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Dress shopping in less than a month...need advice!

Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut
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My mother and I are beginning my dress search the first weekend in February. I have a strapless nude bra and I got a pair of seamless nude hipsters (I hate thongs.) Any advice for beginner dress shoppers?

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Re: Dress shopping in less than a month...need advice!

  • I wore nude granny panties (like... almost to my belly button) and a nude strapless bra. I was fine. Some of the consultants thanked me for not wearing a thong haha. I knew most of the dresses would be too small/ too big from the get go. I was prepared to have a big gap showing my back, and that helped me a lot.... I didn't feel insecure or uncomfortable. I just knew it was par for the course.

    My dress was way too small in the sample size. I only saw it with it clipped to my bra, big gap  in the back. But how it looked in the shop is pretty much how it looked on me when I bought the dress (I was concerned that It looked great on my only because the consultant was holding it a certain way).

    But wait on accessories. I bought a belt that looked great on the too small dress, but just added inches to my waist in the real dress.

    Check out a few small shops... I found my dress at a tiny little shop that looked a little less glamorous (a little run down, a little old fashioned). But the dress was what I wanted, and the price too!

    Also, I hate my dress on the hanger. Okay. I don't hate it. But I don't like it. But when I tried it on? transformed! So don't say no to things out of hand.

    Where in CT are you shopping? I can send over suggestions/ my opinions of the places I looked if you head to western CT
  • AlPacinaAlPacina Portlandia
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    I have no advice because I've never done it, but....... Yay! How exciting!

  • Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut
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    @lilacck28‌ I'm actually doing two places in western MA with my mom since she's up there then going to look in CT.

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  • Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut
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    @cu97tiger‌ any advice for a first time Spanx user? I hate my mid section so that may be a good idea... I am also super prepared to try on everything because I don't really know what I want. I'm stocky and petite with hips and a butt. Who knows what will actually look good? therefore Project Try on ALL the dresses commences.

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  • eilis1228eilis1228 Southwest
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    Everyone has already given good advice, but I'll also add to trust your consultant. Don't necessarily be bullied by them, but if they pull a dress that you think looks weird on the hanger, try it on anyway. They've seen all the dresses on tons of different women and typically know what will flatter you and what won't. My consultant ended up picking the dress I bought, but I never would have picked it out myself. 

    Some salons have long bras that they'll provide for you. I bought a strapless nude bra but never had to use it.


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  • labrolabro Hotlanta
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    edited January 2015
    Hmmmm as far as Spanx go they have different levels of "Suck it in". Try on different styles and pick one you feel comfortable in. Also ask a consultant. Tell her you're trying on wedding gowns and what your areas of concern are and she'll help guide you.

    Definitely wait on any accessories. Go ahead and try on a veil, belt, hairpiece, whatever at the salon but just take notes. You can find all of that for significantly less money off Etsy or from a second hand bridal shop.

    Be strict about your budget. Most good salons will work with you but there are others out there who will constantly try to upsell you or push you out of your comfort zone with money.

    If a salon will let you take pictures then definitely do it! It was nice to be able to compare how I photographed in a dress to how I looked in the mirror, plus it helped me remember the dress and compare it to others.

    Don't book more than three appointments in a day and try to take coffee or lunch breaks in between. Make sure to leave enough time between appointments for travel, traffic, and appointments that run over schedule.



    Blackbird230[Deleted User]lavenderfields13
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains
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    Hmmmm as far as Spanx go they have different levels of "Suck it in". Try on different styles and pick one you feel comfortable in. Also ask a consultant. Tell her you're trying on wedding gowns and what your areas of concern are and she'll help guide you. Definitely wait on any accessories. Go ahead and try on a veil, belt, hairpiece, whatever at the salon but just take notes. You can find all of that for significantly less money off Etsy or from a second hand bridal shop. Be strict about your budget. Most good salons will work with you but there are others out there who will constantly try to upsell you or push you out of your comfort zone with money. If a salon will let you take pictures then definitely do it! It was nice to be able to compare how I photographed in a dress to how I looked in the mirror, plus it helped me remember the dress and compare it to others. Don't book more than three appointments in a day and try to take coffee or lunch breaks in between. Make sure to leave enough time between appointments for travel, traffic, and appointments that run over schedule.
    Oh my gosh, so much the bolded. I did four bridal shops in a day (well, three bridal shops and a special occasions shop), and I was BEAT by the end of it.

    And while it's important to be open to other dresses, don't compromise on features "the dress" has to have. For example, mine had to at least have good straps if not sleeves for my own comfort - strapless was not an option.
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO
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    Good luck with your dress shopping! Let us know how it goes!


  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio
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    Many may not agree with me but I'm going to say it anyway:
    If you find the dream dress - don't be afraid to walk away and sleep on your decision.  Many brides-to-be get caught up in the moment and buy a dress that may have not been their absolute favorite.

    Take pictures.  I was in between two dresses at the last place I tried on dresses (price may have had something to do with it though too) - the one looked pretty on but just didn't photograph well at all (I went through my pictures and found out I tried the dress on 3 times at 3 different places but it just looked so different in person than in picture and the picture is what I remembered).

    Don't be bullied to buy a dress!!  I had consultants try to push me in a dress that I liked but didn't feel it was the one.  I went shopping with 1 girl as well and her tastes are very different than mine, she did the same thing.  I did have a consultant guilt me into trying on a dress (she knew the dress and knew how it fit and knew it was the style I was going for) - I did love it and I still think it was a great dress; if I was having a PPD I would totally get it; so don't be afraid to be bullied in that way.


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  • Everyone had a lot of good things to say already.  I'll just add when you find the one you want just stop shopping.  I found my dress early on in the process, but my mom wanted to have fun dress shopping and insisted I go to David's Bridal.  It was a waste of time after I found "the one".

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  • Hummingbird125Hummingbird125 New York
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    My biggest advice is that there really is NO RUSH. Every single time I went to try on dresses (4 separate times before buying), I found a new "favorite" gown. I decided after my 3rd "favorite" dress that I wouldn't buy one until it was my favorite two separate times. It worked! I went shopping with @buddysmom80 @goldenpenguin @csousa1 and @swazzle and found a dress that I loved in every way and seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. 6 weeks later I went to a different bridal shop (with my mom this time) and found a bunch of new gowns I wanted to try on, before trying that gown on again - I was right, it was THE dress - and that time I felt no apprehension in saying "yes" to it.

    So, definitely don't feel like just because you're pretty sure you're found "the dress" you need to buy it right then and there - you can wait and make sure it's the right one! Some bridal shops may try to pressure you into making the purchase, but unless you're within 7 months of your wedding, I don't think you have any reason to stress about time.
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  • Ditto @lapeanut1018 saying don't book more than 3 appointments and definitely take a break and have snacks on hand.

    Also, ditto @dignity100 - Don't be afraid to walk away from the dream dress. For one, you should go home and see if you can get it cheaper on the interwebz. For two, if it's your dream dress, it will still be your dream dress tomorrow.

    RE: Spanx - Go to Target and grab a couple different kinds of Spanx and Assets. Keep the receipt, go home and try them on, and take back the ones you don't like. I love my 'boob to knee' ones. But I also love my bellybutton to mid-thigh ones, so you'll just have to see what you like!
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  • Hummingbird125Hummingbird125 New York
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    I'm with @goldenpenguin and @cu97tiger - I don't think you definitely need to cancel your dress shopping appointment, but go purely for fun - not with any plan of actually buying anything. There is no reason whatsoever to purchase a gown more than a year before your wedding, and if anything you just risk not loving it as your date nears.
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  • labrolabro Hotlanta
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    TwoDimes said:
    My wedding is in 6ish months, and I haven't gone shopping dress shopping yet.... hides head in shame.


    As punishment we expect the ultimate AW dress shopping post when you finally DO go.

    @Blackbird230 Just jumping on the train, I forgot your wedding wasn't til the end of 2016. I'd definitely wait to do SERIOUS dress shopping until you're no more than 12 months out. Styles could change significantly and so could your personal style. I'd just hate to see you get stuck with a dress that you fall out of love with. It's still cool to go shopping now, but don't shop to buy. Wait on that until later.



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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio
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    If your wedding isn't until 2016 you have 2-3 seasons of dresses that have not come out yet! 


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  • I agree with previous advice. Wait a bit before shopping. Once I started shopping, 12 months out, when it was "just for fun" I couldn't stop.  I felt the need to finish my search. If you can manage to do a "just for fun" visit without becoming obsessed, good for you!

    As for when you're ready to shop/ buy: I tried the dress I ended up buying 4 different times, 3 different visits. Definitely don't hesitate to wait to buy. The consultant WILL say "I hope it doesn't get discontinued!" It didn't. It's still there, hanging out. It's the tactic that pretty much all consultants will take.
  • I bought my dress in November 2010.  they said it was going to be discontinued.

    they still carry it, over 4 years later.  *eyeroll*  thankfully I got it half off and I loved it, so it wasn't a big deal. 

    have fun trying on fancy dresses!
    lilacck28
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