Cheaping out on a wedding dress!
May 29, 2016 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Another 'find me a dress like this dress' question. I'm loving this dress for my wedding. Not loving the price tag. Suggestions for something similar either online or in Toronto?

I love this BHLDN dress. But we're doing a quick and dirty casual wedding and while $430+international shipping ain't bad, I wouldn't mind finding something more in the <$200 range.

Things I love about it - it's cotton (and thus reads as a little more casual), I like the neck line (what would this neckline be called?) and think it'll work well on my thin, flat chested frame (boatneck also tends to look good on me). I love all the eyelet detail. It looks like something I could wear again.

I don't need it to be floor length necessarily, but I'm about 5'10, so shorter lengths can be a bit dodgy.

Failing online suggestions, Toronto store suggestions would be appreciated - I suspect I should go spend some time in vintage stores.
posted by stray to Shopping (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Go to the "Maxi and Midi" dresses category on There are four or five long white dresses with a similar casual vibe as the BHLDN with varying levels of detail and types of necklines.
posted by dayintoday at 8:12 AM on May 29, 2016

It's less ornate and shorter than your BHLDN example, but this Madewell dress has a similar silhouette and eyelet detail (and is cotton/linen). They ship to Canada.
posted by The Giant Rat of Sumatra at 8:33 AM on May 29, 2016

How about this?
posted by Dolley at 8:59 AM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

You have a lot of good advice so far, so I'm mostly searching and posting because it is fun.

More revealing, but similar lace pattern and peekaboo look on the bottom: Tassel Tie Lace Maxi Dress - $98

Pricier than you wanted, but it is purty: 'Rene' Lace Maxi Dress
posted by missmerrymack at 10:20 AM on May 29, 2016

That's a great dress. I think one reason this dress is over $400, apart from label and bridal markup, is the quality and variety of the lace. The details on the hem look like broderie anglaise or Irish lace to me (I'm not an expert), plus the bodice has embroidery (or something) and needle lace (or something). The construction of the neckline/bodice is also relatively elaborate. I don't know what the name for this particular shape is, but it reminds me of Kate Middleton's wedding dress, which was simply described as a "deep v-neck."

I think less expensive dresses, particularly under $200, will be a lot simpler in cut and embellishment. That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course! (I also suspect that the BHLDN dress is more likely to need alternations, causing additional expense.)

I couldn't find anything combining all the elements that you liked, but here's what I could turn up:
Flair-y Gossamer Dress, $70
Ralph Lauren Eyelet dress, $175
Flowing to the Chapel dress, $175
Crochet-front Handkerchief Hem dress, $36
Tiered Illusion Maxi Dress, $150
Sleeveless Lace Maxi Dress, $90
White Montana Dress, $130
White Tank Dress with Lace, $150
Nightcap Crochet Day Gown, $130
Seminyak Maxi Dress, $160
Jetta Embroidered Mesh Maxi, $65
Lace Fit and Flare Maxi, $240
Lace Bodice Gown, $110
Ethereal Love Dress, $125

Good luck! (And long live quick-and-dirty-casual weddings!)
posted by wintersweet at 10:28 AM on May 29, 2016 [9 favorites]

The neckline is a mandarin v-neck, trimmed in lace (or, overlaid with lace - see how those panels overlap the bodice section) - if you find something you like that's plain, a tailor may be able to add that lace detail.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:37 AM on May 29, 2016

If you don't mind gently used, search eBay for BHLDN. There are some similar dresses for less on there. It's kind of luck sizewise, but I was surprised there were a fair number on there.
posted by bluefly at 11:39 AM on May 29, 2016

I came in to recommend the Flowing to the Chapel dress as well -- in terms of both shape and embellishments, it's a simplified version of the BHLDN dress you linked.

If you haven't already, you might also check out the ASOS wedding line. I don't see anything in there that's a perfect match, but there are dresses with similar elements (this one or this one, for instance)

And, if you didn't already know -- it's possible to search Amazon for dresses by length/neckline/etc. Here's what pops up when looking for white, v-neck gowns. I don't see anything super-promising in there, but there are many options at many price points and it might be worth a look around. Just make sure you check the size charts -- not all the sellers are using US standard sizes.
posted by ourobouros at 11:47 AM on May 29, 2016

OHHHHH this one is really similar with the lower part! Lulus $62USD ships to Canada.

Shorter underskirt but you could add another slip with this lacy one which has a v neck. $69USD ships to Canada.

LuLus Little more BOHO but eyelet lacy details $74USD ships to CA.

Lulus Maxi Halter $59USD ships to CA.

LuLus a bit more casual but embroidery detail $66USD ships to CA.

Lulus does free international shipping on orders over $150 with code Worldwide.

Urban Outfitters CA $219
Urban Outfitters CA $289 (more fancy)

How long until you need it? This Etsy dress has a similar feel but takes 4 to 6 weeks unless you're the size 4. I think in general spending some time searching Etsy may be worth your time for vintage items if you're into that. Many places ship worldwide or you can narrow down to Canada.

Without knowing your measurements though I wouldn't want to go too link crazy on Etsy for vintage stuff, but definitely worth taking a look.

Handmade Etsy V Neck Lace Maxi Ships in 3 to 4 weeks.
Also from that shop this one.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:38 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is this one on ModCloth too casual?
posted by MsMolly at 3:23 PM on May 29, 2016

How about this pretty Anticipation dress from Sundance at $158?

Maybe also the Fluttering Heart dress at $168.

They have a few other longer white dresses with lace and embroidery as well.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:11 AM on May 30, 2016

You are all SO AMAZING, thank you. Lots of great options here. I'm sort of leaning towards some of those Nordstrom options Crystalinne found - but all of these will give me lots to think on. Thanks again.
posted by stray at 7:44 AM on May 30, 2016

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