Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wedding Dress Shopping - Kleinfelds

I came out to New York this weekend to have one last dress appointment - at Kleinfelds. Kleinfelds is well-known in part because it has the largest dress collection in the world, but probably even more because it is the place where they film "Say Yes to the Dress," a TV show on TLC. It was tough to get an appointment, but I figured it would be fun to check it out, since this is really my only chance!

The appointment was for 4:30pm on Friday, and Katie and I got there a few minutes early. We checked in and sat in the waiting area. It's a fairly big place, so there were a couple other groups there waiting for appointments. Bridal consultants (including a few highlighted on the show) came and took away groups. Then the person helping us, Tiffany, came and got us. She took us back to her changing room, which was pretty big, so there was a seat for Katie there. The whole appointment actually took place in that room - which had chairs, a pedestal, and a mirror. This was convenient, because Katie could be there through the whole process, but you don't get the ability to walk in the dress and see how if feels or how it moves.

Kleinfelds definitely has a very distinctive style. They're really focused on finding you the one dress that you really love. So they bring in dresses, you try them on, and then they get you to decide if you like them better or worse than the previous one(s). They really encourage you to go with your gut, and not to spend time deciding why you do or don't like a particular dress. I think this works really well for the girls that come in planning to only visit Kleinfelds, and to purchase a dress by the end of appointment. It also works well if you're planning to pick a dress based just on your immediate emotional response. But I'm an analyzer - I like to look at each dress, think about it, look at it some more, try to imagine it at the ceremony, etc. I'm not the kind of person who would put one on and say, "This is it." So that aspect was a little bit tough for me.

This is the only place I've been to where they pick all of the dresses for you, rather than sending you out to search. I think there's good and bad to this too. In a way, it's really nice, because they're the experts, and they have a better idea of how the dresses actually look when they're on (it's sometimes really hard to tell on the hanger.) On the other hand, you sometimes waste time on dresses that are really not your style, and you also wonder a bit if there were things that were out there that they missed. And, though it can be intimidating, it's kind of fun to look through all the dresses. Oh, and the other thing is that when they pick dresses, I got the sense that they're really trying to get as close to your price point (i.e. price limit) as possible, though it's hard to tell if that's really the case. Or it could be that they're just trying to find you the nicest dresses possible given the amount you want to spend.

Anyway, I did find two dresses that I really liked. One by Lazaro and one by Jim Helm. They were both really beautiful. One really cool thing was that Kleinfelds had a webcam. So we went to that area and I stood in front of the camera. We called my mom, she went to the website, clicked on a link, and she could see me in the dresses, so that was really nice!

While we were showing my mom dresses in the webcam, Randy Fenoli came over. He talked to the girl right behind me, who had just decided on her dress. He asked me how I liked my dress, and I said I thought it was really nice.

Overally, I'm really glad I went to Kleinfelds, even if it wasn't totally my style - it was really fun to have the experience!

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