Trust me, I get it. As much as you may love shopping online for shoes, books, or home décor, online dress shopping can be a bit scary, especially when purchasing something as important as a bridesmaid dress.
Good news is – it doesn’t always have to be scary or intimidating. In fact, shopping online for bridesmaid dresses can be easy AND fun! I’ll help you determine the scammers from the real-deal and tell you exactly what you need to know when shopping online.
I know that buying dresses in a bridal store can be exhausting, overwhelming, and stressful, even when it may be an obligatory step in wedding plans. Between everyone's busy schedules, living in different locations, and finding appointment times that work, visiting a bridal shoppe to try on bridesmaid dresses can seem like more of a chore than a fun girls' outing. Visiting the physical stores can take too much time, and sometimes, when you see the prices of everything, the sticker shock can be too much to handle.
I know what you’re thinking. “Going to a bridal salon is just the norm. That’s what everybody does, so I should too, right?” Wrong. While it’s always been a part of the “process”, it doesn’t mean that’s what you have to do. Plus, who's to say that you can't get scammed at a bridal boutique? After all, employees have sales quotas to meet, and while they may not agree with harsh sales tactics personally, they may be influenced to sell you gowns that aren't exactly what you're looking for to meet a criteria or earn bonus pay. We're here to tell you that this doesn't need to be your bridesmaid dress shopping experience!
Think about it… nowadays, we live in a digital era, where you can oversee the things that you want without ever leaving your home. You can buy groceries online. You can buy furniture online. So why not a bridesmaid dress?
However, how many times have you heard of someone receiving online items that were not what they expected, disappointing, or really cheap? It’s easy to get scammed and unfortunately, there are tons of illegitimate websites out there.
The lowest price is not always the best option - If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You may find some really great prices online, but wait before you rush to buy it, because 9/10 times, it’s a counterfeit dress. Once I found a Kennedy Blue dress for $63 on a site. A) No Kennedy Blue dress is $63. B) Unless it’s sold on Kennedyblue.com or weddingshoppeinc.com, it’s not an authorized dealer. Know the difference between a good deal on a high quality dress from an authorized retailer and a cheaply made bridesmaid dress from a scammer!
Stay alert for obvious signs - Nobody wants to get a counterfeit dress for a special occasion, so for that reason you have to become an inspector when browsing the sales sites. These are some signs to be aware of when exploring the virtual store:
When the website looks shady (broken images, poor English, disorganized text and images everywhere, etc.)
Check their credentials - If you’re wondering about the authenticity of a specific gown, look on the actual designer’s website –most will list where their dresses are authorized to be sold – and if you’re still unsure, don’t be afraid to call.
Make yourself part of a community - Many women are in the same situation that you are experiencing, so you are not alone. They, just like you, are scanning all the possible options to get the bridesmaid dress they want without getting scammed, and are trying to find a good advisor in that matter. Some of them start forums or Facebook groups to share their experiences or even to support each other, as they share the same purpose.
You can take a look on the websites or groups dedicated to bridal disasters to get informed on what to do or not:
You can also join groups that discuss more general wedding planning concerns and include vendor suggestions like the one below. The brides in these types of groups may have suggestions on where to find the best deals on affordable, quality bridesmaid dresses in addition to sharing cautionary tales. You'll be in good hands!
Do YOUR part! - You already know that you should be doing a fair amount of research before purchasing bridesmaid dresses online. Part of your research must include looking into measuring and bridesmaid dress sizing! It can be tempting to just order whatever size you're used to wearing in normal clothes, but we're here to warn you - don't. Most wedding attire is sized based on a European size chart and fits differently from standard American street clothing.
Kennedy Blue bridesmaid dresses are sized to a more standard fit to avoid huge differences in sizing from your normal clothing, but it's still important to accept that you may not order the exact size you'd expect. One of the most common reasons for this is that bridesmaid dresses are sized based off of our bust, wait, and hip measurements. Your bust may measure into a size 6 while your waist measures into a 10. That's totally normal and ok! Just be sure to worry about the fit more than the size, learn how to measure correctly, and follow the size chart directly.
Buying online is not a totally untrusty way of acquiring your stuff. I’ve made many online purchases and I haven’t been disappointed at all. In fact, online shopping definitely has its benefits and man, is it ever convenient!
In Kennedy Blue we multiply those benefits for you. We offer an At Home Try-On, so you don’t have to visit a crowded store, get in stuffy dressing rooms, or deal with cranky consultants, as we ship the sample products directly to you.
How it works? Visit Kennedy Blue’s website and order the sample dress(es) you’d like to try. We’ll ship them to your home and you'll have three days to try them on. Finally, if you like the dress, you can place the purchase online. How easy is that?
You may know that visiting the store is not necessarily going to offer the better experience since you have to coordinate schedules, call or email to make an appointment, go to the physical store, and take the risk of not finding the bridesmaid dress that you want.
Luckily, we offer you the solution of buying online in a safe and trusting way. Because we’re in Minnesota, we do not charge taxes for sales online, and we also provide free shipping and give you the convenience of shopping on your own time.
Do you have any experience with buying wedding apparel online? Have you ever had the displeasure of ordering from a counterfeit website? We want to hear you. Share your experiences or advices for other people that is in the same situation in the comments below.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Taking Your Measurements
For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn’t be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor.
Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.
Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).
While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button. Stand up straight and do not “suck in” when taking this measurment.
Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.
Compare these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5” (size 12), your waist measures 31” (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5” (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body.
Depending on the fabric, a dress can be altered down up to 2 full sizes, but can be very difficult to let out as there is only about .5 inch of fabric to do so at the seams.