I’m a wedding photographer who makes a lot of my own dresses for fashion shoots. So I’d already bought a couple Ebay hoops before and always liked the quality.
For my wedding, I’m wearing a giant puffy ballgown. I ordered 3 different styles off of Ebay to see which looked best under my dress. At less than $20 bucks a pop, I figured I would still end up paying less than if I went with one from the bridal store, and I can use them for other things and/or share them down the road with other brides.
These are the 3 I purchased:
The first one, I didn’t love under it. It doesn’t have hoops, so the fabric falls between my legs more and made it seem more difficult to walk. Plus just felt heavier and like I was in closer contact with the scratchier tulle.
The second, perfect amount of poof, liked the swingy bell-ness of the hoops and it felt cooler and like I was walking around barelegged, except I needed to keep things outside of my tulle orbit. I didnt love the front waist area as much, it was literally round all the way around my middle, so I didn’t feel as thin.
The 3rd is perfect. My dress has a small train, so it helps add the flow down the back instead of being a perfect bell shape. The front also doesn’t have tulle on the top hoop, so the puff is more to the back and sides. Still very full and easy to walk in. I’ve been wearing it around the house and spinning. It is a hoop, so practicing sitting in it is necessary. Without my dress on, it flies up if I sit down incorrectly. But with my heavy ballgown on, it holds itself down well. And there are youtube training videos for wearing a hoop lol.
One thing I like about the ebay ones over the ones Ive seen other brides have or in stores is that most of these have elasticated bands with hook closures instead of a drawstring. The drawstring waist ones seem to have too much bulk at the top and dont create a seamless transition from the little waist to the full skirt. Just looks lumpy.
Straight out of the bag, letting it “settle”. Spray starch can help form it to the amount of poof you want, as well.