Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Trip To Kleinfeld Bridal

So the whole reason why I recently went to New York City was to help my sister with her wedding dress fitting.

Last August, she ordered a dress from Kleinfeld (yes, the shop from that TLC show) and was told that it would be in by mid-April. So we figured that me taking a mid-May trip made sense. You know where this going right?

I arrived in NYC on Thursday, May 12, and at that time, there was no dress. My sister made one last desperate call to Kleinfeld the following Friday morning and oh yes, they were just going to call her because the dress was there. But the earliest they could get her in for a fitting was mid-June (which was bumped to early June when my sister explained she was leaving the country for her wedding in mid-July).

So for a while there it looked like I wasn’t going to see the dress. But Saturday morning, after being coached by me on what to say to hopefully secure one of Kleinfeld's “emergency” spots (and I know they have these spots because I’ve seen them referred to on the show), my sister called the store again. Unfortunately she just got the answering machine. So things continued to look bleak.

But then my mother called. She’d talked to someone at Kleinfeld and had managed to get us a viewing (though not a fitting) for that afternoon. Yeah!
Yes, the girl on the show was trying
on a "Pnina", similar to this

So off we went to one of the world’s most famous bridal stores and yes, they were filming Say Yes To The Dress when we were there. But no, we’re not on it. The filming was only taking place in the show room and if you don’t have an appointment, the most you can do is poke your head inside that room, which, just like the lobby, is not as classy or as elegant as I had imagined it would be.

But anyone can head down to the basement, where the fitting rooms are, along with a small collection of overpriced shoes and other accessories. This is a pretty small space and again, it’s not as elegant as it could be (Toronto's White was noticeably nicer).

But while Kleinfeld was a bit of a letdown in interior design, it did have amazing service, once we were inside the store.

The woman manning the fitting area desk was very warm and even though we were just doing a viewing, we were assigned a seamstress who explained what alterations needed to be made and helped us pick up a veil.

Even though we were being “squeezed in”, the experience never felt rushed and while we did have to wait a bit to get our room, it was only about a 10-15 minute wait, which considering the store had over a 100 appointments that day, is pretty good.

If I lived in or around NYC, I would check out Kleinfled because it does have the largest selection of dresses in the world. But I would be reluctant to be a Toronto resident and buy a dress from there, given the store’s deadline issues (plus there’s the hassle of getting your dress over the border).

Also, while you don’t have to get your dress alternated there; alterations are a big part of the store’s sell and the way Kleinfled’s does it is that you pay a hefty, flat fee and then get as many alterations as you need. This is great if you live nearby and have a dress that needs lots of changes but obviously isn’t that practical if you live in another country.

As for visiting Kleinfled’s just for the sake of visiting it, I’d say pass. Sure, if you’re in the area I guess it wouldn’t hurt to pop in and check out the few dresses displayed in the lobby but again, unless you have an appointment, you’re not getting into the showroom (and even then, the bulk of the dresses are in the backroom). And while the accessories section did have some pretty items, none of them, least of all te Jimmy Choos, were cheap.

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