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Shop The Mass Produced Dress

January 20, 2010

Seriously, while there are some merits (price) to the mass produced dress. The problem with the mass produced dress is, well, it’s mass produced. I know, it’s quite the brain teaser isn’t it? So now, you go “alright, you sneaky Shoestring Bride, you. You conned me into considering it. However, I still don’t want to look like every other bride out there on Style Me Pretty.” Well, honey, little chance of that. Every bride on Style Me Pretty only buys their dresses from Kleinsfield’s. They also like to pay thousands of dollars for strangers to make their wedding look pretty to other strangers. Oh Holy Cow, was that snarky or what? Let us start over. To tell the truth, everything is what you make of it. Only the dullest people do not have a skill to make something fresh. I have a $12 silk Gap dress that I bought at the end of spring a season ago and it’s a staple in my wardrobe. The Anthropologie girls go gaga over it and you know when French-wannabe-gamine girls give you the thumbs up, it means you have It. You have the je ne sais quoi that other girls would kill for.

Tips To Make The Wedding Dress Your Own:

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! It is the same with any other dress to be honest. For example, with my grey silk Gap dress, I wear over-the-knee high boots. Or I wear deep purple tights and flat black ballet flats. Or oodles of beaded amber necklaces. Or… you get the picture. Granted with a wedding dress, black thigh highs aren’t exactly an option. Unless, Offbeat Bride is really your thing. Then, by all means. Most of the time though, I am really a classic sort of girl. Most girls tend to be when they get married so they don’t look back on their wedding photos and go “Lord, what was I thinking?!” Still there are an abundance of options out there. Hair. Jewels. Jewels in your hair. Etc. You see what I mean?

Do not get your dress altered at David’s or Alfred’s. That is where they get you and they get you good. You paid $800 for that dress? Then count on paying $300 for alterations. I got my dress hemmed for $55. It is possible, ladies.

Change up your dress. Honestly, this is the easiest (if not the cheapest) way to change up the look of your dress entirely. Get lace or pearls or crystals and have your seamstress put them on your dress. Change the straight neckline to a sweetheart. Add tulle straps to the top of your dress and tie them in a bow a la Oscar De La Renta. A friend bought a dress, chopped the bottom off and had her seamstress make her a second completely different skirt. She paid $3000 for it total. Dress, alterations, material, everything and she lives in New York City. You know what that means. It means, it probably cost $1500 total to do it anywhere else. Entirely possible, folks.

Trust your gut. Your literal one and your inner one. Don’t let your sales person talk you into a dress that does not fit you. You are a pear shape? Do not do a dress that fixates on your derriere because the sales person loves the price tag that you will pay for. That said, try on every dress that you remotely like: in your price range. I was seriously digging the lacy look. Like I was for sure, this is it. Then I tried on a simple chamause dress and was a goner.

I bought my dress used. The girl before me wore it with a birdcage veil, green Loubies, and drop earrings. I am wearing it with a drop cathedral veil, gold shoes, fur stole, chandelier earrings and pearl bracelet.

Anyone else has anymore tips? What are you doing to make your dress different?


Dresses credited to Saks Fifth Avenue. Both of which I proudly like to announce are under $500

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2010 8:32 pm


  2. January 21, 2010 3:43 am

    Good ideas!

    Does designing and sewing my own wedding dress count? It was the best way I could think of to make my dress truly mine… and much cheaper than most dresses in the market.

    • Jesselyn permalink*
      January 21, 2010 3:55 am

      How did I remember that one? Probably because I am SO not the DIY type. Making your own dress is not even in my radar

  3. Chelsea permalink
    January 29, 2010 12:12 pm

    Hi! Just started reading your blog. Bought my (beautiful Nicole Miller silk/satin) dress on Ebay for $400 and am on the hunt for an affordable seamstress – great idea on asking the seamstress to make your veil, I’m totally doing that. And BTW, thanks for the snark re: SMP. I HATE that blog. And not just because Abby Larson’s hyperbole makes me wretch. I think it’s so weird that some people plan their wedding WITH THE INTENT TO SUBMIT IT TO A BLOG.

  4. February 11, 2010 11:44 am

    I bought my dress from a local Bridal shop (it is a flowy Wtoo by Watters) for $700. I had intentions of purchasing an evening gown from Nordstrom/Bloomingdales… any one of those high fashion/high price stores but ended up with the dress of my dreams. I’m changing it up by having a different bustle then most, the long lace train will be wrapped around and brought to the front of my dress. The folds are going to be gorgeous and will have that grecian look I love. Plus custom veil (made from eBay lace I dyed to match my dress, and cheap tulle from Joann’s)… cause girl.. I’m on a {tight} budget.

    Btw, Love your blog! I wish I could be ‘real’ like you and tell it ‘like it is’ on my blog.. Unfortunately… my parents follow my blog, along with grandparents… there is no venting allowed… bummer for me!

    • Jesselyn permalink*
      February 13, 2010 12:36 am

      Yikes. My parents follow my blog (sporadically I think) as well as some of my family. But I don’t really care. Much of what is written here, I have already told them. lol. Thank God they still love me (I think).

      Your dress sounds amazing!

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