Vendor Spotlight :: Flair Bridesmaid, Boston, MA :: Bridesmaid dresses

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cast your mind back to last winter...do you remember the Vendor Spotlight posts I used to do on the blog? I'd pick a vendor I've enjoyed working with at a recent wedding and then I'd interview them so you got to know them too? In the wedding craziness of Summer and Fall the vendor spotlights kind of fell off the to-do list but they're back!

Coming up in the near future I have interviews planned with a wonderful calligrapher, make up artist, florist, wedding planner and much more. They're all talented professionals in the wedding industry who my couples have loved working with and who I want to spread the word about. I don't post about anyone I haven't worked with/met personally (I've had some vendors ask to be interviewed but it doesn't work like that!)


So for your reading delight today I have the Vendor Spotlight trained on...FLAIR Bridesmaid Boutique in Boston, MA

Yes, just a couple of doors down from the Burberry store in Boston is a little discrete sign at 10 Newbury Street announcing Flair Bridesmaid Boutique:


You step out of the elevator on the fourth floor to be greeted by a veritable bounty of bridesmaid dresses in every possible style and color:


I spent an hour interviewing Lindsay and Stacey about Flair Bridesmaid Boutique and they shared all sorts of tips and secrets for bridesmaid dress shopping which I'm delighted to now share with you. And I'll intersperse this blog post with pictures of the stunning dresses in the store:


Leah: So tell me about Flair and how it came to be?
Lindsay and Stacey: Christine is the owner of Flair and when she was planning her own wedding she struggled to find a great selection of bridesmaid dresses all in one place and so in 2003 Flair Bridesmaid Boutique was born. We aim to offer brides a collection of modern sophisticated and original dresses in all sorts of styles and colors in an unparalleled bridal shopping experience.

Leah: When should brides start thinking about bridesmaid dresses?
Lindsay and Stacey: It's never too early!!! Bridesmaid dresses often set the color and compliment the theme of the wedding so it's a great decision to make early in the process. Also, it can take more time than you think for your girls to get their measurements, visit the store if they're local or fill in the paperwork if they're not and get fitted etc. Don't feel like you have to wait until it's exactly 6 months before your wedding! We probably dress around 400 weddings each year and so the boutique can get really busy! We only see brides and their bridesmaids by appointments for a truly personal service so we recommend booking earlier rather than later. Having said that we have helped out girls with last-minute dress needs, as late as 6 weeks before the wedding but some of the designers will charge a rush-fee.


Leah: Which designers do you stock?
Lindsay and Stacey: Coren Moore, Jenny Yoo, Badgley Mischka, Anna Elyse, Siri, Lynn Lugo, Dessy and Seams which is local to Boston. Some designers start at size 00 and others go up to a size 28-30 so we have dresses for all sizes and shapes!

Leah: What about accessories?
Lindsay and Stacey: Absolutely, we offer custom sashes by a.b. Ellie. Sashes are a perfect way to customize each dress and they're also wonderful for adding a unique element to your wedding dress. You can almost think of the dress as a shell or a blank canvas and your sash as the perfect finishing touch.


Leah: So, what's different about the Flair experience?
Lindsay and Stacey: Well, first of all we have such a great selection of dresses for girls to choose from in one place, everything from modern minimalist dresses to more glamourous sophisticated styles. And the dresses aren't like a standard dress off-the-rack in a clothing store. Many of them are boned for support, the beautiful fabrics are lined and they'll fit so much better.

We also have a selection for all budgets with some dresses starting at around $150 and others coming in at $400 plus. We only see brides and their bridesmaids by appointment so it's a very personal service and we can advise on colors, trends, and styles to suit all shapes. We've worked with bridesmaids with just one or two bridesmaids and we've also dressed a bridal party of 14 girls all in different dresses!


Leah: Is that a wedding dress I see in the window? So Flair isn't just about bridesmaid dresses?
Lindsay and Stacey: Flair has always focused on bridesmaid dresses but as our designers have added bridal gowns to their collections we've been happy to offer them too. We don't tend to have many of the heavy, beaded more formal dresses instead we have beautifully light and modern wedding dresses:


Leah:
What trends are you seeing for 2011?
Lindsay and Stacey: We're seeing a lot of gray dresses; darker grays, lighter silvers and platinum as it's a great alternative to black and still a very elegant neutral. [Note from Leah: Love gray! It looks beautiful with a pop of color in your flowers - yellows or oranges and wonderful with spring green and whites]
A lot of girls are going for short-short too this year. Dresses in mini or cocktail length. These are also some of the easiest dresses to re-wear to parties or to dinner with a cute little jacket. One-shoulder dresses have also been popular so far. It's probably split about 50:50 into weddings where all of the girls are in identical dresses/color and those where they have a choice of style or color.


Leah: I imagine you have some bridesmaid groups where all of the girls have different body sizes and shapes...
Lindsay and Stacey: Oh, all the time. We have SO many dress styles that we really have something for everyone. One of our favorite dresses is the Nolan dress by Coren Moore. The sweetheart neckline is super flattering for everyone and the full skirt also looks amazing on all shapes. It's one of our favorite dresses for a group with different body types and it comes in size 0 to 22. We also have some beautiful one-shoulder dresses that work well with all sizes.

Meet Nolan:


Leah: So what should a bride know before making her appointment to come in?
Lindsay and Stacey: Don't feel that you need to bring ALL of your bridesmaids! In fact, it's best to bring just 2 or 3 girls with you. If you have a group of 10 it'll be almost impossible to settle on just one dress or color with everyone having a different opinion!

It's great to do a little homework before you come in to make the most of your appointment, do a little research online or with bridal magazines and perhaps have some ideas on styles and colors as a starting point. Tell your bridesmaids to wear a strapless bra and/or their shapers/Spanx if they plan on wearing them so they can see how the dresses will look.

Leah: Excellent advice! What about other information would you share for choosing bridesmaid dresses:
Lindsay and Stacey: OK, here's our top ten tips:
1. Consider color before style. Your bridesmaids will almost act as decor at your wedding and especially if you have a larger bridal party you'll see the color you choose almost everywhere!
2. Don't get hung up on numbers! Just because you're a size 6 in Banana Republic doesn't mean you'll be a size 6 in all dresses! Dress sizes vary with styles and with designers and it's so much better to choose a well-fitting size rather than obsessing over numbers! [Note from Leah: Amen!!! And this goes for brides too. If your dress fits well you'll feel more comfortable and confident at your wedding. Even the teeny-tiny bride can have back fat and underarm bulges if her dress doesn't fit well!]
3. Do a little homework before coming into the store but keep an open mind! Sometimes we'll have a bridesmaid who will insist that she'll only wear a v-neck style or can't do strapless and they'll be pleasantly surprised when they try on a dress that we recommend.
4. Neutral colors - grey, black, navy, nude - look sophisticated and can often be worn again as they're the least "bridesmaid-y"
5. It's best to have each bridesmaid do their alterations locally as it's easier for them to handle the logistics. For Boston-based girls, we recommend Newbury Tailor at 116 Newbury St.
6. Set a budget and be careful about trying on dresses out of your budget! We're happy to only show you dresses that fit your budget but if you decide to try on some of the more expensive dresses there's a good chance you'll be tempted to splurge!
7. Don't be scared of strapless! They can often provide more coverage than some of the deeper cut v-necklines. Most of the designers will also offer optional spaghetti straps that can be attached later in the day for dancing. Some girls have had custom wider straps made from sashes for a really unique look.
8. Consider Flair if you're looking for a fresh wedding gown! We have beautiful lightweight modern wedding dresses that are perfect for a more informal wedding or beach wedding.
9. You can change things up with bridemaid dresses in one style/complimentary colors or one color/different styles if your girls don't want to look identical.
10. It's never too early to start the process especially if you have a larger group! So make your appointments as soon as possible.


And I bet by now you're thinking "Who ARE Lindsay and Stacey?" and "How do they know SO much about bridesmaid dress shopping?" Well here they are, I made them pose for a little "action" shot checking the Flair appointment book. They're super friendly and knowledgeable about the dresses in-store and they're actually both getting married this year so they 're going through the whole wedding planning themselves!


And here's the all-important details:
Flair Bridesmaid Boutique is at 10 Newbury Street, Floor 4, Boston, MA
Blog: http://flairbridesmaid.blogspot.com/ check it out for great ideas on how to re-wear your bridesmaid dresses
Call for your appointment at 617-247-2828 or email boston@flairbridesmaid.com
Flair is closed on Monday, open 11 - 7 Tuesday - Thursday, 11 - 6 Friday, 10 - 6 Saturday and open two Sundays each month.

I actually heard about Flair Bridesmaid Boutique from one of my wonderful 2010 brides, Erin. Her bridesmaid dresses came from Flair and they were a beautiful blue/green silk design by Dessy:


So that's it from me for today! If you don't have your bridesmaid dresses yet, call up the Flair ladies and make your appointment tout de suite! And tell them you read about them here. And if you don't have a photographer for your wedding then email me at leah@leahhaydock.com or call me at 603-571-LEAH

If you'd like to catch up on some oldie but goodie vendor spotlight interviews from last year you can read about:
Eyelash extensions **here**
Uplighting and lighting design **here**
Video **here**
Make up **here** and an older one but still great recommendation **here**

Let me know your suggestions for other vendor spotlight interviews, I can't guarantee I'll have someone to interview (I only like to feature vendors I'd be happy to recommend) but I'll try!

2 - view comments for this post:

Neeta :) said...

Oooh, I'm in love with your colorful fabric photos of the skirts. Those are SO pretty! I *LOVE* the colors in the pink/purple one! Pretty pretty! I need an excuse to go dress shopping again!

Laura said...

great post! :)

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