After creating custom-fit, vintage-authentic tea-length wedding dresses online, at a distance without ever meeting or fitting the bride in person for more than 13 years, I could write a book on this topic rather than a mere blog post. But for now I will focus on these few key points regarding the pros and cons of buying reproduction vintage, vintage-inspired or vintage tea length wedding dresses online:
- MORE FOR YOUR MONEY: As long as the company from whom you are buying is not spending an arm and a leg on advertising and does not have a brick and mortar store to support, you can get much, much value for more for your dollar, providing you are well-informed and buy wisely. Why? Your wedding dress budget will not be spent on store overhead or huge advertising costs; it can go for outstanding personal service, sewing labor and materials for YOUR dress!
- SELECTION: The selection online is as vast as the internet -1000’s of choices- whereas your choices locally, specifically for tea length dresses- may be limited from none to 25. Tea length wedding dresses are not mainstream, so local wedding shops are likely to have very few tea length choices.
- PERSONALIZATION/CUSTOMIZATION: Depending on your vendor, wedding dresses ordered on the internet can often be sewn to order, offering you the chance to get your dress made to fit your unique figure and with customizations specified especially for you, such as a matching jacket, an accent color or embroidery of your choice, with meaning especially for you.
CONS of buying “vintage” tea length wedding dresses online:
- Photos can be deceiving. At the internet’s low-resolution, you can’t see detail -especially if you don’t know what to look for- and might be dismayed when you see the dress fabric or sewing quality in person. Furthermore, many dress faults can be PhotoShopped-out.
- Your -or your vendor’s- lack of fitting knowledge (or a vendors lack of caring about your fit, and their exploitation of the fact that you don’t know what can go wrong or what information they actually need to fit you beautifully) can make the dress you receive horribly unflattering, while the photo of the dress made it appear to be flattering.
- It’s more difficult to check on the reputation of a distant vendor than it is to check on the reputation of a local shop. This doesn’t mean it can’t be done but you will have to be much more thorough and diligent.Here are two tea length wedding dresses that are from David’s Bridal. Most brides have access to a David’s Bridal as a local shopping option:
Naturally, I feel you can get infinitely more quality and style from Whirling Turban than you can from David’s Bridal [shudder], but I certainly understand the pitfalls along your path in deciding to buy online. I “feel for” brides shopping online, particularly when I can see what’s missing from the information provided by- or requested by- less scrupulous online sellers.
For example, when I see an online vendor request just the bust and waist measurements to make a custom-fit dress, I am horrified. That’s a recipe for disappointment and disaster. What facts are needed to create a bride’s dress tea length wedding dress that will fit, and fit beautifully? LOTS. That’s a topic for another blog post.
-Katherine Robinson, Designer for Whirling Turban