Sunday, 27 March 2011

Anyone else think it's ridiculous you have to pay for expensive dresses to be altered?

I came across this in a forum recently so I've quoted a few of the 'rants' and answered them here as best I can.

"My dress is costing over 2K and I was told when I bought it, it would need altering which I thought was odd, but apparently the norm for wedding dresses. So I need to have the hem taken up...fair enough but also the bodice will have to be taken in now. I have a tiny waist (in proportion to my bust and hips) and I wanted a dress that showed that off, but it created a ripple in the middle. The ladies in the shop were reassuring me it could be taken in and it would be sorted but it's quite unnerving as I won't know for a couple of months. Is it just me that thinks it's all a bit much when you are spending this sort of money?Also I have to pay for the dress now before I know for certain this can be sorted. "

And among others, this answer got my attention.

"It's all part of the weird world of wedding dresses that we are not allowed to question!"

Well, the wedding dress world may be wierd, but you do have every right to question where your money is going which will give you the option to shop elsewhere if you don't like the sales pitch!

It's got nothing to do with ordering a larger size to make more money I am sure. As a seamstress alterations are not the most pleasent of ways to spend my time, they are time consuming and in the hours it takes unpicking and re-stitching, I could cut a pattern from a bolt of fabric and have a piece ready to fit a client.

"They measure you in the shop, then they deliberately order one size above so that they can alter it back down to your size!"


When you order a gown 'off the peg', your shop will order the size which fits the biggest part of your body. If you have a 38" hip but a 27 waist the shop will order a 12 for you. Thus you need the alterations to make the rest fit. So unless you are absolutely spot on 'standard measurements' for your size, you will have to have alterations.

"If you want a dress made in England, that fits first time, go for Made To Measure by a small local boutique or one of the well known British designers who guarantee you're 'buying British'....but you will pay for the priviledge."

Poppycock! You don't pay for the priviledge of buying British, it depends where you look! There are many of us out there who don't charge extortionate prices, but are still pretty damn fine at our craft.

"I don't think you can compare high street clothing to wedding dress shopping. You don't go and buy an outfit from these places and then sit on your hands for months while they make it. You can try on different sizes of the same outfit and select which is the best compromise for your size. You just aren't able to do this with wedding dresses."

True. But wedding salons work independantly and have to determine which dress they think will sell in their salon. They have to spend 100's of pounds on the said samples so it would be massive spending for them to buy one style of dress in four sizes 'just in case' a size ten or a size fourteen client walked through the door. The client in return would have to pay for those overheads. Now, that isn't fair either is it?

"The one thing that would stop vendors in their tracks from charging silly prices, would be if we just stopped buying the damn things in the 1st place! We're fuelling this!"

Many salons aren't supposed to undercut another on the costing of a wedding gown. However, seamstresses may work independantly to the salon which is why alteration prices vary so greatly.

Losing weight for your wedding is not the problem of the manufacturer or high street wedding salon. It is something a women wants to do to feel her very best for her wedding day. So, you should expect to pay for alterations to your wedding gown. Doesn't that seem fair? Of course, going bespoke means the seamstress will be aware of your weight loss plan so at each fitting you attend the adjustments will be made to suit your changing body sillouette.


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