To Customize or Not to Customize – The Pros and Cons of Having a Dress Bespoke

Back before the Industrial Revolution made it possible to manufacture things like clothing on a mass scale everything was bespoke, as in “it was bespoken” and then made exactly to the client’s wishes.

Very quickly people realized that buying something mass produced was a lot cheaper and the tradition of bespoke largely died out.

Well, we’re bringing bespoken back! Yah!

You ladies don’t know where fab is at! Yah!

(Sorry, Justin Timberlake… I just couldn’t resist!).

But in all seriousness, having a dress customized can be a truly wonderful and amazing experience!

Here’s why:

1) You get to control the design. Whether it’s showing us a picture or giving us a jump off point for inspiration, this dress is your design and NOBODY else’s. It’s exclusively yours! One of a kind couture, some might even say!

2) It will fit you without needing to be tailored extensively.

One of the reasons we got started at Virtuous Prom is a good friend had recently helped his niece “hem” her dress by using double sided sticky tape. The niece and her family had made a special journey, traveling hundreds of miles to the nearest big city to purchase a prom dress, only to be greatly disappointment. They didn’t find anything there that was modest enough or that began to fit properly. Crushed, they selected the least of all evils for her to wear to the prom, went home and “hemmed” it with an office supply.

Hearing about this debacle made me want to help out women everywhere. Very quickly I realized that tall girls have problems finding longer dresses, shorter girls need them hemmed (which can be quite costly) and 99% of girls don’t have their bust, waist and hips all sharing the same size. One of our models has a 10/12 size bust, a size 6 waist and size 8 hips. When a pre-made dress fits her bust, it hangs down the rest of her like a potato sack!

Retailers do their best, but they just can’t account for the unique and beautiful diversity we all possess. Having your dress custom made, however, makes all those issues a breeze.

3) We will help you with every step of your design!

Most of the gals I work with have a really clear idea of what they’d like, but not everybody does. One bride, Lila, that I worked with was so nervous and overwhelmed that we literally went through every aspect of the dress step by step: Do you like lace? Ivory or white? A scoop neck? No sleeves? Long sleeves? And so on. She very quickly gained confidence and her dress turned out AMAZING. When I saw the finished product in all its glory all I could say was, “Wow, wow, wow…. about twenty times in a row”

Next on “To Customize or Not to Customize,” we’ll talk more about Lila’s dress, the in depth side of collaboration, the electricity in the air when she first saw her wedding dress and of course pictures of her on her big day!

In the meantime, here’s a selection of some of the custom work we’ve done recently:

IMG_2240IMG_2242 (1)IMG_2185IMG_2209K1photo 1 (3)IMG_2271IMG_2163IMG_2255Jeanay1

We were commissioned to make a dress based on a a $1300 gown from Latter-day Bride in Salt Lake City. We ended up saving the bride over $1,000 and we matched the pattern, cut and even the lace to perfection!

Jeanay2Nada2Nada3

Your Perfect Prom Dress – Part 3

Not quite sure what looks good on you? Still trying to figure out what compliments your figure and your coloring? Here’s your very own guide to finding your perfect prom dress.

Picking the perfect silhouette…

No matter what your body type, there is is a flattering dress out there for you!

The Neckline…

It may be a bit surprising, but the neckline of a dress can make a HUGE difference on everything from how your face appears, to your shoulders and of course to your bust line. The right neckline can help you accentuate your figure’s graces and help conceal your “trouble” areas. It can even make you appear taller and slimmer – who knew!

Selecting the right neckline for you is a crucial part of finding your perfect prom dress. Here’s a quick guide to the different styles out there and what will work best for you.

The Sweetheart Neckline

Our dress, Emmeline, is a perfect example of a traditional sweetheart neckline (sweetheart necklines are so called because they look like the top of a heart). Wearing a sweetheart neckline shows off the collarbone and decollete without revealing too much. Sweetheart necklines flatter most body types, are also great at creating the illusion of curves. They additionally draw attention up to your face and make you look longer and leaner, especially in your upper body! Sweetheart, indeed!

A great example of a sweetheart neckline!

Scoop Necks, V-Necks and Square Necks

Like the sweetheart neckline, these other three necklines show off the collarbone and decollete (Elisabeth, with a square neckline is featured below), help make you appear longer and leaner, draw attention to your face, and elongate your torso.They also work well on almost all body types. Scoop necklines are especially good at creating the illusion of curves, but watch out if you don’t want to look curvier there than you already are!

A great example of a square neckline!

Crew Necks and Boatnecks

Both these necklines are great for drawing the eye to the shoulder, helping to detract from a smaller chest or sloped shoulders. By drawing the eye out to your shoulders, crew necks and boatnecks help balance out your figure, making your shoulders seem squarer and your bust line more ample. These two necklines are especially great for pear-shaped women (women whose hips are proportionally larger than their bust). Conversely, if you’re already bustier than you’d like to be, these two necklines (especially the crew neck) can definitely accentuate that “problem” and can also make your shoulders appear wider that perhaps you’d like  (our dress, Evie, is pictured below).

Evie

Cowl-Necks

A cowl-neck is a neckline that has a slight drape to it at the chest – like our dress Valerie. It is a great choice for anyone wishing to add a little volume at the bust and at the same time create vertical lines that elongate the silhouette.

Valerie

Higher Necklines

Higher necklines, like mandarin collars are GREAT for creating the illusion of a bigger bustline. The downside is that if you already have a shorter neck, this neckline can make your neck pull a disappearing act! Like most things in fashion, it’s worth a try and ultimately what works for you comes down to what you like! When in doubt, a trustworthy friend is the best shopping companion (Jeanette pictured below)!

Jeanette