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Wedding bell blues...
April 4, 2012 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Wedding filter: Help me help a friend find a wedding dress on a budget in Los Angeles.

My friend lives in Simi Valley, CA, and has about $200 - $500 free to spend on her wedding dress. She has enlisted her friends for help with this project. Unfortunately, I have not been to L.A. except to go to Disneyland when I was 10. Please let me know if you have any ideas about specialty thrift shops, hole in the wall gems, etc. that I can point her towards on her quest.
posted by melangell to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total)
 
I got a wonderful stunning dress at a David's Bridal...it was 600 bucks- I wasn't even that pinched for cash but they had a huge selection of nice things across the board. I would check out their website and see if there are things in her price range that you could recommend to her.
posted by misspony at 9:24 AM on April 4, 2012


Depending on how sentimentally attached she will be to her dress, she could consider renting a dress. That way she could probably get a fancier dress if that's what shes looking for.
posted by halseyaa at 9:27 AM on April 4, 2012


Goodwill and St. Vincent De Paul's thrift stores usually have wedding dresses. If she finds one there for $50 that fits, she could be free to spend hundreds of dollars on customizing and tailoring it.

They have these stores everywhere in L.A.
posted by Vaike at 9:27 AM on April 4, 2012


I bought my wedding dress (in that price range) from ShopBop.com. I also did a lot of looking at net-a-porter.com. I had to order more than one size and ship back the ones which did not fit, but the process was pretty painless.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:33 AM on April 4, 2012


I bought mine for $300 at Loehmann's, and it was nothing like any of the dresses I'd seen elsewhere.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 9:40 AM on April 4, 2012


What size is your friend? MeMail me, I might have a dress for her. :)
posted by nkknkk at 9:46 AM on April 4, 2012


Your friend should check out Unique Vintage. They sell online, but also have a retail store. They have a great selection of vintage reproduction dresses (particularly tea-length) that are in your friend's price range.
posted by annaramma at 9:55 AM on April 4, 2012


My dress was from Nordstrom and cost about $200 before alterations (which were well under $100). She can check out their website first to get an idea of what they have. Don't just look at the bridal section, look in regular dresses and filter by color if you want white.
posted by soelo at 9:55 AM on April 4, 2012


I had my wedding dress made for me, and it cost me $250 for the tailor and $75 for the fabric, notions, etc.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:02 AM on April 4, 2012


My LA sister-in-law shopped at Matrushka and we found some lovely stuff in silk and satin. The owner was also willing to construct to on short notice (4 weeks) providing we chose a standard pattern of hers and material she stocked (which included silk). In the end my SIL got her dress at Nordstrom, though, for about $300 and went with alterations which were not very expensive.
posted by cocoagirl at 10:31 AM on April 4, 2012


Seconding Nordstrom. Easy returns makes online shopping a lot less stressful and allows you to try on dresses they may not have in stock in the stores. They have a "bridal" store at the Canoga Park store where you can try on a bunch of their white dress options.

Nordstrom is particularly great because of their amazing return policy. You can literally hold on to a "maybe" dress for months and then still return it.
posted by rainydayfilms at 10:37 AM on April 4, 2012


Jcrew has some very nice wedding dresses in that range (that's where I got mine last year). They're more in the "elegant, simple, clean lines" category than the "I want to look like a foofy frosted cupcake with ruffles and sparkles" category, though. Their store at The Grove in Los Angeles has the wedding collection.
posted by erst at 10:44 AM on April 4, 2012


A friend of mine rented a wedding dress (some fancy Vera Wang number) from a shop in LA. If your friend is interested in going that route memail me and I'll find out the name of the shop.
posted by grapesaresour at 11:08 AM on April 4, 2012


Buy a bridesmaid's dress. I got my dress -- which, granted, was bright red, but it was available in several white/cream/silver combinations -- from Wtoo, a line from Watters and Watters, for $219 (plus the fat-lady upsizing of $25).
posted by Madamina at 12:20 PM on April 4, 2012


I'm not sure when the big day is, but Brides Against Breast Cancer sells donated wedding dresses to benefit charity. There's a sale in Anaheim in June. I'm not sure your friend is comfortable wearing a previously owned dress, but it's for a good cause, and the dresses are often at a steep discount.
Recycled Bride sells used dresses as well -- one tip is to see if you can find the dress you see online or one by the same designer at a boutique near you and try it on to see what size you'll need to buy (taking into account alterations). Good luck!
posted by bluefly at 12:52 PM on April 4, 2012


I got my awesome dress at light in the box for under 200$. It is not instant gratification, but by having my measurements taken professionally by a seamstress before hand, the adjustments I did have after it arrived were very, very minimal.
posted by fillsthepews at 10:09 PM on April 4, 2012


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