Alterations Aren't Free???

posted 2 years ago in Dress
Post # 17
Member
3536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

frillsandthrills :  reading people’s responses, it’s actually eye opening how few people have any idea how much work and cost go into making a wedding dress.l. Wedding dresses are not “overpriced, period.” They’re expensive, yes. But overpriced implys that the consumer is being charged a price that’s well over and above a fair margin on the item, which is not the case. 

Clearly very few of the bees have even sewn anything or shopped for fabric. Fabric is EXPENSIVE – even satin polyester. And wedding dresses require LOADS of fabric. Then there’s the time of cutting and seeing a dress together – considerable. Then there’s the embellishments – which all need to be hand-sewn or beaded on even the least expensive of gowns. That’s handwork, everytime. Then the dresses need to be shipped, and imported and taxes paid. All that adds up – it’s an expensive item because it’s a lot of materials and labor. 

Post # 18
Member
3450 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

catskillsinjune :  Its an opinion, we all have them. And in my opinion the dresses are overpriced, period. Paying over $1000 for an article of clothing I’ll wear all of a few hours and never again is not worth it to me. But I’m also one who doesn’t like wedding dresses bc of the structure, excessive fabric, boning, further required alterations etc., so I wouldn’t expect my opinion to be a popular one. Enjoy your day! 

Post # 19
Member
3020 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I didn’t expect free alterations, but I thought my dress would only need a hem and a three-point bustle (the seamstress was so patient with explaining why that wouldn’t work instead of saying HAHAHA NOPE) so I only budgeted US $100 for alterations. 

My bill came out to $350 for a fairly cheap $550 polyester satin A-line dress with a side drape and an organza overlay (the overlay was the source of most of the expense as it needed a separate bustle from the satin and it was a pain in the ass to work with). I imagine more fitted dresses would be even pricier! 

Post # 20
Member
3536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

heavenlyflower :  you’re conflating two very different things: whether wedding gowns are overpriced, and wheather spending over 1k+ for a one-time use article of clothing makes sense/is worthwhile.

The first is not the realm of opinion – you can literally go price out the fabric, labor, and transportation costs and determine if gowns are “overpriced”. Maybe they are – I don’t actually have those figures available – but I suspect that they’re not, from my personal knowledge of costs and labor. Maybe I’m wrong. But this is not a matter of “opinion”. 

The second – whether it’s worthwhile to buy a wedding gown – is a matter of opinion, and yours is totally valid. I loved my dress, and was happy to spend the money I did on it. But I can totally understand the folly of it as well. I’m fortunate enough to be in a financial position where the $1500 I spent on a wedding gown has very little impact on my life, and so it was worthwhile to me because the financial impact was minimal and the emotional impact was pretty great. But that’s not the case for everyone, and I respect opinions that think it’s totally silly. There are plenty of other things that people spend money on that I think are terrible ways to spend money (like diamond rings), but to each their own. 

Post # 22
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I’ve never heard of someone thinking alterations were free lol. I mentally added $400 to each dress when shopping for alterations, slip, shapewear & veil.

Post # 23
Member
656 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think it’s that people don’t value the labor or craft of seamstresses and dressmakers, but as many pointed out this is likely the first (and only) high-ticket dress most of us will ever purchase. There’s an assumption that these high-end craftspeople will make a garment that fits the wearer – otherwise, why all the measuring before ordering, and all the time to make a dress? For me, at least, it’s less “why aren’t alterations free???” and more “why am I spending several thousand dollars and waiting months for a dress that doesn’t fit right the first time?”

Post # 24
Member
627 posts
Busy bee

Mine were included in the cost of the dress. I wouldn’t judge someone for this. The reality is that few people will ever purchase another dress as expensive as their wedding dress. If you take it to an independent seamstress, of course it will cost money. But if you buy in a shop, or from a designer, there’s no harm or shame in not knowing the policies.

Post # 25
Member
717 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

My honest belief: they say this to try to get free shit. They know it’s not free, people will do anything to jimmy their way out of things.

Post # 26
Member
583 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Mine would have been free, she actually gave us a 10% discount for doing alterations myself, so I assume the shop I used builds that cost into the dress price as they were done on site. But yeah, I alter clothing for a living, it’s fiddly and time consuming! 

Post # 27
Member
9946 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I’ve never met anyone who assumed that alterations were free outside of the bee.

Post # 28
Member
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I knew alterations were extra they told me this as soon as I started to try on gowns. What I didnt expect was how expensive they would be for what seemed like very minor alterations; hemming 1.5inch from the bottom, shortening the straps by 1in and stitching fabric a bit tighter where the beaded belt(already attached) and adding the bustle (outside for sheath gown)was =$550. When I asked about letting the dress out an inch around the hips I was simply told it “wasnt possible” due to the type of hem that had been used. Ookay. 

Post # 29
Member
533 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

catskillsinjune :  I think it is widely known that wedding dresses are overpriced. By that I mean that there is a really high markup because it is for a wedding (the wedding industry in general has high markups) and because you pay for the designer’s name or the bridal stores’ name.  

Good fabric is expensive but not expensive enough to justify the avg prices. 

I avoided the usual wedding dress markup by going custom with a talented independent seamstress. I paid strictly for the fabric (costly beaded lace) + labor. I also avoided alterations (another huge money saver) since the dress was made specifically for my body. 

There is no way that most boutique dresses tend to be fairly priced… which is a major factor in why I went custom. 

Post # 30
Member
3536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

futuremrsdaniellebell :  the wedding industry in general has very high markups, i agree. however, i disagree when it comes to wedding dresses; from what I know (which isn’t everything, but I’m happy to discuss if you have data) the markup on wedding dresses is on par with the industry standard for clothing (typical clothiers, not the fast fashion clothiers who have a different business model of low margins, high volume). now, you might argue that all clothing is overpriced – but that’s a different argument.

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