Etsy. “It was the perfect accessory for a wedding in London and had a flower on it that mirrored my dress. I didn’t show anyone until the wedding day.”
Dress decision made and fascinator in place, Mia said she was able to enjoy every minute of her daughter’s wedding day, surrounded by loved ones who flew in from the states. “Seeing the smiles and tears from our family and friends while my husband walked Kathleen down the aisle was an incredible moment,” Mia says. “She was stunning.”
| Photography by Emily Montay