Sample Wedding Dresses 101
Every year, bridal salons purchase between six and sixteen wedding gowns in sizes 8-12 representing that designer’s latest collection. The bridal salons then use these gowns as “samples” to show brides-to-be and to then take orders on them.
As time goes on, the bridal salon may wish to sell some of these sample wedding dresses for a variety of reasons- the gown may be discontinued by the designer, they may need to make room for new inventory or perhaps the salon has stopped carrying that entire collection.
The condition of sample wedding dresses can vary significantly based on how long the salon has had the gown and how much it was tried on. Gowns may have some dust on the hem or a few missing beads but Bride Couture only buys sample wedding dresses that are in very good to pristine condition and will disclose any imperfections.
Sample wedding dresses are generally size 8 to 12. If you are a smaller size, gowns can be sized down a few sizes or up one or two sizes by a professional wedding gown seamstress. You should always make sure the sample wedding gown you have selected can be altered to fit you.
There are two sizes that describe a wedding dress. The size on the label and the buyer’s typical or “street” size, which is the size you would purchase most often if shopping at stores such as The Gap or H&M. All wedding gowns run small. So a label size 10 is more like a “street” size 8.
Below are some terms you might encounter while looking for your gown. Hopefully these can help make your wedding gown shopping experience a little bit easier. If you have any other questions about sample wedding dresses please feel free to contact us. We are here to make your experience as relaxing and enjoyable as possible! Click Here to view our collection.
Sample Wedding Dresses: Silhouettes
A-line: fitted at the bodice and flows out to the ground, with an unbroken line (resembling the outline of an uppercase A)
Ball Gown: fitted at the bodice and has a waistline that leads to a full skirt
Mermaid: fits closely to the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out to the hem
Sheath: fits very closely to the contours of the body. Has a straight skirt with no waist
Trumpet: fits closely to the body until the mid-hip and then widens gradually to the hem. (resembling the mouth of a trumpet). Often confused with mermaid, but trumpet flairs from mid-hip, whereas mermaid flairs below the knee
Basque Waist: waistline features a low U or V shape
Dropped Waist: features a waist line below the natural waist at the mid hip
Empire: has a raised waistline that sits just below the bust, from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem
Natural Waist: waist line that hits at the natural waist (the indentation between the hips and the rib-cage)
Princess: A-line silhouette with vertical seams down the front
Sweep: (also called brush) is the shortest train -usually, the back hem is only a few inches lower than the front hem
Court: slightly longer than the brush, extending approximately 3 feet behind the waist
Chapel Length: generally 1 1/3 yards or 4 feet from the waistline
Cathedral Length Train: generally 2 1/2 yards or 7 1/2 feet from the waistline
Alencon lace: re-embroidered, Chantilly lace
Charmeuse: lightweight, semi-lustrous soft, is satin-like to the touch
Chiffon: Delicate, sheer, and transparent, with a soft finish. Often layered because of its transparency
Crepe: Light, soft, and thin, with a crinkled surface
Duchesse Satin: A lightweight hybrid of silk or polyester and rayon woven into a satin finish
Dupioni: A finish similar to shantung, but with thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen
Georgette: Sheer and lightweight fabric with a crepe surface
Mikado: A brand of blended fibers, usually heavier than 100-percent silk
Organza: Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar, but more flowing than tulle
Satin: heavy and smooth with a high sheen on one side
Shantung: Similar to a raw silk, characterized by its rough/nubby texture
Taffeta: Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib
Tulle: Netting (just like ballerina tutus)
View Our full collection of sample wedding dresses Here