- 2 years ago
- Wedding: October 2014
Hi Bees, it’s me again. Need your advice and opinions please!!! I really hope this is my last post about dress regret.
Story: I bought a dress in January, “Sofia” by Matthew Christopher. I was madly in love—until I put the deposit down! Since then, I’ve been second-guessing almost nonstop, especially after seeing lots of unflattering photos online. Unfortunately I think my concerns have to do with the fabric and construction of the dress itself, not things a seamstress can change down the road.
I’ve tried on TONS of dresses at MANY salons, so I know there isn’t an existing dress out there that could “unseat” the Sofia. But there’s enough doubt in my mind that I’m seriously considering getting a dress custom-made instead. I’ve met with some designers/dressmakers to explore the option. Price would be the same, and within budget, BUT I’d probably take a loss on the Sofia (whether I give up my deposit or have to sell at a reduced price).
I’m under pressure to decide now, since my wedding is 6 months away and the custom dressmakers all request about that much time. So torn!!! Here are some pix and thoughts.
Sofia on models:
Sofia on me:
I ordered the dress w/ a “Pearl” underlay (silver) instead of the champagne shown above. Here are swatch previews of what that’ll look like:
—She’s the dress that I connected to early on and couldn’t stop thinking about! Still get excited when I see her in a lineup.
—I love the ornate, almost chandelier-like pattern on the front. Whenever I see a dress with this kind of pattern it’s usually done in beading, bling, corded Alencon lace or some kind of textured 3D embellishment—all of which I dislike on me. The Sofia is the only dress I’ve tried on that does this using ONLY a flat, delicate Chantilly lace. I also love how the floral lace combines with an all-over point-d’esprit and silk chiffon bands. Haven’t found anything like it elsewhere!
—It felt like serendipity to meet the designer at his trunk show and request the color change directly with him. 🙂
—The dress suits my wedding style and venue perfectly.
—I LOVE the salon where I bought it—really connected with everyone from the owner to my consultant, and they all rave about the in-house seamstress who will be doing my alterations.
—The dress has gotten many thumbs-up from friends, family, the Bee AND my fiance (who doesn’t know I’ve bought it. I’ve shown him pix of the “contenders” along the way, but he won’t know my final choice until our wedding day. Anyway, I could just tell he loved this one the most).
—And, major pro: I JUST WANT TO BE DONE thinking about the dress for a while and move on to the rest of my to-do list!!!
—I hate the way the bodice bunches and ripples in photos (I’m not convinced even a good seamstress can prevent this, since I’ve seen it on real brides, presumably post-alterations).
—The skirt has too much volume on the bottom for my taste, creating (to me) unsightly folds (like the the one down the front in the 2nd pic of me above).
—The lace is so intricate that I worry any alterations (even simple ones, like taking it in if I drop some weight) might mangle the dress.
—There are places where the lace gets a little sloppy/out of control, like the vines crawling down the skirt.
—In certain light/photos, the underlay looks cheap and too shiny to me.
—The inner shell of the dress is made of POLYESTER, which bums me out—I definitely would’ve paid more for all silk!
—If I absolutely hate the dress when it comes in (August, MUCH too late to get one custom-made), I’ll be out of options…unless I miraculously find a sample or preowned dress I like and pay a seamstress rush fees.
—Most guests would probably expect to see me in a simpler, much more understated dress.
—I was a bit rushed into buying it (I think my mom, a people-pleaser, wanted to make the consultant, salon owner and designer happy when she saw them all bending over backwards to sell me the dress). Part of me feels if I’d asserted myself and taken the extra time to sleep on it, I wouldn’t be out $1750 BEFORE seeing all these problems with the dress.
As for going the custom route…
My vision for the custom dress is a slim-fitting mermaid, strapless sweetheart, sweep train, silver silk under ivory/off-white lace. Here’s the silhouette I’d want (in silver) as the foundation:
and some sheer details I’d want along the neckline and in back:
I don’t really want to “knock off” the Sofia (because I think I’d just end up with an inferior version), so for me the custom dress really be about starting with the ideal shape, and sourcing a vintage-style, floral Chantilly lace that would be interesting enough to stand on its own as an all-over lace on the silver. These are the laces I like best:
The designers I met with seemed to understand my vision and were confident that they can source similar options for me. I liked a few of the sample laces they’ve shown me so far:
—Design details (shape, train length, etc.) would be exactly as I want them.
—I can choose all the materials myself and be sure they’re high quality, comfortable, natural (cotton lace, silk underlay, NO POLYESTER).
—My money would go further here—directly to the materials and construction of the dress itself, rather than designer name, advertising, etc.
—The muslin/shell fitting directly to my body before the dress is constructed would ensure the most flattering fit.
—I can incorporate details I want from the beginning: sheer dipped back, extra scallop along neckline, etc.—which would be pricy if not impossible to add onto my existing dress.
—The dress would almost certainly be of higher quality and better workmanship than one mass-produced in a factory.
—MUCH more time, energy and uncertainty. Dress shopping and wedding planning have taken a lot out of me already, and I’m just not sure it’s a good idea for me to take on a project like this.
—I’m just not excited thinking about the process!
—While I’m sure they’ll do whatever I request, none of the designers/dressmakers I spoke to really “wowed” me with their portfolios, and I didn’t click with any of them on a personal level.
—I’d lose all the unique features that I love about the Sofia. A dress with all-over lace (even one I chose) might not be as interesting to me, design-wise, as my current one.
—It’s a bit extravagant to be considering a second dress when I already have one I (mostly) love, especially considering I could lose a great deal of money.
—And no matter what, I’d be rolling the dice to some extent with a custom dress. Even working closely with the dressmaker, there’s no way to guarantee 100% that it will turn out as beautiful and perfect as I hope.<br />
PLEASE HELP!!! My bridal brain is thoroughly confused at ths point. What do you think?