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Buyer Beware the Bargain Dress: Online Dress Shopping Tips

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. Buyer beware, indeed.

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 midlevel 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.

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.

And finally, is their claim of selling authentic dresses backed up by the manufacturers of those dresses? The simplest way of finding that out is by going to the manufacturer’s website and using the zip code of the retailer’s brick and mortar store to find them in the store locator provided by the manufacturer. If they are not listed, they are not authorized to sell those products. It’s as simple as that.

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



The Most Expensive Celebrity Wedding Dresses and Real World Alternatives for the Rest of Us

Here are four of the Most Expensive Celebrity Wedding Dresses…and Real World Alternatives for the Rest of Us

Kim Kardashian: For Kim Kardashian’s third wedding to Kanye West, she wore a $400,000 Givenchy dress designed by Riccardo Tisci.

Our pick for a similar look is the WTOO 17120 Lenora wedding dress.

Sheer details at the neckline and waist create a sleek silhouette in intricate lace in this WTOO 17120 Lenora wedding dress.













Jessica Biel: Jessica Biel’s beautiful pink Giambattista Valli dress for her wedding to Justin Timberlake, was stunning both in looks and in price. Though the exact dollar amount has not been revealed, it is rumored to have cost Mrs. Timberlake upwards of six-figures. In a 2013, interview with Elle magazine Jessica talked about why she chose pink.

The Allure 9375 wedding dress features layers of ruffles and wrap bodice with pressed pleating and sweetheart strapless neckline.

“I wanted the dress to be very romanjessica-biel-wedding3-horztic and feminine and a shape that I very rarely wear. I have never been crazy about all-white wedding dresses, for me at least.




This Allure 9375 wedding dress captures the essence of Mrs. Timeberlake’s gown with its ruffled horsehair skirt, and yes, it comes in pink.




Amal Clooney: Amal Alamuddin, aka Mrs. George Clooney wore a $380,000  Oscar De La Renta wedding dress. When asked why she chose the designer, Amal told Vogue magazine

This lace Allure 9000 wedding dress features the same off-the shoulder sleeves and bateau neckline, with a fit-and-flare silhouette that is less bulky and more wearable than the original.

“George and I wanted a wedding that was romantic and elegant, and I can’t imagine anyone more able than Oscar to capture this mood in a Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 7.02.16 PMdress. Meeting him made the design process all the more magical, as he is so warm and such a gentleman.”

The seemingly simple off-the shoulder dress featured 14 yards of Chantilly lace appliqués, embellished with beading and hand-stitched embroidery.







…and last but not least…Kate Middleton:  Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen matched Kim Kardashian’s price tag, costing a staggering $400,000. Fit for a princess indeed.

Our affordable version is a close match.

The Casablanca Bridal 2073 Wedding Dress is remarkably similar to Kate’s with long lace sleeves, a V-neckline, and A-line skirt with a generous train.


Now, Imagine That Exit With A Cape!

The Jovani 98460 Evening Dress is a two-piece ensemble, inclusive of a detachable cape sleeve that creates a keyhole at the back. Intricate beading gilds the mesh topper, decked with a bateau neckline and scalloped edges. Satin spans the trumpet silhouette, tapered with princess seaming from the strapless sweetheart neckline down to the flared hemline, spilling over the floor with a sweep train.
Feel like modern royalty with the Angela and Alison A51090 prom dress, with its luxurious layers of gossamer fabric and ornate beadwork. The beaded bodice features a jewel neckline, where the sheer cape is attached as it cascades into a watteau train. Embellished at the sheer midriff, this A-line gown then finishes with a fully shirred skirt taking off the natural waist.

For all you gothic cape-wearing girls who grew up, capes are back in big friggin’ way. We’ve seen capes rocked on Game of Thrones, and by Kim Kardashian, and now we all want in on the cape trend.

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 2.09.55 PM
Intricate beadwork on mesh accents the two-piece sheath silhouette of Tarik Ediz Couture 92636 Evening Dress, coating the illusion back while embellishing the matching cape shawl. Taking off with a jewel neckline, this crepe ensemble skims the body through the thighs before finishing into a slightly flared skirt that extends with a sweep train.

There is just
something about a cape that creates a commanding, if not royal look. From evil queens to super heroes, the cape is synonymous with leadership and magnanimity. For homecoming queens, brides, Oscar winners, and anyone who wants to get noticed, this timeless accessory will guarantee that all eyes are on you.

A cape is a stunning addition to an outdoor ceremony or on your walk out to the transportation that will whisk you away to your honeymoon. As functional as they are beautiful, capes also serve you by giving you a little extra coverage, and warmth, covering the back of the arm. Such a precarious problem spot, perhaps the cape was invented for this purpose, who knows, either way, we’re totally enchanted and in love with the fairy tale feel a cape brings.

To Grandmother’s House We Go!

This WTOO 17902 Ellie cape showcases a sheer bateau neckline, with lace appliques adorning the illusion back accented with pearl button closures. Soft net cascades from the short illusion sleeves into a chapel train.
Silky satin drapes the sheath silhouette of Tarik Ediz 92583 Prom Dress, edged with a scalloped lace cape sleeve bordering the back to back V-neckline. Ruched panels cinch the bodice, framing the mesh decolletage. Tapered through the thighs, the full-length skirt then glides over the floor with a brush train.

There are lots of different ways to rock a cape, from short capes, to majestic capes that sweep the floor with a generous train. Caplets, capes with armholes, off-the-shoulder, midi capes, full length, bridal capes, and sheer capes are all glamorous options.

This little capelet makes a stunning addition to any wedding gown. Dotted with crystals, it falls to elbow length.

A sheer cape creates an ethereal air, giving a bride a luminous glow, while a  cute little caplet incorporates a bit of vintage inspired charm. Detachable capes are versatile and give you two looks in one, making them beautiful reception dress choices.

And now to quote Kimmy Schmidt, since we’ve been binging on Netflix:

“Now, imagine that exit with a cape!”  And don’t forget to give your cape a good fezgifcapelouncy flick of the wrist on your way out, to shake off the dust of this abysmal evening.

Yassss Queen!

Here are some of our favorite caped gowns, capelets, and sheer bridal capes of the season. Click on the pictures for more info. All gowns and capes available at

Celebrate in style with the grandiose detailing on the floral trumpet silhouette of Janique JQ3329 mother of the bride dress. Iridescent beadwork trickles along the strapless sweetheart bust, leading the figure hugging silhouette that tapers down the thighs before flaring toward the floor. Enjoy a totally different look with the illusion cape, adorned with matching beads and edged with floral lace appliques all around the hi-low hemline.
Appliqued lace crowns the sheath silhouette of Janique C1168 Prom Dress, encompassing the yoke and upper back which cradles the jewel neckline. A long cape wraps around the shoulders as it flows luxuriously onto the floor, complementing the straight skirt that showcases each feminine curve.