Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why are wedding dresses so expensive?

No, no, I'm not engaged!  I came across this short article and interesting video on yesterday and it made me think.  The economist in this video wonders why her wedding dress was $2,800.  So she takes it two experts, a fabric store proprietor and dressmaker, who tell her she's been ripped off.  The fabric can't be worth more than a few hundred dollars.  So then she gets to thinking... why do we buy big ticket items like wedding dresses or designer goods that are ridiculously marked up?  She gives two reasons.

The first is one that probably comes to mind; we're buying into a "signal" of something bigger, whether it's luxury, image, happiness, wealth, you name it.   The second is more interesting to me; it's that we only buy wedding dresses once and don't have considerable experience to compare against.  We don't know how to find a good deal.   I know that feeling. What do you think of clothing markups? A rip off or is it worth paying for the craft?

The video is 5 minutes and fun to watch.  Enjoy!


  1. This is a great post! make your own wedding dress so you totally know how much it is worth!
    P.S. I didn't have any dress for my wedding - well, I saved myself a fortune!

  2. I can see a number of reasons why people spend so much. For a lot of women, it's their dream day, where they get to be like princesses, and want a dress that will fit that idea. Even with the economist who feels she was ripped off, this was the dress that she chose, that she hunted down in various places to locate a better deal. Why couldn't she have picked a $500 dress from David's Bridal?

    It's also about style to one's body, and fit. Unless she picked that dress straight off the rack, she probably also had alterations done on it that was included in that price.

    And of course there will be mark-ups. From this short video, it seems the dress is not that common, so the shop she bought it for probably put a mark up on it because it paid more to aquire it. Shipping costs, profits, etc. All of it is involved.

    Now imagine yourself buying all that lace, all that lining, all that other stuff for it, and making it. You'd mark it up as well.