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Where to look for dresses...

It's probably still a little early (over a year) to start looking for dresses, but I have a certain style in mind and don't really know where to start to look.

I don't want a typical, traditional type of bridal gown... I want a dress that is more slim fitting (sheath style) or a little more flowing (not big and poufy).  I know that this style is not among the majority of dress styles at typical bridal stores.  Is it even worth me going to any bridal gown stores if they don't have a big selection of this type of dress?  I guess I'm also a little worried that I'll be pushed into trying things on that are the opposite of what I want.  Our reception is going to be outdoors next summer  so I want something light and a little more informal and pretty simple. 

I like some of the styles of the gowns on Nordstrom's website but does anyone know if they have these to try on in the store?  Are there any other places in Pgh that would sell white/ivory "evening gown" types of dresses, even if they are not considered a real bridal gown?  I don't even need a train.  Also, I think my budget will be pretty low (under $500).  I am not looking for anything by a fancy designer or anything like that.... I don't care who makes it as long as it looks great on me and it's what I want!

Any suggestions on where to shop for this style of dress would be greatly appreciated!!
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Re: Where to look for dresses...

  • morainemommorainemom member
    edited December 2011
    Hi Deanette!

    My daughter wore a tight fitting gown for her wedding. Most bridal stores carry all types of gowns.

    We bought my daughter's gown at Catan's Bridal Salon in Strongsville, Ohio. (You see photos in the picture section of my profile.)
    You probably don't want to travel that far.

    There is a list of recommended bridal shops in the Welcome to Pittsburgh thread at the top of this board:


    I would try David's Brida and The Winner in Sharon, PA.
  • morainemommorainemom member
    edited December 2011
    You might also check the 2 bridal stores in Butler. One is on Rt. 8 before the Mall and I don't remmeber where Arnellas is.  They used to be in the old Kmart stip mall but I believe that they moved.

    Also - it's not too early to shop for a dress!  My daughter bought hers 18 months before her wedding.

    And - just be firm in what you like with the sales attendants.  They want to make a sale, so they should be attentive to your taste in styles.
  • edited December 2011
    It's definitely not too early to start looking.  My dress took something like 9 or 10 months to come in. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree - i'ts never too early to start looking!  I'm wearing a form-fitting v-neck dress, and while the stores definitely had more strapless/poufy dresses, they still had a fair share of form-fitting and sheath dresses and had many different styles.  I started out going to a high-end bridal salon in Atlanta (knowing full well I wouldn't buy anything) just to try on as many dresses and styles as possible and figure out what I wanted.  Then I looked online, went to David's, etc until I found what I wanted.

    I didn't do too much shopping in Pittsburgh, but I did stop by Carlisle's in the Strip.  They seemed to have a ton of dresses.

    I ended up buying mine online.  I found a Watters dress I liked at a bridal salon and found it for less than half the price online.  If you do this, just be careful - some websites sell knockoffs (which may be fine, as long as they still look good).  The website I used was houseofbrides.com.  I used this for my bridesmaid dresses too.

    For your price range, I think online or David's is probably your best bet.  You can also try looking at used wedding dresses.  Oncewed.com has a large selection of used dresses.

    Good luck!!
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  • LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
    edited December 2011
    If you're comfortable shopping online or will be in New York City soon, you should check out the J. Crew wedding gowns.  Many of them are sheath-style and slim, definitely not puffy!  I'm pretty sure you can order them and return them like the regular clothes there, and they just opened their first bridal boutique in NYC.  They are also pretty affordable!

    Another (mostly online) options is Thread.  They sell a lot of their floor-length, white bridesmaid gowns as wedding dresses.


    FWIW, I would still visit a few regular bridal shops just to see what's out there.  I had a very specific vision in mind for my wedding gown, and it was NOT pure white or puffy or strapless or bedazzled.  This led to some appointments where I could only try on 5 or 6 gowns at a store, but I never wasted my time looking at all the other options that weren't what I wanted.

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  • edited December 2011
    I second the rec for David's Bridal. I got more of a traditional dress (not ballgown, but A-line with a train). I paid $450 for my dress, on sale (I believe it was $500 normally). They have a lot of styles to choose from, and you can look at all of the dresses online before you go to your appt. I brought in pics and style numbers of ones I wanted to try, and pulled some from the racks as well. But I was in total control of everything I chose to try on- no pushiness at all. Good luck, and have fun shopping!
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!  I wouldn't be opposed to buying something online if I thought I liked it, but it might be a good idea for me to try some things on in stores just so I can see what I like/don't like.  I've bought a couple of dresses at David's Bridal before and didn't have any problems with them, so I'll probably check them out too.  

    I'll make sure I update you on my progress.  :)
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  • edited December 2011
    Hi there,
      It's never to early to start:-)  I bought my dress 13 months before the wedding.  I would say check out the bridal stores.  I bought my dress at Alfred Angelo in the North Hills and they have a new line of shorter, beachy dresses, as well as the sheath dresses, and they sell evening/prom gowns that you can order in white/ivory as well!  David's Bridal is another good one to check out.
    Good luck!
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  • edited December 2011
    I went to MB Bride because they had a big selection, and my dress was more evening gown than bridal because it had straps and was more form-fitting.

    What about Nordstrom's? Don't they also sell some evening gown looks? Also, what about ordering a bridesmaid's dress in white for a different look? Just things to think about!
  • Er&JerLemEr&JerLem member
    edited December 2011
    I went to the White Orchid on 51 in Baldwin and loved it.  I actually ended up with a bridesmaids dress that I ordered in white because I also didn't want the typical wedding gown.
  • abbys0420abbys0420 member
    edited December 2011
    I just bought my dress at JCrew, and absolutely love it. There are certain stores that carry their bridal lines. I tried mine on in Georgetown (DC). They have a lot of simple, elegant dresses that are really affordable, and the staff is really helpful. They only come in ivory though, so if you are looking for white, you're out of luck. Their bridal line is on their website.
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