Buy off the rack
All bridal stores generally stock a range of gowns which are imported from Australia or America, but have been made in China or Vietnam. Most gowns are polyester gowns, strapless and are embellished with lace, sequence and beads and a great number are lace-up to allow for a varied fit.
The advantage of purchasing your gown ‘off the rack’ is that you visually get to see the gown as a finished product and how the gown will look on you. In some stores, confirming your gown early is essential, as some do take 6 months to arrive into the country. Also allow for alterations that may be required.
Buying second hand or off trade me
Buying off ‘Trade Me’ can be extremely risky. Size of the gown is always an issue, unless you supply the seller with a complete set of measurements or visa-versa. For example, a size 10 can vary, depending on which country the dress first originated from. You can on the other hand, buy a designer gown at a very reasonable price. If you can, ensure that you get to try the dress on and take someone with you who knows something about sewing. That way if alterations are needed she will be able to guide you as to whether this will be possible or not.
Made by a dressmaker
There are a number of extremely good dressmakers out there. A lot of us have mothers, aunties or friends in this category. Unless you are confident that the style and fabric you have chosen are going to be most suitable for your body shape, going with a dressmaker is not the best option. A dressmaker is just that, a dressmaker. Most do not have the experience to guide you on a suitable design that will suit your body shape.
Made by a designer / dressmaker
A designer/dressmaker has a wealth of experience in design to suit body shape as well as knowing the most suitable fabric for the design. A good designer is generally blunt and honest to guide you. They have the knowledge to use your ideas and inspirations, but will work with your body shape to create a gown that is not only unique but has given you the best silhouette and shape, camouflaging any body areas that are generally an issue. In most cases, a calico (mock of the gown) is tailored to your body shape to finalise all aspects of the design i.e. neckline, strap width, how low the back drops etc… Remember , the gown is made to fit your body shape, which guarantees the ultimate fit.