Jul 22, 2010

51 Dresses Later...

Over the last two months I have had some great experiences shopping local and really have tried to incorporate locally-owned businesses into my everyday life.  Although I have had these great experiences, I have to be honest about one aspect of my wedding planning that has been lacking.  

The Dress.

Today I "tried on" my 51st dress.  I have been to 5 bridal shops between Clemmons, Winston Salem, Greensboro and Burlington.  

I was unaware that in the Triad the prerequesite to get married is to be a size 2.  In 3 of the 5 shops I visited I was lucky enough just to be able to look at the dresses on a hanger.  When it came to trying them on, I was out of luck.  

Now, I know some of you do not know me personally, so to give you an idea, I am not a plus size girl.  I am actually a size 12, one size less than the average American lady.  So, I have a question for the bridal shops in the Triad: Why do you stock 80% of your dress styles in sizes 0-8?

Some background: Most bridal shops only stock one size of each design in their store.  A bridal dress runs 1-3 sizes smaller than retail sizing.  Therefore if you wear a size 10, you can only try on a bridal size 12-16.  Most bridal stores only stock 10% of their dresses in a size larger than 12.

I can't tell you how "amazing" it feels as a woman to go into a bridal shop and watch 19 year old brides try on every style you would like to try on, only they don't carry those "newer style" dresses in a size larger than a 6, leaving my only option as "holding the dress up in front of me" to see how it looks.   Thanks! 

After "imagining" how I might look in a ton of dresses, I was very excited last week after visiting a shop in Greensboro where I thought I had finally found "the dress."  Although I did actually get to try the dress on, this excitement was short lived.

Because my Grandmother couldn't travel to Greensboro to see the dress, I called a store in Charlotte (closer to her) to see if they had the same style so she could see it.  When I spoke to the owner of the store, turns out the EXACT same dress cost $600 less in Charlotte than in Greensboro.  So, out of curiosity I called the other 4 stores in North Carolina that sell that dress (none of which are "bargain shops").... all of them were the same lower price.

So here we are.  I can either just "hold dresses up to me on the hanger" and hope they look when they are ordered, or when I actually find one that I love, I get to pay $600 more than my neighbors to the South.  

Today, for the first time I am extremely disappointed in our locally-owned businesses.  


1 comment:

  1. Oh honey, I remember. I found things to try on, but a lot of stuff was really ugly. It took FOREVER to find my dress and even then I had to request a sample from the vendor to try on b/c none of the stores carried it. Also, when I got married I wore a 4 in street clothes. My wedding dress was a 6 and the same year I was a bridesmaid in two other weddings and had to order a 10 in both bridesmaid dresses. It was maddening.

    Don't worry. You'll find something.