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dress dilemma (long)

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basil

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I was all set to order my dream dress - Jim Hjelm #8663. I saw it first at a bridal store and was ready to pay the full retail price, but I stopped short of ordering it because the salesperson was obnoxious. Then I found it at Pearl''s Place for $700 cheaper, and I was psyched. I just wanted to try it on once again to make sure about the size and color, so I went to another bridal store and asked to try it on. I still loved it, but then the saleslady brought out another dress - Jim Hjelm #8662. I love it maybe 95% as much, but it''s another $700 cheaper than #8663!

Now I can''t decide. Both dresses are flattering, but I''ve been imagining myself in the first dress for a while now, and I think they are very different styles. So yesterday at Borders, I grabbed that huge "Knot dress" magazine and flipped through it. I showed fiance a bunch of dress comparisons - "do you like this one better, or this one better?". He overwhelmingly preferred strapless styles over ones with straps. And in a direct comparison of the two (though he didn''t know these were the actual two I was thinking of), he said he liked the second better. But he said he thought I''d look good in any of them, so I don''t know how much I should consider his opinion.

8663 pros:
-My "dream dress"
-lace train
-more "different" than usual strapless styles
-more beautiful back

8663 cons:
-$700 more expensive

8662 pros:
-perhaps more flattering in the bust
-could wear lace edged veil
-$700 cheaper - could buy engagement pics AND designer shoes with that money. Or 70% of a photobooth for the reception
-maybe fiance likes it better?

8662 cons:
-more "typical"
-not as much lace
-chapel train - maybe too long for my outdoor garden ceremony?

Which dress would you choose?
 

robbie3982

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I think both are gorgeous dresses, but you really have to go with your gut and be happy with your decision.
 

labbielove

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I understand your dilemma - it is so hard.

I am biased because I absolutely LOVE the first dress (had wanted to try it on myself),
but I agree with robbie, you really need to go with YOUR gut, how you feel in the dress, etc.

If there are features of each dress that you like/don''t like, utilize a bridal salon to help you continue the search- they can help pull other gowns you may not even think of based on what you find works for you- then you can always search for a cheaper price online
 

brgirl

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Jun 16, 2006
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I agree with robbie! They are both just beautiful. There is a store on ebay that replicates that first Jim Hjelm and my sister has sent the link to me before because she thinks it looks like a dress I''d like! It is just beautiful. But I also love the 2nd one because I love silk as much as I love lace!!

I am assuming you don''t have any pics of yourself in it? I think that would help you decide - if you could see what YOU actually look like, in photos, it kind of gives you a perspective on how it fits in with the feel of your wedding.
 

basil

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None of the bridal stores that carry Jim Hjelm will let me take pictures
I think that would make my decision easier.

If not for the price difference, I would probably pick #1. But $700 is a lot of money! And they are both gorgeous, and they both are flattering. But on the other hand, it''s my wedding dress...do I really want to compromise just cause I''m being greedy for the other things I want?
 

krockie

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Feb 1, 2007
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I''m never one to advocate financial irresponsibility, but I think in this case you must put the money thing aside and really go with your heart. $700 is a lot of money, to me anyway, but in the long run, its not like you''d be blowing your budget by $4000.

I had set a budget for my wedding dress that was perhaps unreasonably small and then fell in love with a dress that was over that amount, not by all that much, but still over. I don''t know if I was rationalizing or what, but I started to realize that this would be the only wedding dress I''d ever have, and I really wanted something that made me feel superspecial. I think you just need to decide which one makes you feel more beautiful, more like a bride, and more confident. If those things are met, you''ll be beautiful no matter what dress you choose (and both are GORGEOUS!). Good luck!
 

Jas12

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I tried on number 1. I travelled 4 hours to see that dress in person and was a little dissapointed. I didn''t find it to be the most flattering cut(at least not when it was too big off the rack). However, it is absolutely gorgeous and I think tailored and on the right body type it would be stunning and more unique than the second dress.

Is lace what you are drawn to? If so I would go with number one--it is a lacy dream ;-)
 

ladyciel

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The two shops you went to where you tried them on wouldn't let you take pictures...any chance a 3rd shop is available with a different policy (while still having the dresses)? My other idea would be to go back to the 2nd shop, where you know they have both of them, and beg them to at least let you use a digital camera to take some pics just to look at in the store. If they're assured they can delete them off the camera before you go, maybe they'll soften up some? If you don't have one, maybe a friend has a camera with a really nice screen on it, or a polaroid where you can leave the pics behind?

I really don't like that no-cameras rule. Sure, they don't want you to go have the dress copied, but it's so hard sometimes to know how you REALLY look, or, if nothing else, how you'll look in the photos you want to keep for the rest of your life.


Both dresses are really pretty. I kind of disagree about the second one being more "typical". It's satin and strapless, yes, but the styling makes it a stand-out among dresses I've seen recently. I would suggest to keep looking for a little bit while you think about these two. Like Labbie said, you might be able to find something that ties what you love about each of these into one PERFECT dress.
 

poptart

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I would go with #1 hands down. It is so gorgeous, and obvious that you like it better. If the $700 is not a budget breaker, then why not get your dream dress! With that beauty you won''t have to worry about buying designer shoes... no one will be looking at your feet!

*M*
 

janinegirly

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i personally prefer dress #2, but taht''s probably because I don''t think i could pull off #1!

if you love the first dress, go with it!! it''s once in a lifetime and if you''re v. financially responsible (and not too sentimental), you can always sell the dress or donate it and take a tax write off..
would love to see photos of you in them! good luck!
 

mela lu

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okay. I have to agree with everyone on the "go with your gut, and YOU have to be happy in it...blah blah blah"

But Basil.

You know this...

I FREEKING LOVE THAT FIRST DRESS!!

...like, I LOVE it. I obsessed about it when you showed it in your shoe thread.

I have a 100% crush on that first dress. If I could. I''d stop my Mother in her seamstress track and OWN that gorgeous peice of lacey frothy goodness.

sigh.

I heart you 8663.
 

MustangGal

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When you tried them on, did you try sitting, slouching, and other positions you might be in on the wedding day? That might help also, to see which one would be more comfortable and flattering at all times. Were there any boob issues in the first one? I don''t have enough to pull that off, I''m not sure I would feel right on my wedding day with that much exposed... When at the salon, did they go into the dressing room with you? Maybe you could sneek in a digital camera or a camera phone and take pictures of yourself in the mirror.
 

basil

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On the first dress, we were easily able to tack the lace together another few inches in the front to make it not quite as low of a v-neck. The person at the dress shop said most people that buy that dress end up doing that, so I'm not really worried about being too exposed. With the lace tacked together and the fact that the back is mostly covered, I think it actually ends up looking quite modest. I'm pretty small in the chest, so a deep V doesn't look quite the same as it does on larger chested women!

However, that shirred thing across the chest of the other sure did help me out a little, too!

I don't get the whole no-pictures thing either. I've literally called every shop that carries this line within a 2 hour radius of both my home and my mother's home (2 different states) and not one of them will allow it. The lady was in the dressing room the whole time with me, so I don't think I could even sneak a picture.

ETA: Would you guys let the fact that fiance possibly would prefer #2 sway your decision?
 

sarahthewarrior

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Mar 2, 2007
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I''m glad you mentioned that you were planning to taper the V-neck on the first dress. I was rather inclined to recommend the second dress solely because I thought the first dress was a bit too "sexy" for a wedding. Call me a prude, but I''d hate to have my grandmother see me walking around in something like that!

If you can pull off the first dress, I say go for it, but personally I''d still be inclined to go with the second. They''re both gorgeous dresses, though, and I really don''t think you can go wrong with this decision!

As for not being able to take pics, do you have a friend who could go with you to help you decide?
 

Fancy605

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Date: 4/20/2007 11:20:34 AM
Author: basil


ETA: Would you guys let the fact that fiance possibly would prefer #2 sway your decision?
You know, my fiance like yours prefers strapless styles acording to his brief encounters with my magazines....but I found a perfect dress that isn''t strapless, and I went with it anyway because it felt like "the dress." Basically I know my fiance will not remember any of the pictures he has seen in magazines. He probably won''t remember much about my dress other than it is white and beautiful. So, no I didn''t let him sway the decision much. I pretty much think that on the big day, your fiance be blown away regaurdless of your dress choice (especially since you have it down to 2 knock out dresses), and if you are in your dream dress, then you will feel even better.
 

cara

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I would go with the first dress if, and this is a big if, you actually look as good or better in the first dress. This is the one thing we can''t tell from the models. I wouldn''t worry about looking a little more enhanced in the second dress as long as you look really good in the first one. Once upon a time I had a smallish bust and as long as the proportions are good I didn''t feel that I always needed extra oumph. You can look perfectly good with a small bust especially with the deep V.

The first one is more different and delicate and delicious! The second one is more traditional/typical and I''m sure it looks lovely but but you don''t want to be looking back on your pictures thinking what if I''d gotten that dress I had been dreaming about! Who needs designer shoes. Those woln''t be so prominently photographed.
 

FireGoddess

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I really like the 2nd dress. A lot!! Ultimately though, it''s your decision. $700 is not small change, it''s definitely something to consider, particularly since you do like the 2nd dress on you also.
 

ellaila

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Apr 7, 2006
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Oh gosh, what a lovely dilemma to have -- which gorgeous dress should I get?


I personally find the first dress just droolworthy -- love it love it love it! The second one is beautiful too, but that first one is much more up my personal alley! But if both make your heart go pitter-patter equally, I say go for the second dress. $700 can go a long way toward something else for the wedding, and you will be breathtaking on your wedding day even if you wore a burlap sack, believe me!

And by the way, I don't think dress #2 is "typical" -- I think it's really quite different actually!

And about not allowing photos in the store, a vendor told me that certain gown makers will not sell to those stores anymore if they find out that they're allowing people to take photos of the dresses before buying them! Why, I don't know, since you can find photos of the dresses online anyway, so if you were going to make a copy of it, you already have the info! But that's the reason that I heard for not allowing photos. Very lame.

Can't wait to see what your final decision is (and photos of YOU in whichever heavenly dress you choose!)!
 

surfgirl

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I LOVE the first dress! It''s my dream dress because I love the Monique Llullier look and that looks similar. Love it.
 

So_happy

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Personally, I''d choose the second dress but I love strapless looks and that particular dress is quite unique in its strapless-ness :) And the fact that it''s cheaper and my FI already has said he liked it more would be, for me, a hands down decision.

I love lace-y styles more than you know, but I honestly don''t care for the wide straps on #1. I''d much rather have a lacy strapless than that particular style.
 

mela lu

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OMG. I''m going to be so annoying....but....

I just re-looked at your Dress #1 and almost fainted. I LOVE it more than the word LOVE can describe!!!
 

Gypsy

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I''m biased too. I love the first... and tried on the second... loved the top half... loved the IDEA of the bottom half... but not the execution-- at least not on me.

Can you take pics of both ON YOU? And we can see them on you to help you decide???
 

Miranda

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Feb 18, 2006
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While I think you need to make a decision that is best for you, I''d pick the first one. It is fantastic, but, it''s very ''me'' so that could be skewing my opinion!
In the broad scheme of your life $700 isn''t that much money. I''d skip the designer shoes...Nobody will know if they are from Payless or Bloomie''s...And who cares if they do. Your FI will think you are beautiful in any dress you choose so I think you should buy the one you love the most.
 

bee*

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I think both are beautiful-but number one beats number two for me. Its gorgeous and if you can pull it off, go for it!! I think you should go for it!
 

basil

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Thanks for all your opinions!

The difference in price between the two at Pearl''s Place is only $400, and supposedly they can do the custom length hem on the #8663 (cause it''s apparently difficult to hem the lace) if I can get measured someplace. My mom (who has seen both) likes #8663 better, so I''m leaning towards that option right now.

I have plenty of time so I might wait it out a bit to make sure I don''t change my mind.
 

RoseAngel04

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They''re both beautiful....I think you should choose the one you love the most. This is your BIG day...you should adore the dress you wear! Like I said they''re both lovely...I think I like the 1st one a bit more than the second. Good luck!
 

FacetFire

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I don''t know if this helps any, but I thought I''d share a pic that I took of myself in that second dress (without the sash) when I went dress shopping. It is a gorgeous dress, and one that I had picked out in bridal magazines long before I went shopping. I thought it was even better with the sash (in retrospect). Couple questions: is the first dress a mermaid shape dress like the second? Did you feel at all like an older bride in dresses with straps? (For some reason, I always did) Just trying to learn more about what you like...

dress_shoppng_jim_hjelm.jpg
 

starryeyed

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Not to confuse things, but have you looked at Monique L'Huillier?

She makes a dress with lace like the first, but strapless like the second. Just a thought.
 
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