Post # 1
For those of you who have shopped for dresses at a sample sale — how nutso can they get? There’s an awesome salon here in Maryland that’s doing a sample sale with incredibly good discounts. Their facebook page says “We suggest wearing comfortable shoes, leggings, and a sports bra to try on as many dresses as possible during the MAYHEM! Bring your A-game and find your dream dress at an insanely low price!“
This will be my first time trying on dresses (for an October 2015 wedding). Would you recommend waiting until I’ve had a couple shopping experiences before fending off the crowds at a sample sale to figure out what I like, or diving right in and hoping for the best? I’m frankly intimidated right now — should I expect bad behavior? Dresses being fought over?
Horror stories and success stories both welcome!!
Post # 2
miasanmia: I have never been to a sample sale but I would recommend trying on a few dresses (at that store or a different one) first. Get an idea of the silhouette you want, if you like beading or lace, colour (white, ivory, blush, etc) so that at the sale you can spend your time only trying on real contenders rather than trying to figure out exactly what suits you!
Post # 3
I have no experience with sample sales, but I do think it would be helpful to try out different styles beforehand so you have an idea of what you like. At a sample sale, you may feel pressured to buy a dress because it looks good and is a really great deal when you may not truly LOVE it.
Are you an indecisive person? Are you impulsive?
Post # 4
I went to a sample sale at Kleinfelds of all places…But I bought a VIP ticket so I didn’t have to fight the crowd… I would definitely try dresses on first so you have an idea going in.
Post # 5
I’ve been to 3 sample sales and I went early. I live in a small city and it wasn’t to to busy. You end up kinda rushed. I’ve bought 2 dresses out of the 3 sales I went too and I wont be married in either. Just be careful…you can feel pressure to purchase!
Post # 6
can you go to the exact store before hand and try on dresses. If you find the one that day you can wait until the sample sale to get it at a good price
Post # 7
Sample sales here get crazy. I wouldn’t buy my dress at one unless I knew the exact style I was looking for. Sample sales are super fun for sportswear and casuals because it’s not as important as THE DRESS!!! I don’t handle crowds well, so I put my ear buds in and jam to block out the other people.
Post # 8
I haven’t had any experience with sample sales, but I went and bought my dress right before a sample sale. When I asked to change my date they highly suggested I didn’t because they didn’t want me to lose out on a dress that I love if it got sold during the sale. So they must get pretty crazy. I agree with PPs, find out what you want first, so then you can snap up a dress you love at a great price!
Post # 9
I bought my dress, belt, jewelery, and bachelorette party dress at sample sales at White Toronto and White Montreal in Canada.
The store books ten brides-to-be per hour so you need to be very efficient. You will share dressing rooms with other women and need to wait for mirrors. Consultants will be helpful but will tend to other brides simultanously.
While it sounds daunting, it’s not that bad. You need to do your research first. I suggest going to the store (the one holding the sample sale or another one) before to get an idea of what suits you and your body best. That knowledge will make you more efficient while at the sale. Also, having an idea of what your preferred designer has produced also helps. I knew I wanted a Bliss by Monique Lhuillier dress so I spent most of my time searching for dresses from that collection.
Another factor to consider is pricing: the older the dress, the steeper the discount. I was very lucky and found a Spring 2014 dress with a -60% discount.
The last factor to bear in mind are alterations. My dress was label size 10 and I am a street size 4. I must get alterations and spend money on it but it will be worth it.
I’m a big fan of sample sales. Once you do your research, respect your budget and keep your focus, you will save a lot of money and achieve the bridal look of your dreams.
Post # 10
I went to one when a friend was looking at dresses. It was crazy but not insane. She didn’t buy a dress, but it was fun in a wild/interesting experience kind of way.
Everybody ran in when they opened the doors and started grabbing dresses. We claimed a space to the side and started piling up dresses and she started trying things on. The leggings and sports bra is excellent advice. I’d also wear your hair securely up in a ponytail, so it doesn’t get in the way. Definitely try stuff on before you go, so that you have an idea of the type of dress you want. Keep in mind that you can usually alter down, but it’s hard to add length/size to a dress. You definitely want to bring 1-2 friendws/family to hep out. And, this is weird, but I actually got a blister on my pointer finger from pulling up all those zippers. So I’d tell any helpers to think abot tht and alternate hands/fingers!
Post # 11
I feel like this is going to depend so much on the store and location. I went to a BHLDN sample sale in Beverly Hills a couple of months ago and was expecting chaos. I got there an hour or so after it started, waited in line for 30 mins and went in. It was completely civilized. You were able to try the gowns on in the dressing room. Everyone was well behaved. I also scored a beautiful Catherine Deane dress for a steal 🙂
Post # 12
Thank you all so much! I love the idea of having earbuds in and psyching myself up. I’ll make sure to have priorities and budget firmly in place — I have to say your feedback definitely makes me feel more prepared for tomorrow morning.
It’s funny, but throughout the planning process I’ve been really anxious about seeing “bad behavior,” if that makes sense. I didn’t want any of the Bridezilla tropes to be true. My worries about the sample sale were mostly centered around having that “MUST HAVE DRESS” mentality confirmed for me. I didn’t want to see cattyness, girls fighting over dresses, etc…
But my experiences here on the Bee haven’t reflected that Hollywood version of bride-versus-bride conflict, so why should I assume I’ll see that at the store! You’ve proven to me that it’s a collaborative experience, planning a wedding, so here’s hoping I’ll see that same supportive community together. Thank you all so much for reminding me not to buy into that mindset.