Dress Alterations: 8 Essential Questions To Ask When Choosing A Dress

Looking for the most useful questions to consider when buying or altering a dress? You’ve come to the right place. 

When preparing for that special event such as an anniversary, office party, or even your wedding day, there can be so much to think about; even the exciting task of choosing your dress can seem overwhelming! Here’s the 8 most useful questions to consider before buying a dress to make sure you get the most out of your purchase and ensure you always feel your best.

Bride in beautiful dress holding white high heels

01. What price range should I be looking at?

One of the most important factors to consider when buying any dress is the price range; what can you afford? How much are you willing to spend if you find that perfect dress? Also think about the amount of times you’ll wear the dress in future; is it a practical investment? You may wish to look for a more affordable dress which is versatile and can be re-worn for other occasions. 

In this case, it is often easy to find a sophisticated dress from high street shops or online retailers such as Debenhams, ASOS or House of Fraser. On the other hand, for timeless occasions such as your wedding day, it is inevitable that you are likely to invest more in your perfect wedding dress, even though this might involve stretching your typical budget.

02. How and why should I alter my dress? 

The traditional mindset involved with different dress alterations is that it is costly, time-consuming and may not be worth investing in if your clothing is not expensive or precious enough. In fact, it can be cheaper to pay for a seamstress to alter or even recreate a dress, rather than paying more for a high-end dress with more precise sizing. 

Dress alterations at Alterations Boutique Manchester can deliver on most types of clothing alterations, including hem shortening or major modifications such as resizing or restyling. With 30 years’ experience in the in industry, they know their stuff. You can even get a complimentary styling and fitting consultation!

Beautiful bride surrounded by bridesmaids

03. Have a made sure that my dress is weather appropriate? 

Another crucial factor to consider is whether or not you’re dressing appropriately for the season. For warmer months, lighter coloured dresses are best, made from materials such as cotton or satin. In the colder winter months, fabrics such as cashmere are more suitable. Even with your wedding dress, you should consider the weight of material and how breathable it is. After all, you will be wearing it for a long period of time, whatever the weather; comfort is key.

04. What’s the occasion? 

It’s always important to think about who will be seeing you in your dress and where! As much as it’s important to wear whatever makes you feel good, there are some occasions, family events in particular, where you may wish to have a more reserved outfit choice. 

Be creative; whilst you may buy a longer dress for an occasion such as a family event or christening, dress alterations can give you the option to recreate an existing dress into the perfect attire for a day at the races or a late-night evening do.

Lady with glamorous makeup and a mustard outfit

05. What colour should I wear? 

Often, the deciding factor in choosing a dress is its colour. However, when choosing a dress it is important to consider two main factors. Skin colour is one way many women choose their dresses, as the colour of your dress can really compliment your skin colour. As well as this, consider if there is a dress code at your event to adhere to. For example, this could be a party with a blue colour theme or a wedding where the general tradition is to not wear white unless you are the bride!

06. What style of dress should I choose? 

A great way to choose a dress is to look at which styles compliment your body type the most. Often, stores will have a free personal shopping service which can be really helpful, or if not, there are many websites with tips on how to choose a dress to suit you. Once you have found this out, it is easy to filter down your dress type when shopping in store and when searching on Google, which makes your shopping experience a whole lot quicker and easier.

Bride getting fastened into her dress

07. What should I wear underneath? 

It is often easy to forget if you have suitable underwear to wear when purchasing a new dress. It’s very exciting to find a dress with an interesting back, or a strapless dress – however, you must remember to consider where the straps of your underwear will lie and if you are comfortable with wearing strapless or backless underwear.

08. Do I need a new dress? 

The last question you should ask yourself when preparing for an event is if you really need a new dress at all! Something you may not have even thought about is whether you could wear a dress you already own and love, or if you could get one of your existing dresses altered which could completely recreate its look. The benefits of this are that it can allow you to adjust your dresses which otherwise you may not have worn again, and even gives you the option of tailoring and wearing sentimental clothing gifted to you from family and friends.

8 Essential Questions To Ask When Choosing A Dress

Can you think of any other questions you should ask when picking out a dress?
If so, let me know in the comments below.
With love from Lou SignatureTwitter | Facebook | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest


Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2018 Louise Smith
Need more information about dress alterations? This post was in collaboration with Alterations Boutique, dress and suit alterations specialists in Manchester. For more information regarding dress alterations or the variety of different services they offer, head to https://www.alterationsboutiquemanchester.co.uk.


  1. 15/11/2018 / 11:18 am

    For special occasions, I always try and get the dress altered if I can – it just makes it fit so much better x

  2. 15/11/2018 / 6:56 pm

    This is so helpful! the only dress I’ve ever had altered was my wedding dress, I didn’t think about it otherwise!

  3. 15/11/2018 / 10:16 pm

    These are great tips for those who are unsure what to look at when picking their dress, you have shared well

  4. 16/11/2018 / 1:00 pm

    Great post! I haven’t brought many dresses in my life apart from my wedding dress and all of these questions could relate to that too! It was such a big decision it was really important I was certain and got it right!
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  5. 16/11/2018 / 4:14 pm

    I wish we had occasions to wear lovely dresses like this. I haven’t worn anything like this since my wedding day

  6. 16/11/2018 / 8:52 pm

    Unfortunately we very rarely have the opportunity to wear anything too fancy, but I did bare all of these things in mind when I chose my wedding dress!

  7. 16/11/2018 / 9:39 pm

    These are definitely important questions to consider especially if you need alterations.

  8. 16/11/2018 / 10:28 pm

    I hadn’t thought about altering a dress instead of buying a new one. I’m very oucky about dresses so this tip could be a game-changer for me in the future!

  9. Rachel
    16/11/2018 / 11:08 pm

    Fab tips for brides to be! It’s such an important day you want everything to go smoothly x

  10. 17/11/2018 / 1:02 pm

    I’ve only ever had my wedding dress altered and I was a little disappointed as it really didn’t fit too well on the day even though it was fine in the shop. But I love the tips you’ve included when thinking off buying a dress and making sure it suits your skin tone and occasion

  11. Fatima
    18/11/2018 / 1:49 am

    It’s true that everyone has their own personal choices, but sometimes it’s quite difficult to convey about the excat thing we want.

  12. Fatima
    18/11/2018 / 1:49 am

    It’s true that everyone has their own personal choices, but sometimes it’s quite difficult to convey about the excat thing we want. These are great tips! 😍

  13. 18/11/2018 / 8:43 am

    These are definitely good questions to ask. It’s always a must to ask if yourself if you really need a new dress.

  14. 18/11/2018 / 2:35 pm

    I had to get my wedding dress altered a few times as I kept losing weight

  15. 18/11/2018 / 6:32 pm

    Great post, since I will be having my nuptials coming up next year. Lots to consider.. It’s so hard to find a place that does alterations anymore here in the US, which is one of the reason I miss living in the UK there are plenty of places to go the get clothing altered if needed.

  16. 18/11/2018 / 8:41 pm

    I almost always need a dress shortened as my legs aren’t very long … I try not to buy clothes with long arms as they generally need shortening too. Dresses are a bit of a pain if I’m honest – finding one that fits, suit me, is comfortable and in budget requires a lot of searching and trying on.

  17. 18/11/2018 / 9:38 pm

    Definitely so important and some great tips that you’ve shared. I’d always say to wear the shoes that you’re going to wear with the dress so that if it needs to be altered then its to the right length xxx

  18. 20/11/2018 / 2:40 pm

    These are great tips, I would definitely take one of my friends when getting a special dress

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