To buy a sale dress or not?

A sample sale is a great way to find your dress if you are on a smaller budget.

So how do they work? Basically each year or twice a year, designers will discontinue certain styles in their portfolio. They will stop producing certain dresses for a number of reasons;

  • Internationally that style may not be selling well.
  • They may have run out of fabric and can no longer produce the style with an alternative material.
  • They may have a new design coming in that’s similar so they will discontinue the older version.
  • There can be any number of reasons and every designer varies on that.

However for a bride on a budget a Sample Sale is a great opportunity to save some money, as you are buying a dress off the rack at a fraction of its original re order price. Sample sales are ideal for a bride who knows the style they want, if you have decided that fit & flare, A-Line, Sweetheart neckling etc is definitely your vibe then a sale may be right up your street. You may need to carry out minor repairs to the dress or even have it dry cleaned, generally sale prices will reflect the amount of work that potentially needs to be done on the dress. When buying a sale dress, you ideally want it fitting very well or being a maximum of two sizes too big, as anything more and you could lose the shape of the dress during alterations. If you are hoping to find bridesmaids dresses in a sample sale, you will have to be open to mixing and matching styles and possibly colours as the chances of getting 2 or more matching dresses in your nearest size will be slim.

Tips for sample sale shopping:

  • Check out the sale online if possible before coming in store, screenshot the dresses you like so they can be pulled off the rack easily.
  • Don’t go to a sample sale if you have never tried on a wedding dress or don’t know what style you like or suits you. You won’t have as large a selection of styles to try on as you would from a current collection and it may end up being a wasted appointment for you.
  • Do go to a sample sale if you have already narrowed down the style and fit you like then its just a case of getting a dress in your nearest size that won’t require a huge amount of alterations.
  • Be open to styles, you have a smaller range of dresses to try on in a sample sale so have an open mind.
  • A qualified bridal seamstress can do quite a bit to a wedding dress, so if you try on a strapless sale gown but you really wanted a cap sleeve, chances are a seamstress can add a cap sleeve to that style of dress.

Sample sales are a great way to save money and also time as you are buying the dress off the rack so you don’t have to wait 6 months or more for a dress to arrive in.. BUT the main thing is know go with an open mind and chances are you will find your dream dress at a fraction of the original price!