(Closed) Who bought a pre-owned dress? Good decision or bad decision?

posted 8 years ago in Dress
  • poll: If you bought a pre-owned dress was it....

    A good decision!!

    A bad decision!!

  • Post # 18
    128 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    @Lily_of_the_valley:  Damn…. There’s a chance it’ll be two inches too short if you wear flats, then.. I’m with

    View original reply
    @Avalein:  better safe than too short..

    Any other leads? I still recommend the pre-owned route.

    Post # 20
    4517 posts
    Honey bee

    I bought a Vera Wang used from a bride who was taller and bigger than me. I did end up spending $1,000 in alterations because the dress was so complicated and had to be taken in by a lot, but even with alterations it was much less than the original. I’m in love with the dress!! I would ask for measurements in advance

    Post # 22
    1006 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 1994

    I had a non-traditional dress that I bought pre-owned. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked out great. I loved my dress. 

    Post # 23
    715 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Buying used is a great option,  I didn’t do it but I honestly wish I had Considered it.  However you do have to be smart about it.  I would be put off by the fact she’s two inches shorter AND wore flats.  She may not have had it altered,  but she probably didn’t order it in extra length like many of us had to do.  I’m onky 5’6″ and I still ordered edits length and so glad I did – it would have been too short otherwise.  I would say keep looking. 

    Post # 24
    2315 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    Yes and no. There are certain risks, so you need to ask the right questions and do your due diligence. Overall, I would say it’s worth the effort if you are in love with a dress that’s outside your budget otherwise, or if you don’t feel like paying retail for a dress you’ll wear for just one day. 

    My biggest piece of advice: do NOT buy a gown that hasn’t been cleaned. Even if it doesn’t look too bad now, you have no way of knowing what was spilled on the gown during the course of the wedding. If it’s ‘clear’ liquids like lemonade, white wine, champagne – these won’t show up straight away but will oxidise over time, leaving unsightly brown stains that are pretty much impossible to remove, even with the most expert dry-cleaning. Even if there’s a steep discount, I would always ask the owner to have the dress dry-cleaned before committing. 

    My other major comment would be to know your own measurements (get measured professionally if necessary) and make sure you get detailed measurements from the seller, including length.

    Post # 25
    519 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I think the height difference would be a deal breaker for me. I tried on a very pretty preowned/sample Romona Keveza gown that I didn’t even consider due to the fact that you could see my purple socks as I was walking towards the mirror. 🙁

    Did you know that you can set up dress alerts on preownedweddingdresses.com? That way you’ll get an email notification when a certain dress model gets added to the site, if you’re not happy with any of the existing options. 

    Post # 26
    8700 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2013

    My dancing dress was pre-owned! I got it for $100, and did the shortening/tailoring/adding a crinoline myself! WAY worth it!

    Post # 27
    571 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014


    I bought my dress from preownedweddingdresses. I was worried because the bride was 5’10 with heels and I’m only 5’4. I bought a hoop skirt which fixes the length problem! Only have to get the chest area taken in, huge relief!

    Post # 28
    3954 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I bought a Monique Lhuillier dress pre-owned and it was the best decision I’ve ever made! That said, I got to see and try on the dress before I bought it. I would only do it if you can see it in person and ideally try it on.

    Post # 29
    19 posts
    • Wedding: December 1969


    For my wedding I purchased a sample from a bridal store a which was 1-2 sizes bigger although I got 50% of original price of $3750 alterations & gown press came out to being $565 but I felt like I still got a great deal.

    I also purchased a Pre-owned dress that I ended up not wearing and just listed it on the classified ads.I agree about making sure it has been cleaned that’s one of the reason I bought my used dress.The bride had dry cleaned both dress & mantilla.Also make sure there are no stains tears etc…Mine has sat in the closet now for the last 4 yrs and bc it had been cleaned still looks pretty new.Both are a great way to save money without compromising what you want in a dress.

    Post # 29
    1785 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    I’m buying a sample gown, which is sort of used since it’s likely been tried on several times. I’m very happy with the decision so far because I saved over $3,300 on it. It has a few TINY tiny tiny holes in the tulle, but completely unnoticable. The store repaired/reinforced all of the beading since I paid over $1,000 for it, and shipping was only $40 plus they had it dry-cleaned before sending it. Honestly, I find it thrilling to get an amazing discount on a designer gown, and since it’s a discontinued gown it just makes it more rare, and it truly is a unique gem! If it feels right, I say go for it!

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