Buyer Beware the Bargain Dress

By on June 28, 2016

Sometimes a bargain can just end up being a headache.  When it comes to weddings, proms, and formal events getting everything done right, on time, and with minimal stress, is tantamount to saving money.  However, a cheap dress just might end up costing more you in the long run.

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If you come across a price on a designer gown that seems to good to be true, it probably is.  Nothing puts a damper on a wedding like finding out your dresses are low quality knock-offs when it is already too late to hunt down replacements.

Consider that an inexpensive dress may only afford you one or two wearings and might not survive a cleaning.  The last thing you need at your prom or wedding is a wardrobe malfunction or a creeping hemline.  High quality dresses are lined, and stitched to last with beautiful lasting fabrics and strong thread.

You do not have to go with a famous name designer to get quality.  The bigger the name, the bigger the price; because you are paying for the prestige-factor. In fact, wearing mid-level and less known designers is an industry secret to getting the quality and the look at a reasonable price point.  Regardless of how famous, when a designer puts his or her name on a piece, it is a symbol of pride.  When investing in a designer piece you can expect heirloom quality to pass on for generations, or a wear again look to enjoy for years to come.

Unfortunately the internet is flooded with websites selling fake goods, cheap imitations, or even worse, just simply charging credit cards without even sending the gowns. Without dresses, can there even be a wedding?   Wedding planners use reputable businesses to avoid unpleasant surprises.  When searching for a reputable dress shop there are a few things to look at to make sure you are getting the real deal.

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Right off the bat you can tell by the quality of the website and dress descriptions.  Does the website mention information like specifics on styles and sizing?  Anyone can throw together a quickie website.  Be sure that the website you buying through is verified.  If you are buying through Paypal or with a credit card, although you have some buyer protection, keep in mind that that still does not guarantee you finding replacement dresses by your deadline should something happen to wrong.

Read real reviews from real people who have used the services of the shop, and look for these reviews on legitimate ratings websites. A website with little to no reviews, or reviews that sound fake, is probably a scam.

How many years has the shop been in business?  Do they have a real brick and mortar location?  Ask questions and do  your research. If the dress shop only exists online, this is something to be wary of.  By using a dress shop that has a real physical location, even if it is not in your town, you can still count on top-notch customer service and timely deliveries. If you need alterations or customizations you can either buy locally or enlist the services of your local seamstress. Many dry cleaning establishments also offer alterations.

When it comes to clothing you get what you pay for.  When thought is put into the design you can count on a great fit, blacks that will resist fading, and fabrics that feel soft against the skin.  Knock off dresses are all about making a quick buck off of the hard work of someone else.  There is no telling where, how, or who makes them.  Even worse, you may end up without a dress at all.

-Bridal Gown Expert

About Olga Pomeransky

Olga is manager at Best for Bride since 2005. Currently Best for Bride operates 4 bridal stores in Canada (Toronto, Etobicoke, Hamilton and Barrie). Best for Bride sells wedding, bridemaids, mob dresses and more.



    Maribel Harvey

    July 5, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    I am a firm believer of “you get what you pay for” and there is no reason that wouldn’t go just the same with your wedding dress.


      Colleen Currie

      February 25, 2017 at 9:58 AM

      Big time. These is no other good tip other than avoiding the “bargain dress” if possible.


    Janice Sarratt

    July 5, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    My mom wants me to go with a dress like this. I am starting to feel better about the idea, but I just always thought I could go with my own idea.


    Esther McDonald

    July 5, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Such a tight rope to walk along with something like this. Unless you have a ton of time to choose the right look, you are really gambling.


      Narcisa Griffin

      February 11, 2017 at 10:18 AM

      I agree. The gamble is not worth it.


    Angela Harrington

    July 5, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    I think this is a perfect reason to just get brand new and pay the little extra for it.


    Lourdes Wolf

    February 11, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    This is something I would never do. You just cannot trust it and just because the price is lower, does not mean it will not be bad juju on your wedding day.


    Kathryn Watson

    February 25, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    I have been on the hunt for a bargain wedding dress for about a year now. They are not as easy to find as I thought they would be. These are good tips and should get me going in the right direction.


      Anita Keith

      March 29, 2018 at 10:35 AM

      I would skip it if you can. You never know what you are going to get.


    Christie Batie

    June 21, 2017 at 11:19 AM

    It is easy to say that you want to save, but things can get back for you quickly if you are not paying attention to things that are important to you when selecting your dress.


      Michelle Harper

      March 29, 2018 at 10:30 AM

      I just do not think anything good can come from a “bargain” dress.


    Tracey Grau

    November 23, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    I had a friend that gambled on a used dress and she was amazed to find out that it was one that was a hundred years old! It was amazing and everyone loved it! Sometimes you just get lucky.

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