If you’re in the market for bridal gowns, you are probably aware that the Reem Acra and Lorenzo dresses you’ve been drooling over in Bride’s Magazine are shockingly, stupefying overpriced. Who wants to spend $8,000 for one dress??? As my friend said, “That’s like buying a brand new car and driving it straight into a brick wall!”
I don’t know about you, but I can afford neither a brand new car nor a brick wall. So, a few weeks ago my Maid of Honor accompanied me to White Chicago, a wedding gown resale shop in Chicago where they offer “once-wed” designer gowns at steep discounts. I fell madly in love with the recently-opened shop.
White Chicago is co-owned by two women, Stacy and Ursula. They’re young, totally hip, and they know wedding gowns. They personally assist the customers, so you never have to deal with a ditzy commissioned salesgirl. After they greet you, you trade in your street shoes for some plush white socks. The socks feel like clouds. Really nice bridal clouds.
You sit down at a sleek white counter and discuss what you’re looking for. Then they let you loose in the gown room, where they have all the gowns arranged for browsing. You choose the gowns you like, and Stacy and Ursula pull them aside for you. They also pick a few surprise gowns that they think will flatter you (and they will).
Stacy and Ursula have hand-picked every gown in the store and have done a fantastic job selecting stock. Every single gown is a work of art. They have everything from slinky satin sheaths to hand-beaded ball gowns. Every dress is in pristine condition and the price (both the original price and the White Chicago price) is clearly marked. Some of the gowns even have a photo of the gown being worn, so you can see how it looks off the hanger. The designer labels are in tact, and they’re impressive: Reem Acra, Rivini, Lazarro, Anne Barge, you name it. The prices are a significant reduction from the price of a new couture gown. It’s refreshingly up-front and honest.
Since the gowns have already been worn once, they have been altered. Stacy explained that the material for these gowns is of such high quality that it can actually be re-sewn three times before the fabric becomes damaged, so getting your gown re-altered is no problem. They offer in-house alteration services or you are free to take your dress home and employ your own seamstress.
Stacy and Ursula keep you pampered, from a crisp glass of water to a plush white robe between gowns. When you leave, it feels like you’ve spent the day at a spa rather than trying on fifty pound gowns all afternoon. I would love to buy my gown here. The price/quality ratio is divine and I highly recommend it to all Chicago brides.