So, you’ve set the date, arranged a venue and ordered the cake. Next job on the list, finding the dream dress.
Today I have teamed up with the renowned Manchester Dress Alterations Shop, Alterations Boutique, to bring you 5 handy tips to remember when searching for the perfect dress. Whether you are looking for a beautiful bridal gown, bridesmaids’ dresses or any special occasion dress, these tips and tricks ensure you get it right.
1. Do your research
When it comes to finding the perfect dress, with so many designers, styles and choices out there you may find yourself overwhelmed by options. A good place to start is by thinking of the styles, cuts and colours you love wearing regularly, avoiding those which you know do not flatter your figure. Once you have established this you can start looking around for dresses which meet these requirements. Platforms like Pinterest or Instagram are great for finding visual inspiration, seeing how different dresses have been styled.
2. Keep an open mind
Going into a shop with a decisive idea of your perfect dress is all well and good until you try it on and it doesn’t live up to your expectation. By keeping an open mind and trying on lots of options you may stumble across something totally unexpected which you absolutely love. Similarly, many dresses you try will need to be adjusted to fit perfectly. Do not be too quick to disregard a dress which could be ideal given a few adaptations. There are many things that can be done with professional dress alterations, here is a breakdown of some of the services available:
- Take in or Let Out Sides
- Narrow Shoulders
- Shorten / Lengthen Dress
- Shorten / Lengthen Dress Straps
- Reshape Neckline
- Replace Zip
- General Repairs
3. Stick to the brief
When searching for the perfect dress, it is essential to consider the event. For example, a dress for a summer occasion is likely to differ from a dress for a winter occasion, one calls for a light, floaty garment, the other a heavier, richer dress. You are highly unlikely to wear the same dress to both a ballroom and the beach, so remembering the confines of the venue, theme or season is key. This can really help narrow down your options to the suitable colours, fabrics and styles, removing temptations which simply wouldn’t be appropriate.
4. Allow plenty of time
Although you shouldn’t start searching for your perfect dress too far in advance as you run the risk of your dress being out of style, the more time you allow to find your dress the better. There is nothing worse than a last-minute rush, struggling to find anything to wear as, more often than not, you end up settling for something that doesn’t feel right by the time you arrive. By allowing plenty of time to find the perfect dress, you can minimise stress and actually enjoy the experience! Bespoke garments usually take 6 months to be made up, and you also need to allow lots of time for any alterations that may need to be made before the event. If you are searching within 6 months of the event be prepared to have to buy off the rack. Once you know where you are likely to purchase your dress from it is also a good idea to book an appointment with a boutique well in advance as they often book up fast, especially if the service they offer is highly recommended.
5. Remember to budget
It is a good idea to establish a guide of what you can afford to spend when searching for the perfect dress, as this prevents you falling in love with an unattainable dress. However, this step may not be quite as simple as it seems. Even if you have decided you can spend up to £1000 on your dress, this does not always mean you can afford to buy a £1000 gown. This figure also needs to include money for any tax, shipping fees or alterations required. Some boutiques also ask for a deposit to the worth of 50% of the value off the dress, meaning that if you do not have sufficient funds, another shopper could come and purchase the dress. By planning ahead monetarily, you will be able to say ‘yes’ and celebrate finding your perfect dress.
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