Buying a 'normal' white dress

Hi there,

Just wondered if anyone was thinking in the same direction as me, which is to buy some kind of non-'bridal' white dress from a designer / semi-designer shop? I'ld like to find something that is a little non-traditional, and hopefully cheaper too. I'm thinking of heading down to London to look at a wider range than you get in Sheffield. Any helpful tips or horrible warnings would be welcome!

Oh, another aspect of it all is that I'm getting married in December this year, but probably need to get on with the dress shopping fairly soon. There seem to be quite a lot of white dresses around at the moment, but I guess I need to avoid anything really obviously floaty / summery / chilly!

help.. I'm really not a 'shopping for clothes' sort of person!


  • cheryl654cheryl654 Posts: 366
    Hiya Eralc. I considered doing this as I am a second timer and was finding nothing in the bridal wear range to suit me. I didn't want cream or traditional bridal. I eventually bought a one off couture dress which is coloured and a bit different but I live in neighbouring Doncaster and we have a fab dress shop called Montage here which has some great dresses in which would suit wedddings. I am waiting to get the corset altered on my dress and am then going to take it and try and get a skirt to match from there so I can change into it if I get a bit warm on the night or to wear afterwards to the races. All the nice dress shops like that are in the same close location.
  • eralceralc Posts: 95
    Thanks Cheryl!

    Well done for treating yourself as you like to be treated! Well bizarrely, panic over! Dropped into John Lewis and Debenhams at lunchtime and bought myself a dress.

    Lovely, elegent evening wear from Phase Eight: cream, mid calf length, very fitted, brocade over net material so a lovely texture and due to the figure-hugging and the length quite warm enough for December. At £150 a treat purchase for me but a snip of 'bridal' prices.

    Think it's hilarious that you can get these things done in a lunchtime if you have an open (and decisive!) mind! So now, onto everything else that needs planning...

  • Glad I'm not the only one - I didn't want a "wedding" dress either - I don't like the look for me. I saw a dress that I loved on the Monsoon website (in their bridal section). Went to the store (by myself!), tried it on and bought it! It's the only dress I tried on and I bought it in less than an hour!

    A few weeks later, I still love it!!!

  • LegacyUserLegacyUser Posts: 903
    i'm not getting married for 2 years yet but already know that i don't want a traditional bridal gown. i want more of a "party" dress, knee length, something i feel comfortable in all day and not something i'm going to be tripping over and hoisting up all the time. won't start trying on until next year but naturally i've been having a look online. unfortunately i've fallen in love with a designer called Elie Saab who (1) doesn't have a shop in the UK and (2) who's pret a porter prices start at around $4000!!! slightly over my budget!!!

    i hope i'm as lucky as you girls when i go looking - will def bear monsoon and john lewis in mind x

    ps. when you've mentioned your dress ideas to friends/family, did any of them tell you you'll change your mind/regret not having a traditional dress?? i get this all the time!
  • Hi Keeley,

    I didn't have any objections (at least from those who count). My parents and Chief Bridesmaid think the dress (and price) is fabulous. H2B likes the idea (hasn't seen the actual dress, but has an idea of the style I was looking for).

    One friend I sent a few photos of dresses I liked - some bridal and some not. She preferred the bridal ones and said I should wear something different / only chance to do it, etc.

    A traditional dress just isn't me, and I wouldn't feel comfortable all day. Everyone will still know I'm the bride! And when it's in context with make-up and hair, it will look fantastic!
  • RB2007RB2007 Posts: 27
    I don't really fancy the 'traditional' white or ivory wedding dress either. I'm after something a little different - maybe a pastel colour instead of white and something fairly elegant and fitted. It's just so hard to find this sort of thing though. Most bridal stores only do the traditional styles & colours and i can't seem to find anything in the designer/department stores that i like. I think i might opt for a made-to-measure dress unless i find anything i love in the next month or so...
  • joannalordjoannalord Posts: 38
    One thing I read in the 'wedding bible' (btw- a really nice book if you fancy a treat) is to use the personal shopping service at department stores, e.g. Selfridges/Harvey Nicks. The service is usually free (need to check if there is an obligation to buy) and you can tell them your budget and they will advise - it's great because they know the stock inside out so will be able to find things that you might have walked past.

    I thought it was a good idea and could be quite fun!
  • RachPukRachPuk Posts: 3
    That's a great idea! I was thinking about getting one made, as I want a slinky kind of dress and all the ones in the shop are poofy, but was quoted £1000! Getting the personal shoppers to help sounds like the perfect solution.
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