- 7 years ago
- Wedding: February 2012
I actually joined the site just to make this post! So here are some quick details: I’m a street size 18/bridal size 24 right now due to some health problems (but losing quickly thanks to serious gym time + new meds) and I was dreading shopping for a gown, especially since I consider myself quite fashion forward and both my FI and I work in media in NYC so expectations are very high in terms of presentation/aesthetic. He’s wearing a very handsome custom John Varvatos suit and I want to look just as good!
Anyway, as pre-con for actual dress shopping, I checked out RK Bridal just to get a feel for dress shapes and narrowed it down to trumpet/mermaid/fit and flare. They were so nice and had a great selection of larger sample sizes, so if you’re a larger lady like I am, I definitely would recommend dropping by if you want a lot of options.
When my mom got to town, we went to Saks’ bridal salon and it was the WORST. They had very few dresses and they wanted me to just hold them up to my chest in the mirror. NO THANKS! After that, we quickly cancelled our Bergdorf’s appointment, as it is supposedly a similar environment.
Then we went to Vera Wang, where a rude consultant named Ana told me flat out that I couldn’t wear a mermaid style dress and that I had to wear an A line. She pulled a bunch of dresses and the only one that she could get on me was the Deirdre, which is a gorgeous dress, but very voluminous and not what I was going for. She told my whole party that THIS HAD TO BE THE DRESS, when in reality, it was the only dress she could get on me! She also neglected to tell me the dress came in a mermaid and a modified mermaid shape, which ticked me off, as I kept saying I didn’t want an A line shape. We made it clear from the beginning we had a large budget, but she definitely screwed up a potential sale by being so judgemental and rude.
She made my slimmer best friend try on the dress to show me how it fit when closed properly, and while they were in the dressing room together, told her “don’t let your friend wear a mermaid!” It was very demeaning, especially since I was initially convinced I’d find my dress at Vera.
The next day, we went to Kleinfelds. I had mixed expectations, as I have seen Say Yes and know how gaudy some of their dresses can be. On the other hand, I was looking forward to having more options in terms of sample sizes–I wanted to try on some dresses!
We had specifically booked our appointment with the in-house build outs expert, as I need to cover my shoulders for our Orthodox wedding. It turns out, she’s Kleinfelds’ hidden gem! Her name is Rochel Leah, and she keeps her own calendar and has her own office separate from the chaotic changing rooms and crowded floor. She ushered my posse into her room, ACTUALLY listened to my concerns, and proceeded to pull a lot of great dresses that I could see myself wearing.
Turns out, what I wanted was ALL Pnina Tornai, which is not the designer I envisioned myself loving, but there I was, falling in love with one of her gowns. Sadly, there isn’t a photo of my dress anywhere online, but it’s very old hollywood glam with boning to the hip and a skirt that flows downwards in a soft fit and flare shape with a small but elegant train. I didn’t like the original beading, so we have an appointment with Pnina herself in a few weeks to pick a different lace and bottom layer! I can’t tell you how flexible Rochel and the Pnina rep were being; promising I could get any lace from any of her other dresses onto this silhouette.
I would definitely recommend Kleinfelds if you can get in with Rochel Leah, especially if you need sleeves or a modesty alteration. I went to other boutiques after (Bridal Reflections, AWFUL) and had a private meeting with Douglas Hannant’s people to check out the new fall bridal line and I can say that the only place I felt like my voice was being heard was at Kleinfelds. Plus, the final price quote for all our intended alterations was way lower than we’d anticipated.
Hopefully I’ll have photos as we start getting the dress together!