Buying Guide to Choosing and Buying an Haute Couture Dress

The Big Picture: We all know what we look best in. And as women we constantly feel need to awe others around us, no matter what the occassion. But when we think of the perfect dress, we think of Chanel, Versace, and other gorgeous high fashion designers we can’t afford. Well think again! In this buying guide, you’ll learn how to choose, shop for, and buy a high-fashion, designer dress no matter what your budget is. You’ll learn the pre-steps before you even start looking, tips on where to buy, and how to decide what you really want in your fashionable designer dress. Remember, every woman needs that perfect “little black dress”, full price or not.

Before You Start Looking:

Sizing
Before you even start looking for a dress, make sure you know your exact size. Your perfect size should be comfortable, yet snug, without being tight on any part of your body. Any department store can accurately measure you. Consider your bust, waist, and hip measurements.

Knowing You Budget
Make sure you know what your budget is. This is extremely helpful before you start looking because then you’ll know where to start your shopping once you get to that stop. Remember, no matter what your budget, you’ll be able to find a great dress. However, a high budget gives you more freedom, whereas a low budget forces you to look around more.

Dressing for the Occassion
It helps to start with motivation and knowing what you want. You may be shopping for a specific occassion, or just to have the dress you’ve always wanted. If you’re shopping for a certain occassion, think about what is appropriate or what the dress-code is. Keep in mind different designers have different styles. Chanel has more classic dresses, where as Guicci tends to have more modern and European designs. By checking the designers websites before you start, you’ll be able to get a feel of what their basic style is.

Different Designers: Some popular high fashion designers are Chanel, Versace, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Guicci, Armani, Valentino, Dior, and Yves St. Laurent. All of which have beautiful dresses and extremely different styles. You can always find their clothing second-hand for a lot cheaper.

Starting to Shop- Working with Your Budget:

A High Budget

-If you are able to work with a high budget, consider going directly to fashion designers’ websites to shop (although you should go to their websites anyway to see what you like). Many offer a list of where you can find their works in different stores, or even their own stores. With a high budget, you may be able to buy from designers newest collections. Take advantage of traveling. Fashion designers’ stores tend to be in larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

-Once you find out where to go to buy your dress, visit the store. Here you’ll be able to view their collection and be sized (again) to buy. The advantage of having a high budget is that sizes can be altered to fit you and you’ll be able to buy a brand new dress. You’ll also have more of a variety to choose from.

A Low Budget

-With a lower budget, you may be limited to what you can buy and where you can buy it. Some great places to start shopping are department stores when they have sales, Ebay.com (as well as other auction sites) and other second-hand stores. Usually you can find a beautiful dress for a great buy when shopping smart and thrifty. However, you will definitely need to look around more to find what you like. When you start off with a low budget, go to designers sites to find the style you like, and then go to second-hand stores to look for specifically what you want.

-When you work with a low budget, it is extremely important to know what size you are. When buying things on sale or online (such as an auction site) there may not be a huge variety of sizes in a certain style. But when you find the perfect dress for an amazing price, it’s the best shopping moment!

Ready to Buy:

Despite whether or not you have a high budget, when you find that perfect dress, its time to buy. Re-consider the things you thought about in the beginning. Is the dress exactly what you want? Is it the right style, cut, color, and length? Will the dress be appopriate for the occassion? Overall, make sure it fits right. Afterall, it’s difficult to wear a dress that doesn’t fit properly.

Buying Tips and Tricks:

-If you are buying a designer dress on sale, or if you’re buying it second hand, make sure it is in the right condition. If the dress is snagged, ripped, etc will you be able to mend it if you buy it?

-No matter where you buy it, check to see what the return policy is. If you are buying from a designer store, the policies may be different if you buy it online or in a department store. Since sale items can usually be non-returnable, absolutely make sure it is what you you want. Other stores may have a return policy, which can definitely be reassuring if you are paying a high price for the dress.

-If your budget is high or low, it is best to look around and not buy the first dress you see. Even if you find one dress you like, there may be an even better dress out there for you.

-If you can sew or able to alter clothing, you can always buy a dress that is one or two sizes too big or too small and mend it later on to fit you perfectly.

-If you maxed out your budget on the dress, thrift stores are a great place to look for accesories and handbags to go along with your amazing gown. Find what looks best with your outfit.

The Wrap-Up:
By following this guide full of simple steps and tricks, you’ll be able to find the perfect, high fashion designer dress for any occassion on absolutely any budget. Remember to consider sizing and the occassion you may be shopping for. By knowing the right steps and the right clues, you’ll be able to find your perfect, high fashion, designer dress that you always wanted.

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