Photography: Jean Philippe Smith
I never thought an article of clothing could cause me so much anxiety, but alas, here we are.
Let’s take it from the beginning.
When Jean Philippe visited me in the states earlier this year, we went up to Oregon to visit my family. While we were there, we went to check out a bridal boutique “just for fun.”
I say “just for fun” because I was not supposed to find my wedding dress right away, but I did!
I had been eyeing Hayley Paige wedding dresses ever since my early days of “Say Yes to the Dress.” I stumbled upon a beautiful Hayley Paige dress via Pinterest and sent Jean Philippe an image of it a while back. He was in love with it too, so now I just had to try it on!
We verified that the boutique carried this particular dress and it was the very first dress I tried on. I fell in love immediately. We all did! I know there is that old saying about not letting the groom see the dress beforehand–but JP and I don’t exactly do things the traditional way anyhow. I wanted the dress selection and our wedding to be something we could both share in, so I definitely wanted him to be there when I found the dress.
I was absolutely in love with this dress and I thought it was in my price range–but I had been used to seeing the “Say Yes to the Dress” budgets and let’s face it–the brides on this show pay an absurd amount of money for their dresses. You’ll see a bride start out saying her budget is $2,000 and walk out with a $7,000 dress!
When purchasing a dress, you have to remember it’s just the beginning. Soon you will have to worry about shoes, a veil (if you want one), and you will almost always have to have alterations done to your dress–which can easily add on a few hundred dollars.
I couldn’t justifying paying the boutique price of this dress no matter how in love with it I was. I knew it would have only been the beginning of a hefty price tag.
But I was in love! I cannot stress how in love with this dress I was.
Or…maybe obsessed is a better word if I am being totally honest here.
This dress turned me into a crazy person.
I needed to have it, and I thought maybe I could find it for a more reasonable price if it were used. So I searched day after day, and finally, I found it! Through this website called Tradesy. I had never heard of it before, but it seemed like a higher class version of Ebay or Etsy.
People sell their old (or new) items and Tradesy has a money back guarantee.
Their brands range from J. Crew all the way up to Chanel, Louis Vuitton–you get the idea.
If your item was misrepresented, you are entitled to a refund–within four days.
The wedding dress of my dreams was being sold by a former bride who had “only worn this dress for her wedding day.” The price was still expensive, but more reasonable that its new boutique counterpart, and it was in my size, so the only alterations I would have to pay for would be shortening the dress a bit.
I had been emailing back and forth with the seller, verifying her measurements to see if the dress would work for me. She seemed honest and nice and even had a couple of her own wedding pictures to show off the dress.
She then informed me that other customers were looking at the dress, so I should just be aware of this fact if I were serious about buying.
WELL OF COURSE I’M SERIOUS! I thought, THIS IS MY DRESS.
Being protected by Tradesy, I thought I should be good. I really didn’t question the integrity of the seller and if other people were eyeing this dress, as the seller claimed, I should jump on it. I wasn’t going to find a better price elsewhere and this was my dress.
I decided to bite the bullet, buy the dress, and have it shipped to my mom’s in Oregon. The seller informed me she would have the dress dry cleaned and send it right over. My mom received the dress and didn’t open the packaging, waiting for me to do the honor.
I was going to wait until Spring Break to get my alterations done in Oregon, but when Jean Philippe and I mused about pushing up our wedding date, I decided I should have the dress with me in Davis and start looking into alterations there.
I had my mom ship the dress over to me.
Fast forward to arrival date.
I open the box, and the dress is still wrapped up in the dry cleaning packaging, so the seller never examined the dress after it was dry cleaned, and before sending it to me.
Then, I discover a HUGE hole in the top layer of the dress.
SEE???? SEE THIS?????
I don’t know if the seller saw this before putting her dress up for sale, or if it was the dry cleaner’s doing. But someone had to have noticed this.
And why wouldn’t anyone have inspected it before putting it up for sale and sending it off?
This dress is made of tulle– a fairly delicate fabric. If something gets caught on tulle, it will rip. And the chances of the rip getting bigger are pretty good.
The dress was described with “no signs of wear.”
HAHAHAHA WHAT A JOKE.
Not only is there a huge hole in the skirt, but there are definite signs of wear throughout the dress! First of all, there are some buttons throughout the skirt/on the waist of the dress, some of which are falling off. I have no idea why buttons are on the dress, my seamstress guessed it could have been for a bustle (she said this as she picked up a button THAT FELL TO THE FLOOR).
So back to my magical seamstress lady–I took the dress into her to see if a repair of this hole was even possible. She said because it is tulle, one will still be able to see the repair but if I really loved the dress and wanted to keep it, she could repair it to an extent and it would cost $100.
She also noted that the designer tag does not look as if it were originally attached to the dress. It looks as if someone had sewn it in.
This tag is holding on by one little thread! Would that really happen to a dress after one wear? I don’t think so.
Something is up with this wedding dress.
I called Tradesy and was put on hold for quite some time, then when I explained my situation the guy on the other line sounded compassionate but explained that this had to be e-mailed to their team and he couldn’t fix it over the phone.
So then began my e-mail correspondence.
I have sent in pictures to Tradesy and explained both the hole and authenticity issues.
Overall, it’s been slow. They have been kind–but very, very slow. And they have not given me any sort of guarantee when it comes to a refund or partial refund. Right now, they are reaching out to my seller to see if she will cover the repair.
But something tells me she won’t.
I mean, come on! SHE SENT ME A WEDDING DRESS WITH A FREAKING HOLE IN IT AND WEIRD BUTTONS THAT ARE FALLING OFF.
It would have been one thing if the seller had been honest about the signs of wear on the dress, then at least I would have known what I was getting myself into.
But all of this has been a nightmare, and the repairs and authenticity in question is just getting to the point where I wish I had bought the dress from the nice little lady in the boutique.
At least the boutique would have taken care of me and I would have certainly been paying for a dress with. no. holes. in. it.
Needless to say, I am very anxious about this dress and Tradesy isn’t exactly offering much comfort.
I will keep you all updated, but for now, I advise you stay away from Tradesy.