pastel dress party toronto

Toronto startup makes ordering custom dresses easy

Shopping for a bridesmaids' dress is either exciting or harrowing, depending on your outlook. But a new Toronto startup is aiming to take the time and guesswork out of the process by offering dresses custom-made to your measurements in a variety of styles - no more trying on threads and tangling with sizing and alterations.

Pastel Dress Party is the creation of two Toronto women (themselves former bridesmaids) who wanted to make dress shopping for weddings (and proms, and any other occasion you can think of) simple and affordable.

"Buying dresses off the rack was always a hassle," says cofounder Janny Lam. "You could never find exactly what you wanted, and the cost of the dress and alterations, on top of all the other expenses associated with being a bridesmaid, add up. We saw what options the groomsmen had for buying custom suits online, and just didn't get why women couldn't get the same treatment."

On Pastel Dress Party, dresses in more than 30 styles - from long, elegant gowns to modern, wearable frocks - are available in as many as 35 colours, depending on the design of dress and fabric used). "Since our dresses are all made unique to each bridesmaid, we can cater to many requests - for example, adding straps, a belt, or changing the length," Lam says. Buyers can plug in their measurements, with detailed measuring instructions provided on the website.

The finished dress will be on your doorstep in 30 days or less, and a $20 alterations credit is provided if you still need more tweaks. It's a far more individualized option than many bridesmaids' shops, whether online or brick-and-mortar - and more wedding-ready than other players in the space like eShakti. Lam says for many of their customers, this is the first time they've had a dress custom-made for them - but the pricing ($160-$215) puts that luxury within reach.

Since launching in 2013, they've grown into throwing pop-up events (their first was held in Toronto last month) which connects them face-to-face with happy brides and bridesmaids. "Brides put a lot of thought into their wedding, and we like to think of ourselves as a company that helps bring their dream wedding into reality."

Pastel Dress Party will be presenting at the March 9th Toronto Tech MeetUp. Toronto Tech Meetup is the heart of Toronto tech where you can connect with smart, fun, creative people from across Toronto's tech community. Other presenters this month include: Sensibill, Top Hat, Tab Payments and RateHub. Find out more or book your ticket here.

Photo courtesy ROKChoi.

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