Wedding dress shopping can be a daunting task for any bride-to-be, but purchasing a sample wedding dress can be a smart and savvy option for those looking to save money or find a unique gown. If you’re unfamiliar with the process of buying sample dresses, fear not! This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to buy sample wedding dresses like a pro.
First things first, research your local bridal boutiques and their sample sale schedules. Sample sales are typically held at the end of a season, so keep an eye out for announcements. When attending a sample sale, it’s important to know your budget and stick to it. Don’t forget to ask about the sizing of the sample dresses, as they may not match your typical dress size.
Before making a purchase, take the time to inspect the dress for any flaws or damages. Don’t be afraid to bring your own accessories or ask about potential alterations. And remember, don’t rush the process – take your time to find the perfect sample wedding dress for your special day.
So, whether you’re on a tight budget or simply looking for a unique dress, purchasing a sample wedding dress can be a great option. Keep reading for our ultimate guide on how to buy sample wedding dresses like a pro!
Find the Best Sample Sales Near You
When it comes to buying a wedding dress, every bride wants to find the perfect one without breaking the bank. Luckily, sample sales are a great way to score a designer gown for a fraction of the original price. Here are some tips on how to find the best sample sales near you:
Follow Bridal Boutiques on Social Media
Bridal boutiques will often announce their sample sales on social media, so make sure to follow your favorite shops for updates. This is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest sales and events. Don’t forget to turn on post notifications, so you don’t miss any important announcements.
Check Online Bridal Marketplaces
There are many online bridal marketplaces, such as Stillwhite, Nearly Newlywed, and Tradesy, where you can buy and sell pre-owned wedding dresses. You can filter your search results by size, designer, and location, making it easy to find sample sales near you. Plus, you can save even more money by purchasing a gently used wedding dress.
Attend Bridal Shows and Events
Bridal shows and events are a great way to meet vendors and get inspiration for your wedding day. Many of these events also feature sample sales from local bridal boutiques. Check out the event website beforehand to see if any sample sales are happening, and bring cash or a credit card to make purchases on the spot.
- Sample sales: A great way to save money on a designer wedding dress
- Bridal boutiques: Follow them on social media for updates on sample sales
- Online bridal marketplaces: Filter search results by location to find sample sales near you
Know Your Budget and Stick to It
When shopping for a wedding dress, it’s important to have a budget in mind. Without a clear understanding of what you can afford, it’s easy to overspend on a dress that you love but can’t afford. Take a hard look at your finances and determine what you’re comfortable spending. Be realistic and considerate of the other expenses that come with a wedding.
Once you’ve set your budget, it’s important to stick to it. While it may be tempting to splurge on a designer dress or a style that’s outside of your budget, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of beautiful dresses within your price range. Don’t let the pressure of finding the perfect dress cause you to overspend and create financial stress down the line.
Determine Your Budget
- Create a budget specifically for your wedding dress.
- Consider the other expenses associated with your wedding.
- Be realistic about what you can afford.
Research Prices and Styles
Before heading to a bridal boutique or scheduling a virtual appointment, do your research. Browse online and take note of the styles and designers that fit within your budget. Consider sample sales, which offer designer dresses at discounted prices, as a budget-friendly option.
Be Transparent with Your Salesperson
When shopping for a wedding dress, be upfront with your salesperson about your budget. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to dresses that are outside of your price range. A good salesperson will respect your budget and work with you to find a dress that you love within your budget.
- Set a budget and stick to it.
- Do your research before shopping.
- Be transparent with your salesperson about your budget.
By keeping your budget in mind and being realistic about what you can afford, you’ll be able to find a wedding dress that you love without breaking the bank. Remember that it’s not about the price tag, but how you feel in the dress on your special day.
Understand the Sample Dress Sizing
When it comes to shopping for sample dresses, it’s important to understand the sizing. Sample dresses are typically a size 8, which is considered the standard sample size in the fashion industry. However, not all sample dresses will fit a size 8 perfectly, so it’s important to try them on and check the measurements.
It’s also important to remember that sample dresses have often been tried on multiple times, so they may have stretched or be slightly worn. This can affect the fit of the dress, so it’s important to carefully examine the dress for any signs of wear or damage.
Check the Dress Measurements
- Always check the measurements of the sample dress before purchasing.
- Measure yourself and compare your measurements to the dress measurements to ensure a good fit.
If the sample dress is not a perfect fit, consider getting it altered by a professional tailor. Keep in mind that alterations can add to the cost of the dress, so factor this into your budget.
Be Realistic About Your Expectations
It’s important to have realistic expectations when shopping for sample dresses. While you may find a great deal on a designer dress, keep in mind that it may not be in perfect condition and may require alterations. Be prepared for this and have a plan in place to ensure that you get the most out of your purchase.
Bring Your Own Accessories
When it comes to dressing up for an event, accessories can make or break an outfit. While some clothing stores might offer accessories to go with your outfit, it’s always a good idea to bring your own. By bringing your own accessories, you can ensure that they match your outfit perfectly and that you feel comfortable wearing them.
Here are some tips for bringing your own accessories:
Coordinate with Your Outfit
When choosing accessories to bring, make sure they match your outfit. This includes color, style, and overall aesthetic. A good rule of thumb is to stick with the same color family and choose accessories that complement the style of your outfit. For example, if you’re wearing a flowy bohemian dress, opt for a statement necklace or bangles to complete the look.
Keep it Simple
While accessories can add a lot to an outfit, it’s important not to overdo it. Stick with a few key pieces that complement your outfit, rather than piling on everything in your jewelry box. Remember, less is often more when it comes to accessorizing.
Finally, make sure you’re comfortable with the accessories you choose. This means not only physical comfort but also feeling confident in your choices. If you’re not used to wearing statement jewelry or high heels, don’t force yourself to wear them just for the sake of fashion. Stick with accessories that make you feel comfortable and confident.
Inspect the Dress for Flaws
Before making a purchase, it’s crucial to inspect the dress thoroughly for any flaws or damages. You don’t want to end up with a dress that has tears, holes, or missing buttons. Check for any loose threads, stains, or discoloration, and make sure the zipper works smoothly. It’s also important to check the dress’s measurements to ensure it fits well. If you’re shopping online, be sure to check the seller’s return policy, in case you need to return the dress for any reason.
Here are some tips on what to look for when inspecting a dress:
Check the seams and hems
Inspect the seams and hems for loose threads, uneven stitching, or any signs of tearing. It’s also essential to check the lining to ensure it’s not bunching or hanging below the hemline.
Look for stains and discoloration
Check the dress carefully for any stains or discoloration, especially around the neckline, armpits, and hemline. If you notice any stains, try to determine the cause and whether it can be removed.
Verify the dress’s authenticity
If you’re buying a designer dress, it’s crucial to verify its authenticity. Check the label, the stitching, and the material to ensure it’s not a counterfeit product. If you’re unsure about the dress’s authenticity, it’s best to seek the opinion of a reputable expert.
Ask About Alterations
When it comes to finding the perfect dress, alterations can make all the difference. Alterations are a great way to customize a dress to fit your unique body shape and style preferences. Before purchasing a dress, it’s important to ask about the possibility of alterations. This will help you determine if the dress is worth investing in and ensure that you’re able to achieve the perfect fit.
Not all dresses can be altered, so it’s important to ask specific questions about what alterations are possible. Seamstress services may be available in-store or through a recommended professional. Alterations may include hemming, taking in or letting out seams, adjusting straps, or adding sleeves. Be sure to ask about the cost and timeline for alterations, as this can vary depending on the dress and the level of customization.
Questions to Ask About Alterations
- What alterations are possible for this dress?
- Do you offer seamstress services?
- What is the cost for alterations?
- How long does it typically take to complete alterations?
Benefits of Alterations
There are several benefits to investing in alterations for your dress. First and foremost, alterations can help you achieve the perfect fit. This will ensure that you feel comfortable and confident in your dress throughout the event. Customization is another benefit of alterations, as you can tailor the dress to fit your unique style and preferences.
Finally, alterations can help extend the life of your dress. Rather than purchasing a new dress for every event, alterations can help you update and refresh the look of a dress you already own. This is not only cost-effective, but it’s also better for the environment as it reduces textile waste.
Tips for Successful Alterations
- Make sure to try on the dress before purchasing to get a sense of what alterations may be needed.
- Find a reputable seamstress who has experience with the type of alterations you need.
- Communicate clearly with the seamstress about your preferences and any concerns you may have.
- Plan ahead to allow enough time for alterations to be completed before the event.
Take Your Time and Don’t Rush
When it comes to shopping for the perfect dress, it’s important to take your time and not rush the process. This is especially true if you’re shopping for a special occasion, such as a wedding or prom. Rushing can lead to poor decisions, and you may end up with a dress that doesn’t fit properly or isn’t quite right for the occasion.
Instead, take the time to shop around and try on different dresses. Pay attention to how they fit and how they make you feel. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek the advice of a sales associate or friend.
Consider the Occasion
When shopping for a dress, it’s important to consider the occasion for which you’ll be wearing it. Different occasions call for different types of dresses. For example, a formal wedding may require a long, elegant gown, while a casual beach wedding may call for a shorter, more relaxed dress.
It’s also important to consider the time of day and the season of the event. A bright, summery dress may not be appropriate for a fall wedding, for example. Take the time to research the dress code and the style of the event to ensure you choose a dress that is both appropriate and stylish.
Think About Your Comfort
- Choose a dress that you feel comfortable in, both physically and mentally.
- Avoid dresses that are too tight, too short, or too revealing, as you may spend the entire event feeling self-conscious.
- Think about the length of the dress, especially if you’ll be dancing or moving around a lot. You don’t want to trip or feel restricted by a long, heavy dress.
- Choose accessories that complement your dress without overwhelming it.
- If your dress is simple, consider adding statement jewelry or a bold clutch.
- If your dress is already busy, keep accessories minimal and understated.
Remember, choosing the perfect dress takes time and patience. Take the time to shop around, consider the occasion, think about your comfort, and accessorize appropriately. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you look and feel your best for your special event.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I buy sample wedding dresses?
To buy sample wedding dresses, first, research bridal shops in your area that offer samples. Once you’ve found a few shops, check if they have sample sales or trunk shows where you can try on and purchase sample dresses at a discount. You can also contact designers directly to ask if they have sample sales or if they can recommend a retailer that does. Additionally, consider browsing online marketplaces or preowned wedding dress websites to find gently used samples at a lower cost.
What sizes are available for sample wedding dresses?
The sizes available for sample wedding dresses vary by store and designer. Some stores may carry only one size for each sample dress, while others may carry a range of sizes. Keep in mind that sample dresses are often in smaller sizes, typically ranging from size 4 to 10. However, you can always ask the store or designer if they have sample dresses available in your size or if they can recommend alterations experts.
How do I know if a sample wedding dress is right for me?
When trying on sample wedding dresses, consider the fit and overall style. Keep in mind that sample dresses may not fit perfectly, but alterations can often be made to ensure a better fit. Additionally, consider the style of the dress and whether it matches your wedding theme and personal style. Finally, trust your gut instinct – if you feel beautiful and confident in the dress, it may be the right one for you.
Can I alter a sample wedding dress?
Yes, alterations can be made to a sample wedding dress to ensure a better fit. Most bridal shops offer alteration services or can recommend an alterations expert. When altering a sample dress, it’s important to consider the cost and time needed for alterations. Additionally, be sure to communicate any changes you want to make to the dress with the alterations expert to ensure the best possible fit.
Are sample wedding dresses cheaper than new dresses?
Yes, sample wedding dresses are typically cheaper than new dresses. Because they have been tried on before, sample dresses are often sold at a discount. However, keep in mind that alterations may be needed to ensure a better fit, which can add to the overall cost. Additionally, some stores may charge a fee for cleaning and repairing sample dresses, so be sure to ask about any additional costs.
When should I start looking for sample wedding dresses?
It’s best to start looking for sample wedding dresses at least six to eight months before your wedding date. This allows time for ordering and alterations, as well as any unexpected delays. However, if your wedding date is sooner than that, don’t worry – many bridal shops offer rush alterations services or have sample dresses available for immediate purchase.