(Closed) Sample Dress… To purchase or not to purchase?

posted 5 years ago in Dress
  • poll: Should I:
    Go with the sample and have faith that it will work : (38 votes)
    55 %
    Try to find a pre-owned dress online : (15 votes)
    22 %
    Find a different dress : (16 votes)
    23 %
  • Post # 3
    122 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I’m on the fence here.

    It sounds like the dress will have to be taken in quite a bit which shouldn’t be a problem with the right seamstress, but the wrong seamstress could possibly ruin the dress (take it in too much or ruin the silhouette). There also seems to be a considerable amount of stains on the dress that should come out, but then again that’s another factor to consider. As for the tears, I haven’t encountered that issue so I can’t say how easy/hard of a fix that would be.

    Altogether, I’m not sure I would purchase the dress. It seems like there are quite a bit of issues with it and quite a bit of margin for something to go horribly wrong with it. On the other hand, if you truly feel this is “the dress” it might be worth taking the risk. It is a bit worrying though that you could possibly use up most of your budget on this dress and not be able to afford something else if this didn’t work out.

    Also, if your wedding date is correct, I’d hesitate to buy a sample so far out especially if it isn’t something you’ve always pictured yourself in. You might find that you have dress regret later on.

    Post # 4
    2566 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I’m in a similar boat buying a discontinued sample in silk fabric, prior to pulling the trigger the saleswoman walked me over to the seamstress next door who took one look and told me not to have the gown cleaned.  She said she could spot clean it to get out the few marks on the dress but with silk fabric she told me washing the gown would change the look and feel of the fabric, as well as possibly the fit.  If you think spot cleaning would do it then that wouldn’t be an issue but I’d be leary of letting your gown be fully cleaned.

    As far as tears go, my dress has a small one on the front of the skirt and I swear standing in the mirror inspecting myself I couldn’t see it.  I figure anyone who decides to examine my dress on my wedding day with the scrutiny necessary to find that thing can take a leap, so I’m not worried about it 🙂 But I know I’m a lot more laissez-faire about these things than my mother, who was also concerned about buying the sample.  I’d recommend finding a really awesome seamstress and seeing if she will meet you at the salon to take a look at the dress, maybe you can get some reassurance that it can be fixed up before you committ.  I’d imagine the pleats would make covering up any imperfections easier but I’m no expert.

    By the way it’s a gorgeous dress!  Post pics if you have any 🙂

    Post # 5
    1670 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @mrsflores14:  Sweat Stains? I wouldn’t do it. If your wedding is really in 2014 you have some time to figure it all out. 

    Post # 7
    6222 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

    Honestly, if they can cover the tips or alter them out, I don’t see what is unethical about it. It’s not like they are trying to sell you the dress at close to the original price- out was probably closer to 3k. Your mom seems a bit dramatic. I know a pp said you have time to figure it out, and you have 8 months, but unless you buy a much lower quality dress, you won’t be getting a new one. I would try to barter with the store and have the seamstress or some other qualified professional spot clean the dress first before you decide to buy.

    Post # 8
    23597 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2011

    @mrsflores14:  I love this dress on you! I kind of think that you should just get this dress because you love it so much.  Sounds like you get it worked up to close to “like new”, so I say go for it!

    Post # 9
    32 posts
    • Wedding: June 2014

    It looks beautiful on you!  I say go for it.  The style of the dress will make it easier to hide imperfections. 

    Post # 10
    1041 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @mrsflores14:  Beautiful!  Go for it!  See if the salon can lower the price more or throw in an acessory (headpiece or veil) – maybe that will appease your mom?  Under $500 for a silk dress is a bargain!  And yes, the fabric is more fragile, but once it’s cleaned and altered, no one will know it was a sample gown.  Just make sure you take it to a reputable seamstress.

    Post # 11
    3371 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    My only concern would be the sweat stains, and the likelihood of them coming out. Are you able to negotiate with the store to have the dress cleaned, and then assess whether you want to buy it? It would be terrible if you bought it, and then they couldn’t restore it after cleaning. 

    Otherwise I think it’s a stunning gown, and a great price. You might even be able to talk them down further.

    Post # 13
    3241 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    I think the dress looks great on you and the issues with it being a sample can be addressed by a good seamstess (and since you are going from a size 12 to a 6/8 the seamstress will have some fabric to work with). They are cleaning the dress for you, so the dirt and sweat will come out (the sweat stains on my wedding dress came out when I washed it).

    Plus buying a preowned wedding dress that you can’t see before you purchase, might have more issues than the sample dress.

    No advice for getting the price down further, it can’t hurt to ask….but honestly it already sounds like a really good deal. 🙂

    Post # 14
    1022 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    I too was faced with a similar situation of not getting the dress I want OR purchase the sample (dress discontinued after putting down a deposit). The sample was about 6-8 sizes too big and I knew it would never look the same so I opted out. But from afar the dress looks really good on you and you are glowing so this might be your dress. If YOU feel like this is the one and you can deal with a dress that may be slightly less than perfect (and I stress may be!) then go for it. YOUR opinion is the only one that matters when its all said and done.

    Post # 16
    188 posts
    Blushing bee

    I went through a smiliar situation. I had found my dress at a previous store in bright white, but had another appointment the next day. The owner of the store put me in a well used store sample (Essense of Australia gown) in ivory. She told my mom and I she would give us a 50% discount. As I looked closer at the dress while it was on me I noticed beading missing, a high heel indent in the silk fabric, and some spots. I was not impressed, even though the price was great. It took me going through that to realize I had already tried on my dress the previous day. Even though I had to purchase a sample dress (due to short engagement) I refused for it to look used or imperect on my wedding day.


    Good luck. Only you know what you are willing to wear and be comfortable in on your wedding day. 

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