Help me on wedding gowns! What is off-the-rack, sample & brand new gowns

I've been getting confusing advise from friends, can someone please help. What exactly is off-the-rack gown? What is the difference between off-the-rack and brand new gown? Is off-the-rack gown considered a BRAND NEW gown? (some shops said so) What to expect from an off-the-shelf wedding gown? Will it require fixing? How about brand new gown? Will they be in a better condition without defects? I want a lace gown, so I am worried about defects on off-the-rack gown given its delicate nature.

Mei L

Question Asked: 10/01/2017

Wedding Date: 30/09/2017

Wedding Location: Brisbane, QLD 4000

Most Helpful Response

Chein Noir Dezines

(14) · Perth

Posted: 12/01/2017

Hi Mei Off-the-rack is a garment made in the factory, often overseas and by poorly paid workers. Retail store sales them straight of the wrack or you need to order it some month ahead. Often that sort of dress needs alterations which ads to the cost.Brand new gown can mean a few things, it is brand new as it just been delivered or it is from new collection. Sample gown is the display gown that everyone can try and order can be place to get one for you, but be careful as often the gown you tried may be different to the gown that arrives for you. The best advice I can give that you find a dressmaker or designer locally that you feel comfortable with and ask them to make it for you. That way you will support local manufacturing and local designers. You should have a fair few fittings where you should be able to talk about your gown as it progresses and stay in control. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. I love to help.

Answered by: 6 Experts

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Always and Forever Bridal International

(125) · Melbourne

Posted: 17/08/2017

Hi Mei

An off the rack gown is usually one you purchase from the stock just like if you go to Myers and purchase one of their evening gowns. A new gown will be ordered in to your sizes ie 6 8 10 and so on and this will take several months to arrive.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need any further information we are always happy to assist.

Kind regards


Always and Forever Bridal

TG13 Como Centre

Toorak Road & Chapel Street,

South Yarra VIC 3141

Tel:- +61 (0)3 9077 2999

Lilli Marcs

(13) · Sydney / Australia Wide

Posted: 7/02/2017

Hi Mei

Of the rack gown mean it has been tried before many times , it can fit perfect or it may need alteration.

  • The best gowns are made to measure that's is made to you body shape that nobody else has tuch it .
Wedding Whispers

(14) · South Australia

Posted: 11/01/2017

Hello Mei,

Off-the-rack gowns are new bridal gowns that are used by the store as samples for potential brides to try on. Although they have never been worn to a wedding they have been tried on by different brides numerous times. These dresses are normally discounted by the store. A brand new gown is a gown that you have tried on in the store and is then ordered in especially for you - which would normally take between 5 - 6 months to arrive. It would definitely be better to order in a new gown for you as it is totally fresh and never been tried on by anyone else - your perfect dress for your special day!

Fashions By Farina

(143) · Sydney and surrounding areas

Posted: 11/01/2017

Each showroom may have their own definition. But In our showroom 'Off-the-rack' means the gown is on display in the showroom and is available for purchase. The condition of the gown is dependent upon how many times it has been tried on. It started out as a brand new gown but its current condition can only be determined by personal inspection. Most 'off-the-rack' are in excellent condition but the should always be closely inspected. Please bear in mind there are a number of "Just Arrived" gowns on display that have never been tried on (or just a couple of times).

The only way to get a 'brand new gown' is to have us order specially for you.

Susan Ogg Designer

(17) · Brisbane and Surrounding Areas

Posted: 11/01/2017

Hi there

Off the rack means purchasing a gown/style which is already made up (usually overseas). You go into the store and try on a dress and then if you decide this is the "one" the store order one for you in that style (so yes it is brand new and nobody has tried it on), However they can only order them in the nearest size which will fit your measurements. This means you will have to pay extra to have it altered to fit your body properly. This is on top of the purchase price. Off the rack gowns only come in standard sizing (same as a normal store).

Samples means that bridal stores decide to sell off some of the gowns they have had on the racks "to try on". These are usually styles they are not going to stock any more so they sell them off at a much reduced rate. They can have some shop "soiling" on them as other brides will have tried them on, and in some cases, some little thread pulls, but as they are sold at a fraction of the new price it can be a great option for a small girl (usually only size6,8,10), who is on a tight budget. It will still alterations on top of the price to make the fit and length perfect.

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