Friday, September 28, 2007

Claire Dratch

Hm, so I've been MIA for a bit since my first post--I've just been swamped at work with the fiscal year ending today. But since I finished what I needed to, I thought I'd treat myself to some dress-shopping!

I had an appt last night at Claire Dratch, a special-occasions shop in the heart of Bethesda. The bottom floor has dresses and skirt suits galore--even just from glancing through, I saw any number of MOB outfits I would gladly have my mom wear! A lot of brides-to-be complain about the limited selection of elegant, appropriate MOB dresses in dept stores and online--if you are currently looking for one, I highly recommend a stop in this store. The price point seems to hover in the low to mid/high hundred's. I also saw a section with some definite rehearsal dress potential, although I didn't stop to check out the prices.

The upstairs floor houses the bridal salon. At first glance, the place could definitely use some renovation. The carpets and such are a bit worn down, but it's nothing that'll hamper your experience there. Claire Dratch carries 10 designers, including Lazaro, Liancarlo, Marisa, and Watters & Watters among others. There are a couple racks on display (including marked-down samples) but there is a separate closet where the sales ladies pull most of the dresses out to try on. I was helped by Inna, who listened to what I was looking for and picked out 4 or 5 dress for me. I wasn't bowled over by anything I tried on, but there were some very pretty dresses.

Although I didn't find the Dress there, I would definitely recommend a stop in for those who are looking. Despite the 80's interior, the sales ladies are GREAT (not pushy or snobby in any way; I was helped by Inna) and there are very affordable dresses in the $1000-4000 range. The two I liked the most clocked in way under $2000. From what I hear, the weekends are crazy so try to nab a weeknight appt--they are open till 9pm on Thursdays.

Claire Dratch 7615 Wisconsin Ave. (301) 656-8000


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like I could have written that post...I had the EXACT same experience...also helped by Inna who was very nice and knowledgable, also tried on 4 or 5 dresses and also wasn't bowled over by anything but overall thought it was a good experience.

You are right, it would be a great place for MOB dresses.

Friday, September 28, 2007 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the exact opposite experience a few years ago but hopefully that saleslady Reyna has been replaced.I placed the order with Sandy who was incredibly helpful. I had to call to find out the dress had been in for weeks. The buttons, which cost an extra $200 were on crooked and the train did not hang as expected. Reyna said that she had never seen a bride cry over her dress before and I was BAWLING. She sat back down and proceeded to work on something else totally ignoring me. I had already paid $1000 extra for the dress with the buttons, tax and alterations so was stuck with a $3000 dress that, the morning of the wedding, I was fixing with Elmer's glue since the beading on the bodice was falling off.
I would NEVER go there for a wedding dress. I did not want to be a bridezilla and complain but instead of telling me that it was lovely and I should love it and stop crying and that most brides love their dress she should have tried to see what we could do to make it work. I have tried to let others know about this experience so that no one else finds themselves in the same position I did, out all that money two months before the wedding and walking down the ailse feeling awkward in an ill fitting dress and waiting for it to fall apart.
Horrible, horrible feeling on what should have been a lovely day. AVOID THIS PLACE.
By the way, I never got any apologies or satisfaction from the store whatsoever. Buyers beware must be the policy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never known anyone who has gotten a wedding dress (or anything else actually) at claire dratch, and after my experience there this morning I know why!! The woman greeting at the front of the store could not have been more rude and the same goes for the woman working in the back (first floor). After such obnoxious behavior, I didn't even delve that deeply into the dresses but they did not seem to have much and there was a lot of tacky beading. I now understand why so many of my friends get their dresses from vera wang, carines, hitched, and promise - the people are friendly and helpful, and the selections are great. Save yourself some time and frustration and skip claire dratch.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:22:00 PM  

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