After a nice day off from blogging in honor of Labor Day, we are back for Trousseau Tuesday! As I'm sure many of you have heard, Priscilla of Boston (manufacturer of all pretty things bridal) is closing its doors for good after 65 years in the biz. Although Mr. 3 says this was announced over two weeks ago, I didn't get the memo until Friday night date night. Mr. 3 and I were have a very nice date at Fireworks when I happened to glance at my Droid and saw the email. After reading the news, I promptly began to have a meltdown. I have been stalking the Priscilla of Boston website for several weeks, with a serious case of dress lust in my heart. I immediately called Briana and my mother to tell them the gawdawful news. After a few frantic discussions, we decided that I should grab a friend and head over to the Priscilla of Boston store in Tysons Corner to try on dresses and look at the accessories. Everything in the stores was 40% off, but they would not take any new orders.
So, on Sunday, I ran over with a good, trustworthy friend (thanks Jenny C!!!) capable of giving me honest opinions and prevent me from having an public meltdowns. We began looking through the racks. This was my first dress shopping experience, but I already have a good idea of what I want in a dress (i.e. no strapless, ivory, fuller skirt, no puffy fairy godmother skirt, etc). The first thing I noticed was that the dresses were not in good condition. Some were missing buttons, others had dirt on them, several had ripped pieces big enough to stick your fist through. The second thing that I noticed was the sizing. I had called the store prior to going and I was told that they had every dress style in size 8, 10, and 12 (for those of you who aren't familiar, bridal sizes usually run two sizes smaller than street clothes...so really street sizes 6, 8, and 10). However, when I got there the samples were mostly 6, 8, and 10. I didn't see a single size 12 dress and only one size 14. I asked the store manager specifically about the dresses I was looking for and she said she only had one of the styles I was interested in. Despite my disappointment, I was determined to keep and open mind and give it a chance. Jenny helped me pick out several selections and we were immediately put in a room. To sum up the next 20 mins or so, the first dress I tried on was very pretty and very flattering, but I felt it gave off the "cute" vibe and everything else was too tight or completely wrong for me. While I'm happy to rock that "girl next door" vibe in my everyday life, on my wedding day I want to feel glamorous and beautiful. If I could have my guests describe me in one word, I want them to say "stunning." Until I get that feeling from a dress, I don't think I can commit.
Although I didn't find anything for me, I realized several things from this experience stylewise. First of all, I like skirts with volume and I don't mind a train; however, the skirts that are gathered at the waist give me a a lot more junk in the trunk! V-necks and boatneck dresses are flattering, but anything with a lot of crystals up top tended to be "too much." Likewise, I was not a fan of too much lace or crystals around the hem because I felt like there wasn't enough to draw your eye upward.
While I am glad that I went to try on dresses, I was extremely disappointed in the shopping experience. Jenny and I had only been in the dressing room for about 20 minutes when we were asked to leave so that another girl could try on dresses. The store manager explained that they were limiting everyone to 45 mins in the dressing room and that I would need to leave the room, but I could re-enter after the next girl was finished. I thought that this was quite odd, considering another bride had been in her dressing room since Jenny and I entered the store and was still in there. Furthermore, this other bride had about 15 dresses in her room and none of the sales associates were removing the dresses after they had been rejected (even though I requested any of her rejects). Additionally, the store manager seemed to think that Jenny and I were there to play dress up because she asked if we were even getting married and then wanted to know if either one of us was engaged. Perhaps what most concerned me was the rack of dresses in the hallway outside of the main showroom. I asked a sales girl if the dresses were on hold or if they were also available to try on. After she assured me that we could go through the rack and they were not holding any dresses, we began looking through the choices. The store manager then came by and told us to be careful, because some of the dresses were sold to other brides and were just waiting to be picked up. Imagine my surprise to hear that the store was mixing merchandise for sale with several dream dresses that had already been sold!
Finally, I will say that while I love the Priscilla of Boston collection, the sample dresses were in such poor shape that I could not have imagined buying a lot of them in the condition they were in. For example, there was one $5000 dress that had a hole the size of a hotel bar of soap ripped through the top part of the dress in addition to missing crystals and buttons. It would have been very expensive to repair and at only 40% off I don't know who would pay $3000 for that dress.
If you are interested in checking out Priscilla of Boston before they close and you've already purchased a dress, I think it's a great resource for veils, bridal jewelry, and accessories. What about y'all? Anyone else as sad as I am to see the store close? I'm just getting started on the dress hunt, do you have any East Coast bridal salon suggestions for me?