Romance and weddings have always gone hand in hand, and today’s brides are no exception. The way we translate that romance, however, into gown shopping has changed. Soft lace and modest cuts have replaced the glitzy bodices and full ball gown skirts. Fabrics are lighter and some designs more architectural in appearance. Straps and sleeves are requested at the onset of the search for the perfect gown.

Bridal companies have responded with an outpouring of beautiful straps, cap sleeves, ¾ sleeves to full sleeves, and an array of gorgeous jackets to cover a strapless gown that melt into the design of the dress so well they are almost indiscernible. For the bride who is not willing to give up on her "bling", the addition of a beaded belt or sash adds just the right touch to an otherwise simple design. In the fashion world, all of these changes are, historically, a reaction to difficult economic times.

In today’s world of technology, a bride has the opportunity to look at thousands of styles from a multitude of websites offering them what seem to be the most fabulous deals. Unfortunately, if it looks too good to be true – it is! Dresses with an unrealistic discount are either illegally discounted or are counterfeit fashion items. Some shoppers are losing the entire amount they paid for their garment plus bogus taxes and fees for garments that never arrive. Protect yourself by choosing an authorized retailer to ensure a genuine designer gown.

Government investigations have revealed that online shopping has proven more dangerous than ever to Bridal and Prom consumers. Members of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association have banded together to eradicate these counterfeit websites, but bridal and prom consumers can do their part by patronizing their local stores, or brick and mortar establishments, in their search for their perfect gown.

Visit the ABPIA website to learn more about counterfeit websites and fashions.


By Deidre Torra