Did you ever buy wedding magazines before you were engaged? Once in a while, I bought them on business trips, devoured them, and then got rid of them before coming home. I don’t know why I felt like I wasn’t allowed to look at them if I didn’t have a ring on my left hand. The one time I brought a particularly wonderful issue of Martha Stewart Weddings home from a trip, I stashed it in a hiding place. I forgot about said hiding place until Mr. Mink was helping me flip my mattress. Oops. He had a good laugh about my illicit magazine.
Aside from looking at magazines, my favorite source for wedding gown inspiration when I started my dress search was an unconventional one: New York Magazine.
Screen shot of Amsale’s Spring 2010 runway show / Image from nymag.com
You see, while plenty of wedding websites have gown search engines, few group gowns by collection while also having large images of dresses from multiple angles.
Sure, the wedding websites have thousands of pictures, but after using one of the “grande dame” of wedding websites, I wasn’t impressed with the results. Their catalog of images was at least one season out of date for most major designers, the images were tiny, and the information provided was limited.
New York Magazine seems to catalog every garment that is sent down the runway at New York Fashion Week and Bridal Market. I spent days browsing their galleries. After a while, I realized that there was an entire portion of the wedding gown market that I wasn’t seeing (the non-designer gowns), but there was so much variety in the designer collections, that I was okay with that. I decided that if I couldn’t afford to buy a designer gown, I would buy a sample or a second hand dress.
Rivini Spring 2012 show / From Completely Unveiled
I didn’t tell anyone about this decision. Though I know plenty of people who shop in vintage and secondhand stores for their regular clothing, there seems to be a stigma attached to doing so for a wedding gown (unless it’s a family gown). Buying a preowned or sample gown seemed to make so much sense. I might be able to find a designer gown for the same price as a non-designer one. What’s more, I wouldn’t be the catalyst for the production of an entirely new garment and the part of me that is concerned about consumption and being green thought that was a good thing.
How do you feel about “preowned” dresses? Would you wear a secondhand dress? Do you think buying “preowned” is something to hide?