Sample Sale Tips

Sample Sale Tips

Sample Sale Tips. Mobile Image

Mar 18, 2019

Tips to Find Your Dream Dress at a Great Price!


Prep is underway here at Charlotte’s for our next sample sale.  Sample sales are not like your regular gown shopping experience. Read on to find out more about sample sales and some necessary tips to make your shopping experience an exciting AND successful one!

What is a “Sample Sale”?

If you’re new to the gown shopping world, then chances are you are unfamiliar with sample sales.  Sample sales are (typically) a one day event where bridal stores clear out their inventory to make room for the newest seasons of gowns.  It’s also a great way for brides to find a beautiful dress at a great price.  At a sample sale, you will find the floor samples of gowns available for purchase at incredible discounts!  A floor sample is the gown that has been in the store for brides to try on before ordering their dress.  Typically the sample gowns available come from prior seasons that are either now discontinued, or being phased out to make room for newer styles.  At Charlotte’s, our sample sale gowns are available for discounts up to 75% off during the event!

Sample Sizing – Things to Note

If you have been gown shopping in the past, then you may have discovered how different gown sizing in the bridal world can be.  If not, then it is important to note that bridal gowns typically run about two to three sizes larger.  For example, if you typically wear a 6-8 in street clothes, you can expect to be around a 10-12, maybe even a 14 in some styles in bridal wear.  When shopping a sample sale, we recommend trying gowns that are a few sizes larger than what you wear normally.  Additionally, you should know that every designer fits differently. You may be one size in one designer, but a completely different size in another!

Alterations – Every Gown Needs Them

Any bridal gown will need some alterations prior to your wedding day. For starters, bridal gowns are typically cut long to allow room for a bride to wear heels if she’d like to, so at the very least you should expect to have a hem done on your gown.  It is common to have a gown fit really well in one place, but need some minor adjustments in other places.  For example, a gown could fit perfectly through your hips, but be just a bit big in the bust.  This can be taken in during your alterations.  Lastly, almost every bridal gown will have a train. Trains are a beautiful part of a wedding gown and really separate a bridal gown from an evening dress.  You will love taking pictures with your train and walking down the aisle with it behind you, but you will definitely want to have a bustle put in during alterations.  A bustle allows you to pin up that gorgeous train and move more freely around your reception! At the very least, we believe that a bustle is a necessary alteration for any bridal gown.

Alterations are a crucial part of getting the perfect fit in your wedding dress.  A wedding gown can typically be taken in up to two sizes if you fall in love with a gown that is too big!  It’s easier to make a dress smaller, yet more difficult to let it out if it is too small.  Don’t be afraid to try on a gown that stands out to you on the rack if it’s a little big! Questions you have regarding any potential alterations can be asked during the event!

Sample Gowns – A Little Love Will Do

Keep in mind that sample gowns have spent time on our sales floor, and have been previously tried on. Meaning these gowns may need some love to get fully ready for your big day.  We always recommend getting the gowns dry cleaned after purchase.  We send our gowns to Vermont Cleaners in SW Portland, and recommend them to take great care of your dress!  Sample sale dresses are sold as is and occasionally you may find small snags, loose buttons, or other areas that need cosmetic repairs.  Your seamstress performing your standard alterations will be able to help take care of those cosmetic repairs for you.

Sample Sale Day of 

To shop the sale you will need to RSVP for an hour long time slot.  Time slots will be available at 9am, 10am and 11am.  RSVP ensures that the event won’t be overcrowded while you shop to for your dream dress! Consultants will be on hand to help you navigate styles and answer questions about gowns during the sample sale.  We have rooms for you to change in, however it is highly likely that you will be sharing your changing space with other brides. Be sure to dress accordingly!   Keep your guest count small for this event, no more than 2 people in addition to yourself. There won’t be a lot of extra available space.  We can schedule you an accessories appointment for another date to try on your gown with your whole party!

Keep an Open Mind and Have Fun!

The most important tip we can give when it comes to shopping a sample sale is to have an open-mind!  Gowns will look so different on the hanger so don’t be afraid to try something on that’s different!  Have fun with the experience. Consultants will be available to help you with questions that arise as well as give suggestions and advice to help you find your perfect gown.  Good luck, and may the sample sale odds be ever in your favor!

Ryann, Bridal Consultant