Saturday, 31 December 2016

Something Peridot Bridesmaid Dress Review

I have featured in my fair share of bridal trains in my lifetime, at least i can recall about 18 off the top of my head, so you can say i'm well versed with the bridesmaid world and the drama that typically comes with it. This was the major reason i opted for having no bridal train for my wedding, i had enough on my plate to deal with while planning my wedding without the extra stress. 
I had happily bowed out of being a bridesmaid for the rest of my life, after my friend ND's wedding in Feb, 2014. ND bought our bridesmaid dresses while abroad and it cost N15,000. It was a gorgeous dress and thankfully i have been able to rock it on several occasions after the wedding, unlike your typical Bridesmaid dress that is banished to the back of your wardrobe, taking up space and never to be worn again.
You can therefore imagine my dilemma when my close friend called me to be on her train, she explained that one of her bridesmaids had to opt out because she was preggers and she'd love to have her friends around her on the train, how could i say no to her?! I agreed and asked how much the dresses were, she said N40,000, i gasped and immediately wished i could backtrack or opt out but it was too late. The amount is the highest i have ever heard for a bridesmaid dress in my life, i'm told it's even an affordable price for your typical Lagos dressmaker/designer. I honestly did not have that kind of money to spare at the time and told her, she told me she was just informing me and payment wasn't going to be made straightaway, all i needed to do was send in my measurement.
I asked for the name of the person making the dresses and she said 'Something Peridot' (Peridot Official on IG). I looked them up immediately on IG searching for a justification for the cost of the dress (fabric, unique styles, etc.) and couldn't find any. There was nothing extraordinary about the pictures, the dresses in them looked well finished and fitted but the styles were not out of this world. I figured i'd been out of the bridesmaid game too long and did not know how things were done anymore. I eventually sent my measurements sometime in September according to the measurement sheet provided and i sent my payment early November as requested. Once all that was done, nothing about the dress came up, i did not get to see the style, sketch,etc. and just trusted that the bride-to-be had chosen a style she wanted us to wear and everything was going according to plan. We discussed Hair styles, Shoes, Jewelry and Makeup which is the norm for bridesmaids.
December arrives and i have added some inches since sending my measurements in September. Most of the other bridesmaids on the bridal train with me were from out of Lagos/Nigeria but made it down for a fitting. I was unfortunately unable to make the fitting 'cos I was stuck in the airport for 7+hours on the day everyone went for the fitting (Tuesday, Dec. 27th). I quickly informed the group that i had to get fitted and asked if alternative arrangements could be made 'cos i had added weight and the dress might not be my size if it was a fitted dress (remember i did not have a clue the style of the dress). 
The store-owner informed them that they would be closing for the year by 1:00pm that day and all her workers would be in Ogun State afterwards. I found that surprising 'cos she was well aware of the date of the wedding (Dec 29th) and knew most of us were from out of town and will require some form of fitting, it was also not a public holiday or a weekend. It definitely will not have been asking too much to have someone available a day to the wedding or on the morning of the wedding to address any issues that may arise. If this couldn't be done, the bride should have been informed way ahead of time so we could all find our way to Lagos earlier to be fitted or find an alternative. 
I also did not have getting fitted in mind when i booked my flight, i actually thought the fitting would be done a day before the wedding (Wednesday, Dec 28th). I had planned to fly into Lagos, visit some friends and just chill before entering bridesmaid mode before i got the message while at the airport that they were having a half day and would close for the year afterwards. 
It made no sense to me for the amount that was paid, even my local tailor who charges me wayyyy less  (I'm talking as low as N5,000 sometimes, depending on what he's sewing for me) makes sure my outfit is well fitted on me regardless of schedules because his name/business is at stake. He knows how important it is that his client looks good in his outfit 'cos that is how he gets referrals.
I finally got to see and try on the dress on the night of Dec 28th when we were all at the hotel and though i had been told the dress wasn't exactly a beauty to behold, i honestly did not expect it to be that bad, especially the Zip. *SIGH*
It was a simple monostrap dress that we should all have been able to rock at the wedding and even afterwards.
Everyone tried their best to censor their comments on the dress so as not to hurt the bride's feelings or make her feel some type of way. My dress was understandably tight as i couldn't get fitted but i did not understand why all the other bridesmaids who had made it to the fitting still had issues, some even had new issues they did not have prior to the fitting. It's either proper notes of the adjustments needed were not taken or her tailors just did as they pleased without supervision.
The bride mentioned that the style of the dress was not even what they agreed on, the dress was not supposed to be as fitted as it was, but since i never saw the sketch i won't dwell on that. 
I was told the owner of the store had an attitude and wasn't open to suggestions to help solve the issues with some of the dresses as follows:
1. A bridesmaid suggested that my dress be made a bit looser than the measurement i sent in 'cos it'd be easier to take the dress in to fit me than if i couldn't get into the dress at all. I think that was a very good suggestion as i could have found a tailor for that easily. I heard the store owner shutdown the suggestion and said i had to be there to be fitted even though they had explained to her that i was stuck at the airport and could not make it due to flight delays.
2. A bridesmaid had the issue of the dress lining being too tight and she was told to rip the lining open to fit into it O.O I don't know about you but i'd expect more care for a dress that cost N40,000.
I believe sizing, length and fit of the dress are contingencies that should be planned for especially when the bridesmaids you are catering to are not in your city/country and have to send in their measurement. It is always safer to add extra inches to the size and length of the dress, so when the person is physically present you can fit it to their perfect size. Afterall it is easier to take in and shorten a dress than to open it up and elongate. 
3. When she was told my dress wasn't my size and asked if anything could be done-maybe recommend a tailor we could go to or something like that-she said the best she could do was come on the morning of the wedding to help zip me into the dress (she mentioned her child was ill so the conversation was cut short with no solutions offered to the problems mentioned).
I should add that a friend who had worn a 'Something Peridot' dress on another bridal train had nothing good to say about her experience either. She told us that the store-owner had an attitude to her clients and after performing her bridesmaid duties she ended up leaving her bridesmaid dress on the hotel room bed (that's how much she disliked the dress). She said if she had known much earlier she would have advised us to use a different Brand.
My major issues with the dress and service from Something Peridot:
1. The store-owner was not the nicest nor willing to go out of her way to provide support and wasn't open to suggestions either as mentioned above. I don't understand why. All the bridesmaids (the clients) are hardworking grown women who paid for their dresses with their hard-earned money and have come together in the best interest of the bride. The money is income for the business so what would it hurt to give good customer service?
2. Some Adjustments to be made after the fitting session with the other bridesmaids were not done: 
a. Two Bridesmaids had their boobs 'spilling out' the side of the monostrap dress and had to keep adjusting it at intervals. It was so bad that a church attendant mentioned it and said they should cover up properly with their scarves. We ended up using a pin to make one of them fit better after the church ceremony.
'Spilling Boob' situation 
b. The Chief Bridesmaid had 'extra hips' on her dress before the fitting and it was never fixed. She mentioned this over the phone to the store-owner and was told to iron off the hips, that obviously did not work.
c. A bridesmaid did not have any hook added to the top of her zip to help secure the dress properly even after this was brought up during the fitting
d. Another bridesmaid ended up with her dress too tight after the fitting
3. The finishing of the dress was tacky, moreso for the amount it cost: 
a. The 'Exposed Zip' was an absolute eyesore (She said the bride approved of it but i'm sure it was  probably based on the store-owner's advice), that was the 1st thing that caught my eye as out of place when i saw the dress. It was obvious no thought was put in the color of the zip against the dress and it looked nothing like the images of exposed zips i saw when i googled the term. Several people asked about it as well, as kindly as they could. My local tailor laughed out loud when i showed him the picture and asked for his opinion.
b. The thread  used in the sewing of the dress was visibly different and peeking in some areas (maybe its just my OCD)
c. The hemming of the dress was not done in the slit part of the dress and the one at the bottom of the dress came apart for most of us after church ceremony. The slit of the dress also started ripping upwards.

4. The dresses were not ironed as they should have been with a steam iron 'cos of the type of fabric used for making the dress and when the Chief Bridesmaid brought it up the store-owner made it seem like a non-issue, afterall its just ironing ba. Nobody was ready to risk burning the dress by ironing it themselves and we had to wear them like that, thankfully it wasn't too noticeable in person and pics.
5. When it was time to pick up the dresses, i was told the store-owner kept repeating that she wasn't going to release the dresses until her balance was paid and she did not say this in a 'give me a second let me finalize with the bride on how to get my balance, then i can release the dresses' type of way. It's not a crime to ask for your balance when you have completed your work but she could have easily picked up the phone, asked the bride about it and sorted it out without making the bridesmaid that went to get the dresses feel uncomfortable.
Only one bridesmaid seemed to have no known issues with her dress after the fitting.
Let the quality of your business/brand speak for itself.
If the dresses were nice and looked great on all the other bridesmaids that were fitted, i would have looked for an alternative way to fit into the dress but I honestly could not wait to get out of the dress, which i eventually did after dancing into the reception venue with the bride.
Another bridesmaid also changed out of her dress because the slit had ripped open, she was fitted and hadn't had the dress on for up to 4 hours (she did not get to dance into the reception with the rest of us).
At least 4 of us on the bridal train are potential clients lost, talkless of us not being able to recommend or refer the brand to anyone due to the service we got.
No matter how Insta-famous or connected you are you need to have good customer service, strive to always make a good 1st impression. 
I did call the store-owner of 'Something Peridot' and let her know how we felt about the dresses and overall experience with her service. She apologized and immediately said she was sending a refund, i should send my account details and drop off my dress at their store. 
I had not called with the intent of getting a refund or anything like that, the whole experience just did not sit right with me and i made it clear to her it was not even about the money paid anymore. She however insisted on sending a refund and she sent me the full refund for the 6 dresses N240,000. 
I contacted the bride and told her about our conversation and the refund, the bride asked why she sent the refund since we had already used the dresses and the ceremony was over and i let her know i did not ask for it or expect it, i had called strictly to give feedback and to let her know i would be reviewing our experience with her.
The bride said she would speak with her and that i should transfer N200,000 (without my N40,000 payment) to her and drop my dress for it to be returned to Something Peridot, which i did. 
The Bride eventually sent back the N200,000 to Something Peridot and that's that about that.
Don't get caught up in the hype.
We will look nice in the pictures (if you use your Instagram Zoom feature, you will see some of the flaws, despite the filters used), 'cos we all posed at angles that were flattering and did our best to hide the flaws of the dress (i doubt you'll find any professional pics showing the back of the dress) plus the photographer was good at his job. 
However the experience we had with the dresses and having to manage them to make our friend happy will stick with us for a long time and honestly bridesmaids shouldn't have to be put in such a position after committing their time,money and energy to being a part of their friend's special day. 
We are lucky to be living in a time where we can capitalise on social media and use it to promote businesses but no one can deny the power and impact of an outfit speaking for itself (people complimenting you, asking where it was made and for a contact because of how good it looks on you), referrals, recommendation, feedback and word-of-mouth which was how most businesses made their name back in the day. 
Feedback/Positive Criticism is crucial to the growth of any business/brand.
This review is to help other brides-to-be & bridesmaids make a somewhat informed decision when selecting a dressmaker/designer instead of falling for the pretty Instagram pictures and ending up let down. 
I believe as Nigerians we need to do better with reviews, if you had a bad or good experience with a product or service (salon, dressmaker/designer, makeup artist, etc.) write or talk about it (give feedback), it will help other customers know what to expect and make informed choices and ultimately the business owners will have to improve their standard. 
We settle too much and this is why we are handed the mediocre for over-the-top prices. Any Brand that wants your hard-earned money should be able to meet up with the expected quality & service delivery. 
Buying Nigerian shouldn't mean compromising on quality. 
We could have easily gotten a great ready made dress and had it fitted to our individual sizes for way less than £100 which is the approximate equivalent of what the dress cost.
I don't know if our experience was a one-off (maybe too many orders, December holidays, workers acting up, etc.) and if the store-owner usually puts out better dresses & service than what we got but all it takes is one time to make a bad impression and your brand/business pays for it.
I am officially done with being a bridesmaid in this lifetime and sadly i would not recommend the 'Something Peridot' brand.
I'm glad and relieved to put this entire episode behind me, thankfully i still had fun at the wedding after changing into another dress. The experience was unnecessarily draining and i felt bad the bride was dragged into the discussion  after the wedding on our feelings about the dresses 'cos of my call to the store-owner and the refund made.
On a lighter note check out this YouTube Video on Nigerian Tailors.
I hope there is a resolve to do better in 2017.
Please Share it! :)

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you write and share your niche! Very interesting and different! Keep it coming!
    Bridesmaid Dresses


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