I went in with a very specific idea in mind that was largely based on what I knew would look good on me, so it was unlikely I was going to end up in something radically different. But even given my strong preferences, the dress I chose was still not one I had considered based on photos online.
For years I was convinced I was going to go with a lace sheath with a high neckline, cap sleeves, and little to no train. Specifically this dress from Allure:
When I went shopping, I tried on a few high neck lace dresses, and most of the lace patterns just didn’t look bold or special enough in person. So I started focusing more on getting the fit and silhouette I wanted. The closest match to my vision was Sottero and Midgley’s Grady, which both my mom and I really liked on me, despite it having beading instead of lace:
I could have walked away with the Grady and I would have been happy, but there was still something slightly underwhelming for me. Yes it was one of the dresses I had asked for and it did suit my figure as expected, but it was just too obvious of a choice for me. It would have been the safe choice. It kind of felt like buying a dress you already own in a different color because you know it will fit.
The last dress I tried on was Eddy K’s Sydney, which was the one the consultant had pulled first for me. I had seen photos of this dress online, and while I remembered liking the lace pattern, I thought the cut wasn’t for me. I had told the consultant I didn’t want a V-neck, but I decided I needed to at least try it on to rule it out.
When I tried it on and showed my mom though, it was the first time the both of us really got excited. The lace appliques really popped and added the texture I was looking for. The neckline and back were lower than I would have chosen for myself, but I think the fact that it was a bold and unexpected choice made it feel more special. And I was totally sold on the train, even though I had thought I didn’t want to deal with one.
I’ll need to get the straps tightened to pull the cups up a bit, but beyond that I’m thrilled about the fit on me.
So in my experience, even if you go in with specific dresses in mind, it’s a good idea to give the consultant a few features you like and from there try their suggestions as well. I had told my consultant I was interested in bold lace, high necklines, and cap sleeves. She said she pulled the Sydney because it was the one that immediately came to mind when I said bold lace, and it turned out to be just what I really wanted despite not having the other features.