Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dear ESB: Should I spend 5K on this dress?


I’m hoping that you will be able to help me out on this search. After trying on about 50 dresses and hating the way I look in almost all of them (big tush, hate poof, hate satin, no bows, no tulle) – I found this dress that I can’t stop thinking about. The photo is of me, because I can’t find this dress on the interwebs yet, and please excuse my bra peeking out.

I’d buy it tomorrow – but with tax/alterations/etc it’s around $4500. My incredible mother (who, along with my father, offered to pay for half of our wedding) wants to buy my dress for me as a present – and I just can’t ask her to spend almost $5K on this.

Again, there are no runway front-on photos, apparently it’s “too new” or something for Marchesa (me, jeans and t-shirt loving girl, in Marchesa, really?) but it is light, and flowy with a natural waist and very little embellishment, and the draping of the material, down the length of the dress makes me feel tall and that my huge butt is not quite as overwhelming – and also makes me feel really special and pretty and lovely. (It seems so simple, natural waist, sweetheart neck, romantic and light - but I'm just not seeing it out there!)

Do I just keep looking? Please help!

Thanks a million,
notgoodatshopping

*****

Marchesa Schmarchesa. You look great in that dress, but I damn sure wouldn't spend $4500 on it.

How bout this Liz Dye (for $1200)?


Silk shantung and English TULLE!!!

57 comments:

  1. Love Elizabeth Dye, hate the weird ruffle sticking out on the waistband of that dress. I prefer this one.

    Also, if you like light and flowy, Saja has a bunch of dresses that come in around the $1K mark. Most of their natural-waist dresses aren't strapless, though.

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  2. I would absolutely spend 5k on the dress I loved, but I wouldn't ask someone else to. So if YOU can afford it, go for it. It looks perfect on you. I spent 5x's my budget on "the" dress after a long search (and after ditching one I had already bought but didn't love)... but key part of that: "I spent". My parents offered to pay long before that day, but at the boutique I whipped out the checkbook faster than momma could & we moved on to thinking of the party!

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  3. There are a lot of bridesmaid dresses available in that style (they usually come in white/ivory too), which will cost WAY less than $4500!!!! Try joielle.com

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    1. was thinking this exact thing. i bought a bridesmaid dress almost exactly like that from shopjoielle.com ...it's $205, available in white/ivory.

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    2. Oooh, add a belt and this is perfect! Plus it's roughly a twentieth of the cost. Win.

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  4. lots of those saja dresses are gorgeous. maybe one of them will work.

    if not, though, to the op -- it sounds like you really want this marchesa. and it looks amazing on you, even before it's been tailored just for you. if your mom can really afford it, she's not going to have to struggle to make it happen, i say let her do this for you. moms like to do things like this for their daughters, they love to feel needed and to make their children happy. just be sure to do lots of really nice things for her to thank her.

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  5. 1) no and
    2) if your butt were peeking out behind your arm in the photo it would be big. but it isn't. so it isn't.

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  6. I would also suggest Saja (tried on dresses there last weekend) as well as Jenny Yoo--she has some very similar dresses around the 1k mark as well.

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  7. I think you should ask your mom her budget. Then decide.

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  8. Thumbs down on the Elizabeth Dye. It has some nice elements but is doing nothing for that model.
    I was going to suggest Saja as well (I wore one at my wedding), but Saja doesn't do the fancy construction that make dresses like the marchesa so flattering, so you probably won't get the same slamming bod effect. It's more of a fairy princess look.
    When i was shopping it seemed like you could have nice material or complicated construction for under $1500, but typically not both.

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  9. It's a gorgeous dress, for sure, and you look stunning in it. But as others have said, there are a lot of other dresses very similar to this for much, much less. I'd suggest trying some of those on. Maybe you'll find something you love just as much (if not more!) for about $1500. And if they don't do it for you, then go back and buy this expensive one, guilt free!

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  10. no way should you spend that much on that dress

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  11. I would spend $4500 on it in a heartbeat.

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  12. I think the Elizabeth Dye dress makes the model look like she has a thick waist... Which, if you aren't a model, might make it a tough sell. Try some of the options out there that are less expensive, but (IMHO) if your mom has the money and/or if you want to split it with her or if you can pay for it yourself... $4500 (including alterations etc) ... isn't offensive in the realm of wedding dresses.

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  13. Personally I think it looks pretty generic. In fact I'm going to look at yesterday's amazing dress pics just to feel some blood flow again.

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  14. Jenny Yoo has a whole section of "bridal alternatives" that are really pretty and not $4500. Maybe check them out? I think the priciest one I saw was $2500 and many of them have that similar look and feel you seem to be going for.

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    1. I second Jenny Yoo. Ivy and Aster have similar looking dresses.

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  15. as someone who spent over £3000 on my Jenny Packham dress (that equals over $4500 in US $) I say get it! You want to feel totally freaking amazing on the day and if you feel that in this dress, no contest. I felt really really really awkward spending that much on a dress, but I couldn't imagine myself in anything else.

    But, I paid for my own dress. (and plan to re-sell it after to recoup some of the cost)

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  16. you can DEFINITELY find that style of dress for way less. you need to shop around more! jenny yoo and j crew both have dresses that are really similar, just off the top of my head.

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  17. If $4500 isn't your/your mom's budget for a dress - then it just isn't the perfect dress. The perfect dress (of which I believe there are many options likely out there for you) is one you love AND is a price you/your mom is comfortable paying.

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  18. LOVE that you suggested Elizabeth Dye, ESB. May I also recommend another PDX designer? Sarah Seven But, be warned, she is notorious for being a bit of a flake, would highly suggest grabbing something off the rack and going elsewhere for alterations.

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  19. That is really beautiful on you. but keep looking. personally, I could never spend $5,000 on a piece of clothing... Let alone one you'll wear for a few hours. Think of all the t shirt and Jeans you could buy!

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  20. You feel fantastic, you look fantastic, do it but don't make your mom buy all of it.

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  21. I bought a dress that ended up being $3000 with tax, alterations, etc which was over my initial budget by $1000 (and I don't have a lot of money/nor do my parents so I considered that initial budget a bit of a splurge). Anyways, I really liked my dress (and got so many compliments on it during the wedding) but still kind of regret it because I feel on some level I spent too much (I hardly ever spend more than $100 on anything, so maybe any dress could have seemed"too much"). If you're like me and will continue to think about all of the other things you (or your mom) could do with the extra money, don't buy the dress. At least shop around more and definitely go to cheaper type stores just to make sure that there isn't another dress you could like as much/almost as much.

    As for the mom paying part, my parents wanted to and I new I couldn't ask them to pay for the splurge wedding dress, so I just never told them what it cost. I paid for it, they paid me back what they considered a reasonable amount for a wedding dress, and we were all happy. If you do this, then you will know they aren't paying more than they want to/can comfortably afford.

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    1. Sorry about the typos/spelling mistakes, I clearly need to proofread better!

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  22. If you can comfortably drop $4500 on a dress and you love it, then go for it. But that you needed to write into ESB and are considering having your mom pay for it suggests that this would not be an easy purchase. I personally wouldn't buy something that I'm already feeling guilt over.

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  23. If you able to get to NYC, make an appointment with the Cotton Bride. This style of dress is their forte and they will customize the cut and fabric to suit your bodytype. You will get a custom dress, including all alterations, for half the cost of the Marchesa. The dress that they made for me had this type of gathered fabric/ sweetheart/natural waist style for the top and the fit & construction was amazing (comfortable, but no bra needed). You dictate how much embellishment you would like. They use a lot of flowy/chiffon-type fabrics, so you will have many different types to choose from.

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  24. I like the Liz Dye dress MUCH more. It's interesting and the neckline will suit you better. If you don't like the ruffles sticking out at the waist, just have them trimmed down.

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    1. I wore that dress in tea length. The waist doesnt have ruffles-- it's lace overlay. But yeah it sticks out a bit because of the cinching of your waist.

      I was happy with the dress but I didn't love it.

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  25. If you can swing the money then buy the dress. I bought a budget dress that I liked well enough because I couldn't stand the thought of spending $4k (pre alterations) on a dress and I regret my decision. I received compliments and I looked good enough but it didn't feel perfect.

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  26. I second all the Jenny Yoo suggestions, my dress was very similar just with a different waistband and closer to $1000. You could easily have a sash made similar to this one.

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  27. J Crew has dresses that look a lot like this, for more like $1500.

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  28. try this dress... saw it on SMP
    http://www.stylemepretty.com/gallery/gallery/10151

    it's Ivy and Aster

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  29. what about THIS DRESSSfrom Etsy? I'm sure it could be customized without the flower detail. One of the great things about Etsy designers!

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  30. The dress looks great on you, but $4500 is extortionate!
    How about these:
    http://www.jcrew.com/wedding/Wedding_Bride/gowns/PRDOVR~30036/30036.jsp
    http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_One-Shoulder-Mesh-Gown-with-Beaded-Waist-EJ2M2626_Bridal-Gowns-Shop-By-Style-Destination

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    1. I second the J.Crew Arabelle. That was my first thought when I saw the pic. I know y'all lurve to hate on J.Crew, but their bridal line is great quality and generally quite affordable.

      How bout a clickable link?
      J.Crew Arabelle!

      Also this is sick:
      Although its sold out right now

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  31. Check out Jenny Yoo definitely!

    http://www.jennyyoo.com/wedding_alternatives06.html

    http://www.jennyyoo.com/wedding_alternatives24.html

    http://www.jennyyoo.com/wedding_alternatives19.html

    Or Saja:
    http://sajawedding.com/collection_permanent.html

    Or this Ivy and Astor dress which is so super super soft!:
    http://www.ivyandaster.com/collections/long-bridal-gowns/products/sweet-pea-1

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    1. Love that Ivy and Astor dress! Beautiful!

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  32. The dress is lovely. But not $4500 lovely. To me, if you don't feel comfortable spending it - don't and don't have someone else do it.

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  33. My sister got a lovely flowy strapless dress from Theia via a department store for about $800 or $1000 (I think it was Saks, but I can't remember).

    Maybe this? Though there are many other options that might work.

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  34. I was also struggling to find a dress, and was thinking that I would just have to triple my budget to find something that I liked. The only problem was that I couldn't find a single dress that I wanted to spend that kind of money on. I would look at a dress and I would like it, but not for the price. I think that if you're thinking this seriously about the money aspect of the dress then buying a really expensive dress might make you unhappy. Something to think about. I also agree with many of the people who have already posted that this dress exists for a lot les money. Just note what you like about it: the sweetheart neckline? the natural waist? the chiffon? and then go hunt for a version that doesn't cost as much.

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  35. I bought the most amazing gown, secondhand for $800. By the time I dry-cleaned it (mostly a freshen up) and had it altered it cost $1250. The dress looks like it was made for me. And I loved every second of wearing it. It was the worst feeling taking my dress off, knowing I will never wear it again.

    My point is, there are many ways of finding "the dress" at a price you can be happy with. The

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  36. I think you look phenomenal! Buy it!

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  37. Buy the dress. Do not deviate.

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  38. It's not just the style - which yes, you could shop around for. It's the fabric, the exact drape, the waist in just the right place etc. etc. As it's new in the collection you could shop around more without it selling out and then you'll know for sure. It also depends on your wedding priorities. My husband and I LOVE clothes and we both work in fashion - our wedding outfits were a pretty high spend in the total of our wedding, but for us that was right. Maybe go halves with your mum? Good luck!

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    1. Exactly. There are quite a few strapless, flowy gowns out there, but most aren't in silk, or they don't have proper corseting underneath. Keep looking, OP... but this dress looks incredible on you.

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    2. agreed wtih anonymous! what is your typical style? how do you normally spend money on clothing? if you are obsessed with fashion and feel quality clothing is worth paying for (and probably already wear contemporary designer stuff), these $1000 options probably won't do it for you. but if in general it doesn't matter to you, sure, you could find another option that will work. (but then i don't think you'd have been trying on marchesa in the first place?)

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  39. How about this Casablanca dress? It's slightly more ornate at the waistband, but only about $975. http://www.casablancabridal.com/files/products/449/0/big.jpg

    It's Style number 2041.

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  40. I second the Ivy & Aster recommendations. They do very similar dresses; HOWEVER, the draping on their bodices will not be as nice. They're a little stiff in form and the draping not as smooth. Here's the thing, as much as I don't think the Marchesa dress screams 5K, the draping will be impossible to replicate, which is why it is 5K. In any case, why does a dress need to express its cost, when the work is all in the subtle details...? If you love it, it will disappoint you that you went with something else. Don't feel guilty or ask permission from a bunch of strangers whether it's okay. It's an incredible gift your mom wants to give you. Do it for your daughter too! But, of course, the accessories can kill you ($$$).

    The Elizabeth Dye looks crafty.

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  41. This with an amazing lace belt

    Sophia Kokosalaki

    Her pattern cutting is impecable

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  42. If a dress makes you feel "all and that my huge butt is not quite as overwhelming – and also makes me feel really special and pretty and lovely. (It seems so simple, natural waist, sweetheart neck, romantic and light - but I'm just not seeing it out there!)" I would buy it in a second. And plan to resell it. I sold mine, it took about 6 months for me to be ready to do it, and then another 4 months to sell, but it went to a lovely girl and I love that my beautiful dress will have another story!

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