How an Empire Waist Ruined My Life


We were talking on Echo about empire waists and I told the story of picking a wedding dress, which I didn’t like, but I got married in the days when all wedding dresses were ugly so I had no expectations, really. Except they made an ugly dress ever worse by changing it to an empire waist! At the fitting the waist was at my waist, where I wanted it. It was too late to change it, so I went down the aisle feeling unattractive, and that was that. Actually, it was not the end of the world. I had a good time as you can see from this picture of me and Adrienne, already pretty well toasted.

But now that I look at it, it’s not at the waist OR an empire waist. It’s just completely botched and uneven. I want my money back. Is it too late to sue?

Here’s another view of the worst wedding dress of all time, after Princess Diana’s, of course. This is me and my mother.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “How an Empire Waist Ruined My Life

  1. So self-demeaning. Why?

    Hey…they’re nice pictures.

    I really like the cigarette in the first picture. So true to the period.

    Mike Carrington

  2. Your momma’s so cute! Scary to think we’re probably older now than she was then (I’m two years older than you)

    I was looking at my wedding pictures yesterday — my husband & I do that every year on our anniversary. I learned today that we are very unusual. Many of my friends don’t even know where their wedding pictures are, let alone celebrate anniversaries.

  3. But Mike! It is an ugly dress!

    Deb, thanks for the compliment about my mother. Now I have to figure out how old she was. It would help if I could remember what year I got married. I think it was around 1980. Oh god, you’re right. She was 45 in that shot. I’m older now that she was then. Thanks for the good genes, mom! (My mother died in 2001. Actually, come to think of it, I hope I don’t inherit all her genes, poor thing. She died of pancreatic cancer.)

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