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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some Dress Shopping Tips

I thought I'd post about my experience at Hannelore's. It's a popular bridal salon in Old Town Alexandria with a large selection of bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses and even tuxedos. I went a few weeks ago during their Monique Lhuillier trunk show with my sister--at this point, I'd been to several bridal salons and had a pretty firm idea of what I was looking for.

My saleslady (don't remember her name) asked about some preferences and showed me the general layout of the store. She picked out a couple dresses for me to try on and we went in the dressing room for round one. I didn't really like anything I tried on, so I asked if she'd mind me taking a lap around the store and picking out dresses for myself.

Tip #1: If possible, always go through the dress selection yourself. I totally agree that brides new to the dress-shopping experience should cede to the generally knowledgeable & helpful staff at bridal salons; however, at this point I'd already gone to a few places and had a very good idea of what looked good on me/styles I wanted, etc. I saved myself (and the consultant) a ton of time by just rifling through the racks and picking out the dresses I wanted to try on. Plus things always get lost in translation--I would say that I liked lace and A-lines, but some of the dresses I were brought....yeahh. I still listened to her advice/comments as I browsed the racks.

I found some great dresses to try on and actually narrowed it down to one ML beauty that I'd actually bring my mom back to see.



















Hannelore's has tags on all of their dresses with the designer, style name and price--they are impossible to miss and I would usually look at them as I helped myself in and out of dresses. I didn't get annoyed until I asked the saleslady for the style name of the dress. I had glanced at the tag but couldn't recall the name--I wanted to look it up online and add the picture to my list of possible dresses. She was looking at the tag in her hand--when I asked for the style name, she covered the line with her finger and told me that it didn't have one!!!! I even politely told her that it was below the designer name. Nope. At that point, I took the tag from her and told the style name to my sister. I'm not really sure what she was trying to accomplish, but when coupled with her numerous requests for me to bring in my mom that day (the last day of the trunk show) so that she could log the sale...yeah, no way Jose.

Tip #2: A fellow friend and bride-to-be recently told me that she is scared to go dress-shopping, simply because she is afraid of being bullied into buying something. She's heard various horror stories about pushy and rude salespeople who are eager to make commission off of your once-in-a-lifetime wedding dress. Treat this like any other big purchase. By that I mean that you should do your research and only make a purchase if you are confident it is the right one. Also, don't be afraid to take your business elsewhere. Encountering bad customer service when writing a check for a few thousand dollars? Probably means you'll get bad customer service when you go in for alterations, pick-up, etc.

Of course, this is only my personal experience with one salesperson--I've heard of many brides who had a positive experience at Hannelore's. Honestly, the sheer selection can't be beat. The entire bottom floor is devoted to BM dresses and tuxes!

Hannelore's 106 N. Lee Street (703) 549-0387

1 Comments:

Blogger Miss Bowie said...

I don't understand bridal salons at all. I keep hearing of these crazy experiences that people have at them where they will be nice in one moment and then nasty in the next or vice versa. Don't the salons realize that brides (of all customers) WILL talk. And aside from that, it's just such bad form in customer service because how can anyone ever really know who has money to really spend or not. Not matter what, you just can't judge a book by it's cover on that - especially these days!

Thursday, October 18, 2007 6:02:00 PM  

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