Working in a Bridal Boutique
When I originally started thinking of my final capstone thesis project in 2019, I thought it would be a great experience and a good way to hear what brides were wanting by working in the very store they buy their dresses from...a Bridal Boutique!
So when 2020 rolled around, I had a bridal salon position set up for the summer. Well, you can imagine what happened. Once Covid-19 hit, everything was shut down and I lost my job.
Fast forward to September of 2020 and I'm back at school. I knew I needed a job and if possible, to work in a bridal salon. Besides, if I could get hired at one bridal salon, maybe I could get a job at another. So when I started applying for jobs at bridal salons hiring, nothing seemed to work. I wouldn't say I applied to many, but enough that it seemed like things weren't working out.
To break it down for you a bit further, working in a bridal salon can be tricky. Although there are good days and bad days just like any other job, brides can be very picky -for obvious reasons and their entourage can be much worse. There are multiple opinions flying about, some positive and negative. The MOTB (mother of the bride) wants the bride to try on gowns they don't like. Their friends want to try dresses on for fun while it's the brides appointment. The list goes on and on. So, while dealing with brides, you need to have confidence and a bit of control over the reins so things don't go off the rails.
So, when I finally sat down and started brainstorming wear to work, one place came to mind. I decided to apply and had a great conversation with the owner. I sent her my resume that day and happily ended up getting the job. I was officially a bridal consultant at the Tilted Veil in Guelph, Ontario.
. . .
Now that I've worked a few Saturdays at the Boutique, I've gotten the chance to listen and hear certain things that brides have been looking for when it comes to buying a dress.
First thing, sleeves.
Sleeves have been around for hundreds of years, but after the decline of the disastrous 80's puffy shoulder, sleeves became a dreaded option no one wanted. Understandably, things became strapless and sleeveless to no end.
However, when designers started bringing back the sleeve without the puff in the early 2010's, it started making a comeback. The delicate lace that came down the arm and sat sweetly on the wrist with the covered button detail; it was magic. Naturally, sleeves were making a comeback, especially in the cooler seasons . An added detail I've recently noticed is if a designer creates a gown without a sleeve, the designer is able to add a sleeve if the bride really wanted one.
* My thoughts on sleeves: One thing I'd want to try and design is a sleeve that could be taken off if needed. So brides could have the option of wearing the sleeve all night, no sleeve at all. Or, if they wanted to do a sleeve for the ceremony and take it off for the reception, they could.
Second thing, bridal capes
I know what you're thinking, why the hell would someone want to walk down the runway in a superman-looking cape. Not to mention, veils are perfectly fine in doing exactly what they've done for so many years. Why change it up?
Well that's just it, fashion constantly changes and bridal gowns are no exception. The bridal cape is a way to give girls that veil feel without having something in their hair if they wanted their head free of any entanglement. While the veil is a beautiful traditional piece that is stunning, the bridal cape brings something very contemporary and modern to the mix and the modern woman is enjoying this new trend. Why? Because it's new, that's why! A lot of brides want to pave the way in bridal fashion and say they started a trend. Of course, other brides want that classic tradition of having a veil or even that traditional dress and there's nothing wrong with that, it's a gorgeous look. But the bridal cape is a new direction and I imagine it'll be around for a long time.
*My thoughts on bridal capes: I think they are absolutely stunning! It's something different and I'm a sucker for something different. I enjoy the non-traditonal look of the cape and depending on your look, can really make something high fashion. Of course, i enjoy many looks with different looking veils and I"ll always tell any9one to go with their gut and wear what makes them feel amazing.
As I gain more experience in the boutique, I'll continue to listen to new trends, observe brides needs, and develop new ideas to continue my design and research for the future.