I was afraid to write this article because I don’t want to come off like someone who doesn’t understand that not everyone wants or has the means to buy a wedding dress that costs more than $100. I know that I’m the person who loves making clothes so much that she’s made it her whole career.
But I’m also an experienced professional who wants, more than anything, for people to feel like themselves on their wedding day. And, unfortunately, the most popular option for a wedding dress is also the one that I most regularly see move a person further away from that feeling of bliss.
I am, of course, talking about fast fashion.
What is fast fashion?
This two-word term covers a lot of ground. In the broadest sense, fast fashion refers to clothing designs that hit the market quickly to make the most of popular fashion trends. These are clothes that are designed to not last. They’re expendable, consumable, and, often, extremely cheap both to make and to sell.
Much has been written about the negative impacts of fast fashion. It’s destroying the planet. It’s morally questionable. It’s not even good for the economy. All of this is depressingly true when we’re talking about fast fashion in the wedding industry but there’s another upsetting cost that doesn’t get a lot of attention: Fast fashion cheapens love.
3 reasons why fast fashion isn’t your friend for your wedding day
There is already so much pressure put on a person to find the perfect outfit to wear on their wedding day. In fact, “When should I buy my wedding dress?” is one of the most common questions I get from my clients. There’s an hourglass glued to the table that makes the whole search for The Perfect Dress feel that much more urgent.
This bums me out on many levels. Financially, it’s a horrible situation. So often the dress that a bride buys doesn’t fit properly but the price tag is so low that she understandably assumes, “Well, alterations can’t be that much.” Bad news, my friend. Hundreds of dollars of alterations is one of the many hidden costs of fast fashion: What seems cheap on the rack, often doesn’t stay cheap.
More than money, though, fast wedding fashion kills my vibe because these dresses are mass produced. That on its own isn’t that horrible — people got to wear clothes — but when it comes to the outfit you wear on your wedding day, it should at least fit you! That’s not asking too much, right?
When a bride brings me her off-the-rack dress, I often spend hours figuring out how to make her unique and special body fit what she’s bought. This is totally backwards! What I should be doing — what I love to do — is start with what makes my client unique and design from there. The dress should work for her. She shouldn’t work for the dress.
Which brings me to the third and biggest reason why fast fashion isn’t your friend on your wedding day: It boxes you in.
Let’s think outside the box
I’ve already written about why it’s so important to see yourself in wedding media but long story short: If you don’t see yourself celebrated, it’s easy to think that you’re not worth celebrating. And fast fashion offers a never-ending stream of cookie-cutter options that not only ignore what’s so great about you but often make you feel bad about it.
Screw that! You are worthy of celebrating and I’m here to make sure your clothes help, not hinder, that party.
Fast fashion may have its place in the world but when it comes to your wedding, it’s not as expensive, hard, or time-consuming to go custom as the world would have us believe. In fact, from what I’ve seen working with hundreds of clients, designing your own wedding outfit is often one of the best ways to slow down and enjoy the journey of planning your wedding and, more importantly, starting your marriage.
Want to slow down? Let’s talk.