One of the many joys of having a friend who is getting married is being able to visit bridal salons that I’ve only read about. Asian Elle Woods, who you know well if you follow my personal blog (2010 recap: she’s graduated from law school, gotten engaged and passed the bar – woo!) started her dress shopping at the Amy Kuschel store in San Francisco. Her second trip, and the first trip I made with her, was to Washington, DC’s Hitched.
Hitched is located in Georgetown, a fitting location for this hip bridal boutique. All of the dresses are on the floor, which takes the edge off of worrying that there is a perfect dress in some mystery vault that your consultant isn’t thinking of. Given how small the store is, they have an excellent offering of dresses, both in terms of price point and style. Featured designers include Adele Wechsler, Amy Kuschel, Amsale, Anne Barge, Anna Maier/ Ulla-Maija, Christos, Jorge Manuel, Judd Waddell, Lela Rose and Modern Trousseau. In addition, their day-to-day stock is augmented by regular trunk shows.
Asian Elle planned our visit around a Modern Trousseau trunk show, and had her eye on one special traveling dress (a dress I will happily share with you next Fall). Asian Elle had decided that she wanted a trumpet silhouette with lace and still, Hitched had plenty of options. Our consultant was very friendly and did a great job of being enthusiastic without overselling. She sat down with Asian Elle, took note of what she was looking for and then walked us around the salon to see what caught our eye. Once we had collected about eight dresses, we headed back to the dressing rooms.
Each of the dressing rooms is divided into a curtained off changing space for the bride (which I imagine is appreciated by brides who don’t wish to be naked in front of their shopping companions) and a comfortable, well-appointed seating area for her party. The two back areas are entirely private, but there is one area where the group seating, the mirror and the pedestal are viewable from the sales floor. These areas also get a tiny bit of traffic as consultants and brides need to walk through here in order to get to the back rooms. The consultants at Hitched keep this to a minimum but I would suggest that someone shy ask for a room in the back when making an appointment.
Our consultant quickly slipped Asian Elle in and out of various dresses (as we ooo’d and ahh’d) and offered some helpful insights (“This one can come with a sash,” “We can bring the neckline up on this one,” “This is a really pretty bustle”) without over-inserting her opinion. One of the unforeseen bonuses of visiting the store during the trunk show was that Modern Trousseau’s designer Callie Tein was present and buzzing about the store. From the moment Asian Elle tried on the Modern Trousseau traveling dress it was the dress to beat, but once Callie poked her head in and gave her stamp of approval, there was no turning back. From the way Callie talks about her dresses it is clear that each design is a work of love, and each detail a work of art.
While this should have been our “Say Yes to the Dress!” moment, Asian Elle wanted to take some time to think about it before putting her credit card down. Our consultant was supportive (even if she did keep reminding us that we’d miss out on the 10% discount attached to the trunk show) and encouraged Elle to come back.
Overall, a great experience. Definitely a good place to shop whether you’re just getting started or are near burnout. Plus: they have a bridesmaids boutique upstairs!