As sample dresses are becoming more popular and requested often during appointments, we thought we would give you a breakdown on the advantages of purchasing an ex-display dress and how this can help brides on a tight timescale, save the planet and pocket! Read below what it means to buy a sample piece and then hear from our real brides about how they came to find their perfect dress via the sample portfolio.
What are the advantages of buying a sample dress?
- Timeline – If you’ve not got a lot of time to plan your wedding, sample dresses are ideal as they are off the rail, taken with you when you purchase. Compare this to a new dress that takes up to six months to make from scratch!
- Budget friendly – these dresses can be heavily discounted and it is a great way to have a luxury, handmade, French wedding dress, without a big price tag.
- It’s environmentally conscious – Buying a sample dress gives it a second life and saves it from landfill!
- The style is discontinued – If a dress has been discontinued and the designer can no longer make one new, this can be the last chance to get your hands on the dress you’ve been obsessing over before it disappears forever.
What is a sample dress?
The dress in the studio that brides try on before ordering. We have one dress of each style in one size; brides try these on to select their perfect dress and then their measurements are sent off to the designer to make one from scratch. When these dresses are then discounted, they are sold on to brides in a ‘sample sale’ – they could be discontinued by the designer or removed from the collection to make room for new pieces.
What is the quality of a sample dress like?
This can vary depending on the popularity of a style or how long we have had it; however, a lot of these dresses are in brilliant condition as we take great care of them throughout their life in the studio! Most can also be dry cleaned and with a button replaced here and there, you might not even suspect they are not brand new! When shopping for a sample dress, it is good bearing in mind that some might need a little repair and the size re-adjusting but any good seamstress will have experience with this.
How do I find a dress that fits if they are all one size?
It is important to remember when shopping in a sample sale that you will likely need help from a seamstress to fit your dress for you. We have seamstresses we can highly recommend or if you know one you trust, you can take it to them!
Can I buy a sample in the studio?
A few times a year we run dedicated ‘Sample Sale’ days in both our Notting Hill and Clifton studio – keep an eye out on our instagram page to see when the next one is to grab your ticket! Throughout the year we also have a selection of samples available to buy. Each studio has their own portfolio full of gems so it’s good to request a peek at this before your appointment and the stylist can have your favourites out and ready for you.
Real brides in sample dresses
Vanessa wore the stunning ‘Michael’ dress by Rime Arodaky and with just a few tweaks by the seamstress, it fitted her like a glove!
“I chose the Mews Bridal not just for their stunning gowns but also for the calming and knowledgeable feel that the team gave me on every visit, I couldn’t have been made to feel more at ease trying on a wide selection of dresses.
I fell in love with one that was sadly no longer being made but, as fate would have it, the final sample was being brought back to the UK for the sample sale. I tried it on once, and with some specialist alterations it fitted me as though it were made to measure.
I was amazed by how comfortable yet elegant I felt on the day, which couldn’t have been achieved without the expertise and support of The Mews team!”
Jasmine wore the beautiful Laure De Sagazan ‘Jarry’ dress and we collaborated with her and our seamstress to have the dress transformed into a two piece!
“Buying a sample dress gave me the creative freedom to make amends to the dress and create my vision. It also allowed me to have a luxurious dress without the price tag!”
We are hosting our biggest sample sale yet in our Notting Hill Studio on Saturday the 17th of December 2022!
Click here to get your ticket for the event: Notting Hill Sample Sale