Formal Gown Alterations
Attending a gala, prom, homecoming, or other formal event is an exciting memory that we are happy to be a part of! Our fitting specialists will get your perfect fit for a show-stopping look.
+ Time Frame
We recommend that formal gowns have appointments between 3 and 7 weeks before the event to get the best fit. While a slightly shorter time frame is possible, we need at least one week to do alterations on these dresses, but often longer during peak bridal season.
Because of how quickly our schedule fills up, we recommend calling as soon as you purchase or order your gown. Even if your appointment is further out, we want to ensure we have time set aside for you.
+ What to Expect
Most formals need just one fitting, though it's not uncommon for some alterations to need more.
At each fitting, we have you put your dress on and we pin the dress to mark where it needs adjustments. We work through all your fit concerns during this time and make sure you are comfortable with the way it feels.
We then set a date for the dress to be completed. On the date we set, your dress will be completed at 2 o'clock. This is not an actual appointment time, just our benchmark for completion. You can drop in any time after 2 on the day of completion, or at any time during our open hours after that. We recommend that you try your dress on one last time when you come to pick it up.
+ What to Bring
To ensure the most accurate fit, we need you to bring your shoes and any undergarments you plan on wearing with the dress.
Your shoes are necessary to make sure the length of the gown is accurate. If you do not have your shoes for your first appointment, we can make do with a heel height that is close, but we recommend that you bring the exact shoes so we can guarantee the hem length.
Undergarments, like strapless bras, bustiers, or spandex shapewear, are not mandatory—there’s no set requirement for what you have to wear under your dress. It’s about what makes you comfortable, and only you can decide what will make you feel the most confident and comfortable on the day of the wedding.
We price based on each individual item done to the dress. If your dress only needs the bodice adjusted, you are only charged for the bodice adjustment. If it only needs hemmed, you are only charged for the hem, and so on.
Unfortunately, we cannot quote accurately without seeing the dress and cannot give you an exact estimate over the phone. We can sometimes give you a rough ballpark, but cannot guarantee any pricing until we meet with you, as every dress is different and the construction inside the gown will make the price vary greatly.
If you would like a more accurate estimate, we can get a better idea if you have a picture of the dress--preferably with you in it. Alternately, the designer and style number of the dress will help. However, the single most accurate measure is having the dress in front of us. We can give quotes on a walk-in basis, but to get you in the dress and get actual pricing, we suggest making an appointment.
At each fitting, we will make the markings on the dress and present you with an invoice for each separate adjustment we are doing to the dress. We ask for a payment of half the invoice balance at each fitting so that we can start the work.
If you cannot make a payment the day of your fitting, that’s totally fine—we just need that amount each time so that we can start the sewing. We are happy to accept partial payments or work out a payment plan with you.
If your next fitting or pickup date rolls around and we still do not have that payment, we will need to reschedule your appointment until that half-down is paid. Your entire account balance must be paid before we can release the dress to you. We accept cash and most cards, except American Express and we cannot accept checks.
Types of Formal Gown Adjustments
Some of the most common services we perform on wedding dresses are:
Bodice or skirt sizing adjustments
Either taking in or letting out the bodice, the top part of the gown that covers your torso, or to the skirt. A common misconception is that you can only go up or down two sizes. Taking in a dress isn’t a big deal, even if it’s more than that. And, if there is not enough adjustability inside the gown, we have other methods of making it larger. Your fitting specialist will consult with you on what your dress needs.
Other adjustments to the gown include strap or shoulderline adjustments, adding boning, or adding bra cups to the gown for extra support.
Adjusting the length of the skirt. We usually hem so that the front is sweeping the ground and shifts out of the way as you walk. We can also hem dresses to your preferred length, whether it’s tea length, knee length, or any other preference.
Sometimes, the dress is almost perfect, but needs just a little bit of extra detailing. We are able to create custom straps or shoulder pieces, convert a dress into a lace-up (corset) back, add extra lace or fabric to cover up a low neckline or offer a little modesty, or almost any other custom addition you can think of!
Gown Pressing and Steaming
To ensure the finest finishing touch to the gown, we offer gown pressing to remove all wrinkles.
If you are traveling on a plane or anywhere that would risk wrinkling the dress, we do not recommend going through us for pressing. We recommend contacting bridal shops in that area to see if they can press it or have any recommendations. Dry cleaners can usually press gowns, but we do not recommend getting a full cleaning after the dress has been altered.
We do not perform any full cleaning services, but we can do minor spot cleaning (usually for minor spots or for the underarm area of the gown). If the gown is new, there is no reason to clean it and we strongly recommend against using a regular dry cleaner unless absolutely necessary—ask if they are experienced in formal wear before using them. Cleaners are usually fine to go through for pressing.