Rolling Out

Trisha R. Thomas reveals the best advice she was given as a dressmaker

Trisha R. Thomas’ latest novel is about the biggest day of a woman’s life

Trisha R. Thomas is known as the bestselling author of the book Nappily Ever After, which was turned into a feature film on Netflix. She’s now back with another book about women finding the perfect dress, titled The Secret Keeper of Main Street.

Thomas spoke with rolling out about her inspiration for writing the book, some of the things she’s learned being a dressmaker and the best advice she’s ever given to a bride.

What is it about dresses that make them special for you?

They’re right up there with hair. Nappily Ever After is a defining moment for women. Your wedding is the biggest day of your life, so there’s nothing bigger than that and how you present yourself. It’s everything; it is your defining moment; and it just stays with you forever. I know a lot of people will regret some of the style choices that they’ve made — and that’s when we call the renewal of the vows so we get a second chance to wear what we really should have worn and not be pressured by all the voices everywhere. I think I meant to show that women glow from the inside out.

How can that dress make a woman feel like their best, authentic self?

That’s absolutely what it is. As a dressmaker, I saw a lot of decisions being made by moms, mothers-in-law, and sisters — and it’s a lot of pressure. If they get the chance to show themselves it just means everything. That’s what a wedding is; it’s, like, you’re in the community and you’re bringing families together. They get to meet you for the first time, and you get to show who you are — and that’s the same thing with hair. When you walk into a room, people make a lot of assumptions about you based on your hair and your clothing; that’s just the way it is in our world. It was probably the most natural jump from Nappily Ever After to The Secret Keeper of Main Street.

I thought it was just a natural leap of going from the authenticity of hair to the intensity of your gown, and this one is a little bit of a supernatural element. She’s a seer, so she can touch the bride and know if she’s really in love with the person that she’s going to marry. That was just another element of [the new novel] because I used to always get questions and would be giving advice. I was, like, “I’m a dressmaker.” I don’t have the capability of telling you to make the right decision or not — but it would get that kind of deep.

What do you think is the best advice you gave?

Always follow your heart and do what you feel because there’s a part in the story where one of the brides says that women marry for our families not for our hearts. That was one of the things I always wanted brides to feel. Are you getting married for yourself or are you getting married for your family? I would just leave that with them and hope they, you know, showed back up and paid for their dress. That was basically the running theme. It’s, like, are you getting ready for yourself or are you doing this for your family?

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