I love Chinese food, but…

Would I love a replica dress made in China?

I am in a real dilemma here, kids. I have been saving my pennies for a while now in order to have a healthy dress budget. And I have succeeded. But, now that I am getting closer to having to part with a very real, not-so-small amount of money on a wedding gown, my practical side has totally kicked in.

All this money for a dress I will only wear once –

(maybe twice, if we go ahead with our plans to have a Los Angeles reception too?)

If you frequent bridal message boards, like Weddingbee, you can certainly hear about (and see!) a lot of dresses made by Chinese dress shops like Jasmine’s Dress Shop.  I spent HOURS the other day, having fallen down an internet rabbit-hole of Chinese replica dress research. I even emailed them to see if they had ever replicated my Jenny Packham May Blossom dress. (They haven’t).

Let me refresh your memory:

This is the original image from the Jenny Packham website, that Jasmine’s has posted on their site.

Jasmine’s Bridal Shop has this dress listed with a base price of $344.87.  Yes, that’s right. Three HUNDRED dollars. I can tell you the retail price for this dress is $5600. Five THOUSAND dollars. Now, that $350 (ish) is just the basic polyester fabric, with their premium grade craftsmanship. If I upgraded both the fabric (to partial silk) and the craftsmanship (to designer grade), the price would be $674.44. With a few more tweaks (adding buttons to the back, extending the train, etc), it would come to about $800.

Y’all that would leave me with SO MUCH extra money to spend on cool things like a photo booth, and other things that I don’t even know that I want right now but will probably want at some point in the next 362 days.

Sigh.

It’s so tempting. But, it feels like such a huge risk. What if I go ahead and order this dress, and they get it wrong? I mean, they don’t have the pattern there, they are just going by the photos. This is from Jasmine’s own website (the bolding is me):

* Please note that our items are hand-made replicas, and they cannot be 100% exactly like the items in the photos. Just like hand-painted pictures, painting the same image twice can never be exactly the same. Each listing is for making you an item which is about 80-90% like the item in the photos we have provided (Premium Grade), and you can upgrade to 90-95% of accuracy in the Grade of Service option for most items. Before production, you must provide additional photos of the dress you want replicated if you have them available, as we only replicate according to what we can see in the photos. For what we cannot see or cannot see clearly, we will have to improvise according to the rest of the dress design which we can see. If you have any specific requirements, you must inform us prior to production to avoid any possible alteration fees. 

* About our Quality: At Jasmine’s Bridal Shop, we take great pride in the dresses we make. Every dress is crafted using materials of top grade quality, and with great attention to detail and design. Before we ship the dresses, we email our customers photos of the finished dresses to ensure that the dresses meet their satisfaction, and our quality team goes over every inch of every dress to ensure perfection, as well as triple checking all the measurements.

So, since the Jenny Packham is a relatively simple design, it’s really all about the pickups on the skirt, which are delicate and intricate. And what if that’s the 10% that they have to “improvise”? And what if I order this dress and hate it, and then I am out $800?

What if? What if? What if?

A lot of the dresses I see on their blog and also Weddingbee feature dresses with a lot of embellishment – lots of lace, lots of beading. And they do that very well, it seems.

Original Mori Lee dress (that I would never, ever wear):

Original Mori Lee dress, style 2172

And the Jasmine’s Replica:

Jasmine’s Mori Lee replica

Not bad, right?

This is a replica of another Jenny Packham, the Aspen:

Replica Jenny Packham Aspen

And the real Aspen

(you might recognize this as a dress that Kate Middleton wore, but she wore it in teal):

Jenny Packham Aspen

They do take returns within 7 days of my getting the dress, so if I hate it, I could always send it back and just lose half the money. I don’t know why the simplicity of the dress has me so worried. If they can do a huge, ruffly thing like the above ball gown, certainly they can do something more classic?  And the above Jenny Packham looks good? Right?

Ugh.

Too many decisions.

Brain melting…

Tell me, what would you do?

12 Comments on I love Chinese food, but…

  1. Tasha
    December 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm (2 years ago)

    So what happened? I have also fallen in love with the Jenny Packham Willow dress, and I can’t afford it….even preowned. I would definitely consider this option. Thank you!

    Reply
    • thatbridesgotmoxie
      December 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm (2 years ago)

      I did not. I got my dress off the rack, in the end. Right around the time I was going to place my order, I was reading bad feedback about Jasmine’s sizing on the Weddingbee boards. I decided to play it safe.

      Reply
  2. Shayla Todd
    April 30, 2013 at 3:25 am (2 years ago)

    Hi! Just stumbled across your article. Wondering how your dress turned out? I’m considering ordering a Packham dress from Jasmine’s as well, what are your thoughts?

    P.S. my wedding is in 4 MONTHS!

    Reply
    • thatbridesgotmoxie
      April 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi!
      So, 4 months is cutting it close! Have you emailed James yet? I know they have been really busy lately. Which Packham are you getting replicated?

      Reply
      • Shayla Todd
        April 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm (2 years ago)

        I haven’t emailed him yet because I just found out about Jasmine’s last night. I really want the Willow dress. Did your Packham dress turn out ok? I’m concerned about the fabric. I just don’t want it to look cheap, and there’s some intense beading on the front…eek! I don’t know! Thoughts?

        Reply
      • thatbridesgotmoxie
        May 6, 2013 at 8:27 am (2 years ago)

        Jasmine’s is known for their awesome bead work, so don’t worry about that. And they will send you fabric samples so you can choose your own. James sent me like 8 different kinds of fabric. And most of it was very pretty. I would be most concerned about your time frame, as they seem really busy right now.
        I can’t talk about my dress…yet.
        Jasmine’s is a great reputable company. :-)

        Reply
      • Tasha
        December 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm (2 years ago)

        Did you end up ordering Jenny Packham’s Willow dress from Jasmine’s? I’m also in love with it, and am considering……

        Reply
  3. Shelley Delayne (@ShelleyDelayne)
    October 17, 2012 at 10:54 am (3 years ago)

    I went down that rabbit hole, too… I did not end up getting a replica; but I didn’t have my sights set on a dress quite that expensive, either!

    The replicas I have seen were made of cheap fabric (which may not be a deal breaker), and with some makers you can (be VERY specific) request better fabric, which will add to the cost but still be less than the original.

    My best advice is, if you DO get a replica, order NOW, and seek out a great local dressmaker to do the alterations it will need (And it WILL need them. Just because the replica looks good on a dress form does not mean that it will fit right.)

    Also: if you can, try on The Dress somewhere first, and find a sneaky way to get some additional photos of it.

    Did you read this blog entry whilst in the rabbit hole? http://www.thebrokeassbride.com/2011/07/chinese-made-wedding-gown-review/

    Reply
    • thatbridesgotmoxie
      October 17, 2012 at 11:09 am (3 years ago)

      Great points, Shell. I agree with all of them.
      My iPhone isn’t liking that link right now, it keeps bouncing to a different BAB post. But I remember reading that once upon a time.
      I’m only interested in working with Jasmine’s, who makes their dresses custom and has upgraded fabrics available.
      In the days since I wrote this, I’ve done some more research and will do a follow up post soon.

      Reply
    • thatbridesgotmoxie
      October 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm (3 years ago)

      Ok, I got to read that BAB post again. The author of that worked with an ebay seller, so her experience is different than working with Jasmine’s. Jasmine’s sends multiple sets of detailed photos along the way, and I can make changes, catch any problems, etc. I just IM’d with one of the managers, and he is sending me the upgraded fabric samples.
      We shall see…

      Reply
  4. Melinda Werner
    October 17, 2012 at 10:01 am (3 years ago)

    Do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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