Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Altering this Jim Hjelm dress?

Ganesha

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
177
Hi ladies,

This is my first post in BWW since we got engaged last month! Really excited to be here!

Anyhow, while searching for my perfect dress I came across an image of this gorgeous gown by Jim Hjelm. Apparently the design is a few years old, so Kleinfeld (the nearest salon that carries Jim Hjelm) doesn't have a sample I can try on.

I did happen to find a listing for this dress, second-hand, in my size and for half the retail price. However, the dress is about 5" too long. I'm planning to wear flats since we're getting married outdoors in my father's orchard and heels would sink into the grass, so there isn't much wiggle room with length.

Do you think the length could be taken up while preserving the gorgeous detailing at the hem?? The bodice looks pretty seamless, so I'm not sure it could be taken up from the waist, either. And would I be crazy to purchase a gown I've never seen in person??

Opinions and suggestions, please!

IMG_0032.jpg
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
Not sure...does kleinfeld still sell it? Perhaps they know if it could be shortened. Could you wear platform shoes...or otherwise shoes that can give you some height but not a stiletto? 5 inches is a lot though!
 

Ganesha

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
177
I left a message with someone at Kleinfeld to see if they could get a sample for me, but haven't heard back yet.

Here are a couple more images I found of the lovely details:

Picture 1.png

Jim-Hjelm-Trumpet-Fit-and-Flare-8709-Ivory-2009-104662.jpg

Jim-Hjelm-Trumpet-8709-ivory-2008-34142.jpg
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
yes I think it is crazy to purchase a gown you have never seen in person...I think you need to try it on to see how it looks on you! It is beautiful from the pictures though :)

Also the alterations for a dress that detailed will be costly, so maybe check into how much they would be vs. how much the dress would be new?
 

4ever

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
2,260
If it's just grass sinkage issues your worried about with heals, what about some wedges?

I don't know about buying it sight unseen - if there is no way to try it on first you could always try and negotiate with the seller to pay with paypal and have a 1 day inspection period or something. Worth a try. Also, is this a shape of dress you usually wear/suites you? Have you tried on any dresse in the same shape? How fussy are you about getting the "perfect" dress? If you are very particular, sight unseen is probably not the way to go. Have you had a look for anything that is a current style that is very similar?

I almost bought mine sight unseen just based on the measurements being perfect and it being a shape I know I wear well and the price being very low. I did end up making a trip to try it on but I was right, it was perfect and I could easily have bought it without making the journey.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
Hard to say if that particular dress could be altered without having the hemline affected. A bigger concern for me, though, is buying a wedding dress sight unseen. It's impossible to know how a particular dress will look on you before you try it on, even if other dresses with a similar shape have looked great on you. I'm surprised Kleinfeld's of all places can't get the sample in. Is the person selling the dress in your area by any chance? Maybe you could arrange to meet up with her and try it on before you commit.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
No, it would have to be taken up at the waist seam... but there isn't one. I think you need to order it made to length.

I ADORE THAT DRESS THOUGH. It's one of my top five of all time. It's just stunning.

How about wedges for the wedding?
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
2,575
Does Jim Hjelm have any upcoming trunk shows that are convenient for you? If so, contact Jim Hjelm or ask the store hosting the trunk show to contact Jim Hjelm and request that a sample of the dress be brought to the show.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
40,426
Gorgeous dress! I have to agree with others here though. I think you really need to order the length as I don't think you can take 5 inches off without affecting the look. Another alternative that will affect the look though is adding some fullness underneath the skirt thereby lifting the length a bit but again it would change the line of the dress. I love the idea of contacting the designer though...maybe he would want to help you out and design one perfect for your height at a discount when you gush over his designs!!

Only other option is to wear high wedges as others suggested but I would urge you to make sure your feel are comfortable on your wedding day as that really matters!
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
Gorgeous dress, but I'm not sure about preserving the detailing if you need 5 inches taken off.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
they might be able to remove the applique, shorten the hem, and then reapplique?
 

Ganesha

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
177
Thanks for all your suggestions, ladies!

Wedges are definitely a consideration, but I'd still need to have 2-3" taken off the length...

The gal selling the dress wrote back and said she'd had it shortened a couple inches. Apparently her seamstress did as slg47 suggested, by removing the applique, hemming, and then hiding the seam when reapplying the applique. Unfortunately she's on the opposite coast, or I totally would try to meet up with her to try the dress in person.

I've tried dresses with a similar cut, and they were really flattering. I love that this one is made of silk (not polyester) and that it has a bit of romance with the lace but isn't too over-the-top.

I'll try calling Kleingfeld's again to see if they can bring in a sample. And mary poppins, thank you for the link to the trunk shows! Off to check it out!
 

Ganesha

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
177
Oh, and Gypsy, I think it was your post that initially made me fall in love with this dress! So gorgeous!
 

mrsjacob

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
125
Is the value of buying it second-hand still a good deal once the all of the alterations are paid for? I imagine it's going to take a lot of work to shorten that dress 5 inches, and I've heard that can get QUITE pricey.
 

OUpearlgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
3,081
Beautiful dress.. But don't buy anything you can't try on. Also, not to rain on your parade, most trunk shows are for current lines, it's really rare for them to get old ones in. I'd find a shop with good customer service and see if they can get a loaner gown in from JH. it usually costs under $100, but that way you can see what it looks like on.

I've tried on many dresses, and even certain dresses that have nearly identical fits are still different. There are some dresses on the hanger I thought would be great, then I put them on and it's just not flattering.

Good luck!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Ganesha|1315763990|3015121 said:
Oh, and Gypsy, I think it was your post that initially made me fall in love with this dress! So gorgeous!

((HUGS))... it's gorgeous! I'm so glad to hear it was helpful!
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
I tried searching The Knot for similar dresses and came up with these. Maybe there's one you might like as an alternative since you can't try on the Jim Hjelm.

Augusta Jones "Jessie" - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/augusta-jones/jessieaugusta?src=res

David's Bridal WG9781 - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/davids-bridal/wg9871?ctx=1:15:-1:-1&src=res - this one is simpler, but perhaps a good seamstress could add lace appliques to make it more like the Jim Hjelm? It would be an inexpensive "blank canvas" for some good alterations.

Lazaro 3002 - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/lazaro/3002?ctx=2:15:-1:-1&src=res

Galina Signature SWG400 at David's Bridal - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dres...t-davids-bridal/swg400?ctx=3:15:-1:-1&src=res

Enzoani "Ellen" - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/enzoani/ellen?ctx=4:15:-1:-1&src=res

Anjolique 2213 - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/anjolique-bridal/anjo2213?ctx=6:15:-1:-1&src=res

Eden Bridals 5105 - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/eden-bridals/5105?ctx=7:15:-1:-1&src=res

Demetrios 964 - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/demetrios/964?ctx=17:15:-1:-1&src=res

Demetrios 4259 - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/demetrios/4259?ctx=17:15:-1:-1&src=res

Liancarlo 4863 - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/liancarlo/4863lnc?ctx=19:15:-1:-1&src=res

Private Label by G 1420 - http://www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/private-label-by-g/1420?ctx=17:15:-1:-1&src=res
 

Ganesha

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
177
Wow, thanks for all you excellent advice, ladies! I did find a local salon that's having a trunk sale and has offered to request a loaner of this style from Jim Hjelm. My appointment is this weekend--fingers crossed!

jstar- THANK YOU for all those links! I'm exhausted now and heading to bed but will give them all a good look tomorrow morning over coffee!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I don't think any of those look like the Hjelm dress.

Here are a few that are similar... but that dress has details that are one of a kind.

http://www.watters.com/Product/WattersBrides/7072B/

http://www.watters.com/Product/WattersBrides/6047B/



As someone who settled on a similar dress to the one she loved... if you can afford the original, just get the original and buy it new made to length for you.


Here are a few from Hjelm that are similar-ish

http://www.jlmcouture.com/Jim-Hjelm/Bridal/Additional/Style-8951

http://www.jlmcouture.com/assets/JimHjelm/br/altview/8800_x1.jpg Skirt is similar

http://www.jlmcouture.com/assets/JimHjelm/br/altview/8156_x3.jpg

http://www.jlmcouture.com/Jim-Hjelm/Bridal/Additional/Style-8810 Has the same romantic feel as your gown

Alvina Valentina and Lazaro

http://www.jlmcouture.com/assets/Lazaro/br/altview/3101_x4.jpg

http://www.jlmcouture.com/assets/AlvinaValenta/br/altview/9153_x3.jpg

http://www.jlmcouture.com/Alvina-Valenta/Bridal/Spring/2011/Style-9105

http://www.jlmcouture.com/Lazaro/Bridal/Additional/Style-3916

http://www.jlmcouture.com/assets/AlvinaValenta/br/altview/9051_x4.jpg

http://www.jlmcouture.com/assets/Lazaro/br/altview/3818_x2.jpg Romantic and lovely. Might be one to try on if the original doesn't work out.

http://www.jlmcouture.com/Alvina-Valenta/Bridal/Additional/Style-9854 Not organza, but otherwise one of the closest dresses

http://www.jlmcouture.com/Alvina-Valenta/Bridal/Additional/Style-9061

http://www.jlmcouture.com/Lazaro/Bridal/Additional/Style-3865 Reminds me a flapper gown. Very deco... but very cool. Similar silhouette to yours, but completely different feel due to embellishments.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
Yeah, unfortunately I wasn't too satisfied with the results of my search, so I just tried to pick ones that had a similar trumpet shape and some lace detailing.

I actually think the 2nd Jim Hjelm on Gypsy's list is the closest, even though it has a different neckline. The skirt is somewhat similar. If that's a newer style, maybe you could try it on and see if you love it as much as the original?
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
2,575
Ganesha|1315967556|3017051 said:
Wow, thanks for all you excellent advice, ladies! I did find a local salon that's having a trunk sale and has offered to request a loaner of this style from Jim Hjelm. My appointment is this weekend--fingers crossed!
Glad to hear it worked out for you. That's how I got my dress which is why I suggested it for you. Good luck this weekend. I hope you love the dress. If not, it's good that you'll get to actually try it on to find out!
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
mary poppins|1316050302|3017889 said:
Ganesha|1315967556|3017051 said:
Wow, thanks for all you excellent advice, ladies! I did find a local salon that's having a trunk sale and has offered to request a loaner of this style from Jim Hjelm. My appointment is this weekend--fingers crossed!
Glad to hear it worked out for you. That's how I got my dress which is why I suggested it for you. Good luck this weekend. I hope you love the dress. If not, it's good that you'll get to actually try it on to find out!
Missed this post earlier, but it sounds promising. Good luck!
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
2,575
Ganesha, did you get to see the dress at a trunk show? If so, did you like it when you tried it on?
 

Ganesha

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
177
The salon was able to get a sample delivered during the trunk show, so I did get to see it in person. It was really lovely, very lightweight and with gorgeous details, but ultimately it wasn't the dress for me. (Glad I tried it on! Thanks, ladies, for your very sensible advice!)

For starters, the sample was a size 16 and I'm a street size 2. The consultant clipped the dress, but with such an extreme size difference things like the shape of the bustline must change--so that made it a little difficult to even visualize what the dress would feel like in my size. The second major factor, unfortunately, was price. Even second-hand, the dress was more than I wanted to spend (though I probably would have, if I'd had the "this is THE dress!" moment.)

On a happy note, I ended up falling for another Jim Hjelm dress in a different style. Pics attached (on the model, since the salon didn't allow photos). I love the vintage aesthetic, the all-over lace, and especially the keyhole detail at the back! It will be perfect for our outdoor garden wedding. More details and photos to come in a separate post when it arrives! :naughty:

jhblushfront.png

jhblushback.jpg

jhblushdetail.jpg
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Lovely romantic choice and you are absolutely right, it is PERFECT for a garden wedding. I can't wait to see pics of you in it!
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
oh wow, that is a gorgeous dress :) i can't wait to see the pictures!!!
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
The first dress you posted was my dream if-I-had-an-unlimited-budget dress. I ended up with a different organza trumpet gown with a scoop neck and Alencon lace appliques for a price that was a bit more friendly to me. Now that you've tried it on you can definitely see that the length can't be shortened due to the hem ruffle. Glad you got to see it in person and that you found a really really gorgeous gown! Enjoy!
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    Style File: Julia Roberts
    Style File: Julia Roberts

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top