Shopping for wedding dresses

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Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
First of all, congratulations.

I wouldn't bank on the dress you order online being the same as the one you saw in the store. As Christina said many of these sites sell knockoffs that are cheaply made (hence, the cheaper price) but falsely advertised as the real thing.

Any chance you could find someone local who can make the dress? I will preface this by saying that I couldn't have cared less about a wedding and would have much rather eloped. My husband and I paid for over half of it ourselves and didn't want to spend a lot. I know it's a long shot and I got extremely lucky to find a very talented seamstress. I described what I wanted and she drew it out exactly how I pictured it in my mind. I got a custom Italian satin wedding gown and veil for under $400. A similar dress and veil I saw in a store were $1600 and there would have undoubtedly been alteration expenses. I doubt the quality was as good either. Yes, this was years ago.
Just what I was going to suggest, ADM, but I'm not sure how many seamstresses are left in this country. I am impossible to fit and wasn't the slightest bit interested in a "regular" wedding dress, so I found someone in Sausalito and was extremely happy with the whole experience. It was fun to wear a dress that nobody else would ever appear in anywhere.
Feb 21, 2018
Thank you all for your useful comments. I just wanted to clarify that the dress I am looking at is by Clarisse, an U.S.designer and and appear to be authorized sellers. It appears my risk is timing of the delivery and the fee to return if its the wrong size. I do have a couple of capable seamstresses in mind for alterations. I'll have to think very carefull if saving $500 IS WORTH THE RISK.
The other thing to consider is just how 'alter-able' is the dress.

You will want to be sure there are sufficient seam allowances to permit alterations. If the dress has any beading, ask if they send any 'extra' beads for repairs that are almost always needed after alterations (my daughter's dress had Swarovski crystals all over the bodice - the sleeves needed to be completely removed and re-sized. All the beading near the sleeve seams had to be removed and then the pattern re-established by hand, and the bag of extra crystals sent by Maggie Sottero gave the seamstress what she needed to ensure the dress was perfect).

With the narrow return window the site has, you should have a seamstress ready to go so that the day the dress arrives you can get it evaluated for alterations with enough time for a return/exchange.
Jan 25, 2016
My daughter has ordered prom dresses from and everything about the experience has been wonderful. The dresses that we have ordered are well made, shipped from the continental United States and the return policy is very liberal. When we have needed a different size (even on sale or clearance products), they pick up shipping both ways. When we have returned clearance product (sizing issues, not quality), they have provided in-store credit (which we knew beforehand) which was good for a full year against any future purchase.

I am terribly skeptical and there are some online clothiers that are selling essentially tissue paper, low quality goods and scamming people left and right. I have no experience with, but I am an ardent fan of
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