Buying a sample gown

lynbornmanApril 9, 2004

I went out gown shopping AGAIN today and I definitely found the one. I love it and its exactly what I've been looking for. It also happens to be very inexpensive. I just need some reassurance from you guys now. The gown is a Demetrios, Illisa and they just discontinued the style. So I would be buying the sample that the store had. I tried it on and it fits well. It will need some alterations but not too much and its the size I would have ordered anyhow. It looks like its in really good condition. I saw no dirt, tears, stretches or anything. The lady at the shop was wonderful and said if I buy this dress from her she will take care of me until my wedding. So they will do all the alterations for around $150 (I'm quite lots of work). They clean, press and store the dress for me until my wedding. The gown was originally $850 and she is selling it to me for $400 (plus alterations). So a sum total of approx $550. I did not picture myself buying a sample dress, but I love it. Have any of you bought sample dresses or considered it? Is there anything I need to be concerned about that I'm just not thinking about.

Thanks for any input.

I'm attaching a link to the dress because I'm dying to show someone and my fiance is out of the question.

Here is a link that might be useful: Demetrios gown

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If it is what you want and fits, and they will clean, press and store....GO FOR IT !!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 3:12PM
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The things to look for with a sample dress: stains, tears, missing pieces (beadwork, straps, lining, petticoats, etc.), and fit. Have the store's seamstress look over the gown with you in it. She should tell you if she can alter the dress well enough so that you look your best while not compromising the design and look of the dress. Get someone's honest opinion - bring a friend or family member. Both of you should look at the dress carefully with you in it and with it on the hanger. Make sure that you get everything in writing. Specifically ask the store what is included in the $150 alterations - bustle, hem, fitting, fixing beading/embroidery, replacing beads/zippers/buttons, etc. Get a menu of services and the costs of each alteration.

I think the dress is lovely. If you like it and think that they can make it work for you, then go for it. I think that they are giving you a very generous deal.

By the way, buying a sample dress is such a great way to save money. I have known many people who have purchased a sample dress for their wedding. I didn't buy a sample dress, but I considered it. I tried on many of them and went to a store that specializes in selling designer sample dresses - how else could one get a $8000 retail Vera Wang gown for about $1000? Part of me even wished my dress wasn't quite so pristine - before I even walked down the aisle my hem was dirty. What's great is little things like that (even though it appears that it is filty when you look at it) don't show up in the photos and most people don't notice.

You will look just as lovely in your dress as you would in a new gown! No one will know/guess that your dress was a sample! :-)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 8:21PM
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That was great advice AutumnBride..Thanks!! I'm actually printing it off and taking it with me when I go back next Monday to take a second look.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 10:11PM
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It is a lovely dress. If it is your dream dress, buy it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2004 at 1:12AM
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I bought a sample off the rack and do not regret it. The dress you chose is beautiful! Go for it

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 8:42AM
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My DD bought a sample dress at the first shop we went to. It was a $4K dress that we paid $1,600 for, a Domo Adami design, and I totally loved it. It was exactly what she had said she wanted. We HAD to take it with us that day, but they would do all the alterations, etc. when she went back shortly before the wedding.

A few months later she called me in tears and said she didn't really like it all that much, had been having second thoughts about it, and then had seen a dress at Macy's that she really loved! Sigh. So we bought that one, too, figuring that she could sell the first one on Craig's List or with a classified ad.

So far no luck. And she's getting married May 1, so naturally she has other things on her mind at this point. Very few nibbles from her ad. Now we're concerned that it will "go out of style" and no one will want it for their spring wedding next year.

It seemed like a great bargain at the time...


    Bookmark   April 22, 2004 at 12:00AM
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I bought a sample gown too, but the store I bought it from also guaranteed that it would be perfect. If it did not come back from the cleaner as I wanted it, then I could get all my $$$ back. I came back perfectly clean, with a bead or two missing...which they replaced for me. I love it!

Also, I wear a size 2 and I bought a size 10. It was a simple dress, so my aunt was able to size it down without changing the look of the dress at all. I can't believe it looks just as I thought it would, and I'm looking so forward to wearing it!! Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 10:01AM
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The dress is absolustely beautiful. My friend bought a dress off the rack and they cleaned it perfectly and did the alterations well (it wound up being a little snug on the waist - she couldn't eat all day) but really that's the seamstress at the store not the dress itself. There were a few loose threads that I had to cut off the morning of the wedding and I had to reinforce the button that was holding the bustle (again, IMO, the mistake of the seamstress). As soon as we walked out of the house she got a grass stain on the bottom and somehow with all the hands touching her she got lipstick on the skirt of her dress. But as Autmnbride pointed out no one else noticed (I was the only one that saw the lipstick) and none of it showed up in any of the pictures.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 2:50PM
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I also bought a sample dress. It does need a couple touch ups, but I can do them myself and it won't cost near what I saved. I got my dress for $300! All I need to do is reattach a few beads, etc... and even if I just snipped the threads, no one would know! I guess I don't see a sample being all that different from an ordered gown if it is what you want and it fits!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 9:55PM
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that dress is beautiful. and if they're cleaning, pressing, and storing it for you, then go for it. it's a good deal and if you love the dress that much then you should have it. my advice is to double check it for tears and stretches and if you don't see any then i'd say just go ahead and get it since it fits and even with alterations you're getting it at such a good price.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 10:56AM
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