Alison.PS Designs

Wedding & Ball Gowns

Ball Gown Information

School balls are far more than just a good party, it is an important mile stone in a girls life. A time when a girl turns into a young lady, and the parents get a glimpse of just how elegant their daughter can be. 
The flip side is just how expensive it can be, since there are so many aspects to the perfect look....hair, make-up, nails, jewellery, the car and of course the dress.

There are lots of avenues to go down when choosing a gown, each has pros and cons. Whatever you chose I can help. Whether it is alterations to an existing gown, designing one for you or buying a Pre-Loved gown. I hope reading the various options below helps you decide the best way forward for your dream ball gown.
You can also sell your gown after the ball. Details for adding your gown on consignment are below.
Buying online from a factory site.

Pros - This is an extremely cheap way of getting a new dress. There are literally thousands on colour and style options, and they are usually delivered within 30 days.

Cons - You can not try before you buy. You are making a commitment before you really know if its what you want. You must bear in mind that even if they say they are "made to measure", they are not fully. Plus the fact that they are relying on you to provide the measurements, which can still be interpreted differently. A fully made to measure gown needs far more than just 6 body measurements. 
It is heartbreaking to see girls so disappointed when the gown arrives looking nothing like the picture.....or very badly fitting. 

Conclusion - If the gown is well under your budget and you make a purchase with the understanding that you will need additional alterations, then you should get the exact gown you want within your budget. 
Local stores

Pros - You can try before you buy. You can try lots of different styles and colours and get a true idea of what suits you. If the gown is ordered in for you and it is faulty, it is their responsibility to replace it, not yours.

Cons - They will cost at least double the price of the online gowns. The gown you try on would have been tried on by numerous other girls, so check if you are buying a new gown or the sample you just tried on. If they do not have the correct colour and size in stock, the delivery time can be longer. You will still have to pay extra for alterations, either in store or from a seperate alteration company.

Conclusion - This is a great option if you really don't know what you want. But it is equally one of the most expensive options.
Pre-Loved

Pros - Fantastically cheap and you can try before you buy. Every year girls have their ball or are bridesmaids, then don't know what to do with their gown. Many will keep them hanging in the wardrobe for years collecting dust. But the smart few will sell the gown. It gives them money back and gives you a great looking gown at a fraction of the cost. Try Gumtree, Salvos, your local Facebook Forum or my Pre-Loved collection.

Cons - The gown has not just been tried on in a store, it has been worn for many hours. So it will have a small amount of wear. It may just need a good clean, but often it will need a few minor repairs. You will also probably still need a few fitting alterations.

Conclusion - The cons may seem like they out weigh the pros, but that really isn't the case. When you consider that all gowns, where ever you buy them from, will need alterations. Basically you are getting a real bargain.

Bespoke / Made to Measure


Pros - You will have a gown designed exclusively for you. A gown that I can guarantee no one else will wear at your school ball. You have the option of various fabrics, colours and thousand of embellishments. Your gown will be 100% made to measure, with no additional alteration fees. You will have a calico fitting before the final gown is made to ensure the design and fit are exactly right.

Cons - The gown will cost more than any of the options above and the processing time is an average of 3 - 6 months. You do not have the option to try the finished gown before you buy.

Conclusion - If your budget and time allows for a bespoke gown then it is an amazing option. You can literally have whatever you like. You can let your imagination run wild. You will be involved in the complete design and every stage of your gowns creation.