(Closed) Do and Do Nots of Dress Shopping

posted 8 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
9029 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

i’m interested to know too!

Post # 5
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

DO: Know the price before you try on the dress!

Post # 7
2588 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@blondy: THIS! I tried on some dresses just for fun and LOVED this one (I think it was a Maggie, not sure of the name) until I saw the price tag. Then, I couldn’t wait to get out of that damned thing.

Post # 8
39 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with Randy’s rules, especially “Leave the entourage at home.” Although I’m getting married in Ohio, I live in Texas, and thus having people with me when I shopped wasn’t really an option (though I did go shopping with my mom and sister one weekend when I was home, and my mom flew out here when it was time to buy.) Even with that in mind, I still think it’s a good idea to go to your first appointment alone. Just trying on the first dress is a kind of overwhelming moment; I’m glad I was able to just look at myself and think instead of trying to please people around me.

I would also add: keep an open mind. There was a certain type of dress I thought I wanted, and I ended up getting a totally different style. At my first appointment, I just tried on every different style I could to get an idea of what looked nice on me and what I felt pretty/comfortable in, rather than looking at the specific details of a dress. Then, once I knew the overall style I liked, I was able to start zeroing in on specifics.

Have fun!

Post # 9
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Do wear make-up and have your hair combed… You cant imagine what youll look like on your wedding day if you look like you just rolled out of bed!!

Did the same as statutory Grape… so disheartening…

Post # 10
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

DON’T get hung up on sizes.  I’m a street size 10-12, and tried on a size 28 dress that I couldn’t pull over my hips (from a designer that obviously wants to make brides feel like crying in the dressing room).  You just have to be ok with the fact that bridal sizing is wonky.

Post # 11
7777 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Be open-minded! Try on all shapes and styles so you know what looks good on you.

Post # 12
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I just went dress shopping last week with my Future Mother-In-Law becuase I am a little delayed with my wedding planning. My wedding is in March and I wont even be ordering my dress until the end of  the month! (Have to wait until the mone arrives – poo)

ANYWAYS a few pointers I have learned from last week:

1) Do it enough in advance! I am lucky that the dress I found gets shipped by early Jan. A lot of the more complicated dresses seem to take at least 6 months. (Plus you have to concider alterations) I am pushing my time frame as it is.
2) If a dress doesn’t look good in the bag then you should still try it on! The dresses usually look a lot better on. The dress that I decided to get wasn’t even a pick of mine. I thought it looked “semi nice” so I decided I would try it on. I ended up LOVING it. (Note: If a dress is really hideous don’t waste your time. But don’t ever pass a maybe!)
3) Try not to let whoever comes with you talk you out of your personality/style. My Future Mother-In-Law is a nice Christian woman and deosn’t like that I got a strapless dress… I am pretty sure she winced everytime I tried one on. (Especially the corsetted ones) I love her to death but this is my wedding and my dress! Same goes for you! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Although, opinions are welcomed.
4) Only try on 15 per day. The first day I tried on at least 20+ dresses and I think I started going insane. That sounds stupid but seriosly – it gets confusing when you try too many on. They all start to look the same. And I hate to say it but it does get boring. Infact it becomes a work out! It sucks having to take those dresses on and off.
5) You can wear eye make-up but try to avoid concealer/foundation. I have seen a lot of dresses with smudges of brown stuff on it from that. I think that is disrepectful to the company who owns the dresses whether they are only to be tried on or not.
6) Take tons of pictures! If you like a dress get a picture from every angle. If you are short MAKE SURE TO GET A PICTURE OF YOU STANDING ON THE GROUND AND NOT THE STAND! A lot of dresses will make your figure look funny if you are short becuase unless you plan on walking in 10inch heels you wont be the same length you visualize yourself like when you are on the stand. (I had that problem when I liked corsetted things. They ended up making my torso look extremely long. It was wierd)


Good luck!


Post # 13
739 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Just a few tips from my personal experience!

  • Don’t go on an empty stomache.  For me, I get more easily distracted when I start to get hungry and you’ll probably be there for quite a while.
  • Do wear underwear you are comfortable in people seeing you in. 
  • Don’t hesitate to ask to try on a veil.  If you’re seriuosly considering a dress, adding a veil (if you are planning to wear one) can help you envision the total look.
  • Do pay attention to how the dress feels on.  If it feels hot or heavy now, pay attention as you will be wearing if for several hours.
  • Don’t be afraid to try on something you wouldn’t ordinarily try.  You may be surprised by what style looks great on you!
  • Do wear shoes the general height of those you want to wear on your wedding day, even if you haven’t found your wedding shoes yet.
  • Do make sure there’s extra room in the chest area if you plan on starting birth control before the wedding… I’m completely serious about this one.  I ignored this gem of wisdom and ended up really regretting it.
  • Do have fun!  This is a once in a lifetime experience.  Soak up every moment!

Post # 14
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My advice would be try on every possible shape – it might surprise you what looks best on you!  And listen to the consultant if she encourages you to try a particular style, she deals with different body types every day, knows her stock and may have a hidden gem you would have over looked the first time.  Try to make sure you’re well groomed with hair and makeup and don’t hesitate to ask to see head dresses and veils!  I only took my mum and BFF and I’m glad I did as they know me best and were totally honest.

Good luck x

Post # 15
14494 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

If you plan to wear a bra with your dress buy it in advance.  It is harder to find the right bra to go with your dress than it is to find a dress that goes with your bra (I saw this from the owner of Klienfields in an interview).  For me, I had the bra built into the dress.

Try on dresses that you would not normally try on, they look alot different on the hanger than they do on.  And try on styles that you would normally not.  My dress is nothing like the ones I thought I wanted.

Take a hair clip if you have long hair, you will want to see what the dress looks like with the hair up, if you plan to wear your hair up.

Take LOTS of pictures if you can.  I wanted a dress so bad that I almost bought it right then and there.  Once I got home and looked at the photos, the dress made me look so boxy and not flattering, and that was from three different cameras. 

Make it fun.  Even though I found my “it” dress by myself, I had the best time with my two bridesmaids the day we all went shopping.  We had appointments then lunch, more appointments, then coffee, more appointments, the cocktails and dinner.  I wouldn’t give that day up for the world.

Don’t let anyone talk you into a dress, only you can pick out the dress that is right for you.

Wear spanx or a slip, the odds are good you will be dressing with someone or need help.

Take notes.  Take down the designer, model number, personal comments, price, etc….

Dress up to go shopping, to the nines.  I actually went shopping twice, once with my maids in jeans (total blast) and once with my mother dressed up (she lives out of town).  I could totally tell the difference in how the shops treated us, and some of them I was there with my maids.  At one shop they were falling all over my mother and I and hardly paid any attention to us girls (even though I had my dad’s credit card – he wanted to pay the deposit on my dress).

Good Luck and Have Fun!


Post # 16
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Fab advice from the hive.  I will add to it–don’t put down any money on the first day, even if you find something you love.  Go home, review your pictures (do not accept the “no pictures allowed” rule.  There is not a single designer who makes that stipulation or no shops would allow it) and sleep on it.  Once you do find your dress, shop around.  You would be surprised how much prices vary within a metropolitan area.  Even if a shop carries the brand but not the style, they can still order that style for you.  Also, don’t forget to check out the “pre-owned” sites.  Many of these dresses have never been worn.  You may find your dream dress at a fraction of the price.  Have a great time!

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