Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tricks For Ordering Dresses Online

Azazie sent this dress to A Bride On A Budget. All thoughts and opinions belong to A Bride On A Budget.

I'll be honest: Wedding dress shopping made me feel fat.

In real life, I wear a size 0 or 2 in clothes with numbers, and XS or S in clothes with letters. In dresses, I'm generally a 4. So when I went wedding dress shopping and the consultants were pulling 10's and 12's, I silently laughed to myself. They must be due for an eye exam, I thought.

Oh no. When I put on those dresses and they fit (some with the help of a clamp in the back, some without), I silently cried to myself. I felt fat. Really fat. And when a consultant pulled my eventual wedding dress and told me it was a European cut so it was a size smaller than American dresses ... and that my dress was the only one of its kind ... and a European size 8, it took all the prayers I could muster (plus some clever handiwork by the consultant) to get me into it.

And then she told me to lose ten pounds.

That's not exactly the feeling you want to have when you're trying on dresses for the day when you should feel most beautiful.

I got over it, lost a couple pounds before wedding day, got into my European size 8 dress (and, with the help of a friend, got out of it), and felt beautiful. I look back on photos and I just really love my dress -- regardless of what size the tag says it was.

But, had I been shopping online for a dress and not in stores, I would have bought a size 4. I would have never in my wildest dreams thought to order anything larger because, in real life, I'm not larger. But wedding dresses -- and bridesmaids dresses too -- they make their own rules.

So dress shopping online can be scary -- especially because you're not buying some cheap department store dress with a coupon. You're spending quite a bit of money and many online sites have a non-existent return policy. Plus, many sites that sell wedding dresses have a long lag time, like three to four months oftentimes. So if you order the wrong size, you don't have time for an exchange even if that was a possibility.

For someone like me, it's all too nerve-wracking.

And that's why I really am a fan of Azazie. The online dress shop has a ton of dresses, but that's not the best part. It also has a sample program. Right now, it's available for bridal gowns and will return this spring for bridesmaids dresses. You choose up to two bridal gowns, try them for a small fee (which covers shipping), and then return them within a week. It helps to see how the dress fits and really helps to determine what size you need.

Keep in mind, if you're between sizes, it's easier to suck up your pride and go up a size than suck in your stomach and go down a size.

We got a chance to order the Nadia dress in spa. I ordered up a size because I have a wide rib cage and dresses are often tight on me there, making it hard to zip. If you're unsure about sizing, you can talk with a specialist at Azazie. I did, but I'm stubborn and still ordered a size up ... and then had to get it taken in. So the lesson, really, is listen to the people who do this for a living. They know what's up.

The dress itself is beautiful. It came in a dress bag, which is especially great if you're traveling to a wedding. The dress bag will keep it safe.

Now, just a few facts about ordering dresses online, in case you're considering it:

Tricks For Ordering Dresses Online

  • Not all dresses are created equally. Just because you are a size 4 at one store doesn't mean you are at another. Look for a size chart on each website to make sure you are ordering a dress that fits.
  • Not all dresses can be returned. If you are hesitant about ordering, check out the site's return policy. Some have one, some don't, some have one for certain items only.
  • Be sure to use a secured site only. If you're paying by credit card, you want to make sure the website is secured. Look for a little lock in your web browser. You want to make sure your payment method is secure and won't be stolen.
  • Try and get a swatch before ordering. If you can get a swatch first, get one. You'll be able to see the color and fabric before, so you know if it's what you want or not.
  • Order with time to spare. Dresses take time to make, and you want to leave enough time for the dress to be created -- and then altered by your local seamstress if you need.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Did you order your dress online? Tell us your story in the comments.

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