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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Death of Petticoats?

I am having the hardest time finding a local supplier for Petticoats. I am hearing a lot of people who used to sell or make them have closed from dress suppliers. I guess people no longer wear them, except for weddings. My mother-in-law mentioned when she was growing up they were very popular. Of course pants were not allowed in schools for girls until she went to college, so everyone was wearing skirts and dresses. Petticoats give such a wonderful fluffy look to dresses!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dressy Girls & Safe Internet Searches for Flower Girl Dresses

I was talking with a customer who is buying some dresses I believe for her daughter's wedding, and she mentioned how during her search a lot of sites of the wrong kind came up. Dressy girls was one she mentioned. I am not sure what search engine she was using, since the quality does vary. If you have no interest in that type of site, it should not come up. How frustrating for people just looking for girl's flower girl dresses

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chinese Dress Design

Some Chinese Dresses have zippers on the back, which is so convenient! Unfortunately some others use the frog buttons, which are not so easy. They look the same, but the ease of putting them on and off is very different.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Putting On A Prom Face

Putting On A Prom Face - Cute article talking about the transformation of little girls into Prom Queens with the addition of a little make up.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In Mexico, a baptismal party to remember

In Mexico, a baptismal party to remember from the LA Times. 200 people attended the baptism in a poor village. Great article to read.

I recently started stocking some dresses for Baptism. White white dresses with lots of pretty details.
Girl's White Organza and Satin formal dress
Girl's beautiful White Organza and Satin sleeveless formal dress with lace detail at waist
List Price: $48.00
Our Price: $39.99
You Save $8.01!

The dress features a white satin top, a gathered skirt with a wide white lace cumberband in front and a white satin bow in back.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wedding Dress Trends

Reem Acra is a bride's best friend from the NY Post. She has a famous store in NY that specializes in Bridal Gowns.

Color is in per the article. Lots of blue, green, and lavenders.

I only have Lavender in an Ao Dai. For Green I have Sage, Girl's beautiful sage sleeveless formal dress. And for Blue, a Girl's beautiful Blue sleeveless formal dress.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dress Selection Advice

Bye-Bye Slutty Prom Dress from Mom Logic. They have pictures of 27 dresses you would not want your daughter wearing, as well as some great advice on how to talk to your daughter.

The basic idea is put the monkey on your daughter's back (verbal judo). Have your daughter answer the question of what type of image is she projecting, what will other people think of the dress, and is this what she wants them to think?

I like the Father suggestion, my husband looks at dresses very differently than I do. Of courses at times I get a bit tired of his sarcasm on dresses I am trying on he does not like... But for some reason his sarcastic comments stick. Like the one time he called a cute purse a saddle - he is very imaginative, sometimes too much!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

UK Prom Dresses

The closet thinker: best prom dresses from the UK Telegraph Newspaper. Per the article prom's are now moving to the UK. Interesting colors - emerald green, lemon yellow, and rose pink.

I wonder if rose pink is like my Girl's Dusty Rose dress, or my Sage girl's dress seems to be an in color, and just plain girl's yellow dresses are popular.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ao dai drawing contest for children launched

Ao dai drawing contest for children launched - what a neat idea! They have a pattern of an Ao Dai, and they get to color it. Hmm...

My associated site that sells Learning Chinese Books & DVD's has a Free area with Chinese themed drawing for kids.

I wonder if I should do the same with an Ao Dai? Ray makes a face every time he sees the bandwidth charges for the free downloads :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Package Arrived!

I am so glad it arrived for the little girl in time for her play. It arrived at 7:45AM, just as they were starting to look through old clothes. I have a nice picture I will upload tomorrow. She was playing a Chinese Princess and bought a blue girl's dress with an empire waist. Looks great on her!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

15+ Online Tools For The Perfect Prom

15+ Online Tools For The Perfect Prom - Nice listing of online resources. EliteDresses does not sell Prom Dresses, since we only go up to size 16. We focus more on Flower Girl Dresses. It's interesting to see the styles of the prom, especially what colors are in.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Customer Service - Why Me?

A customer needed a girl's dress next day for a performance for her daughter who has the lead character. So I dutifully shipped it out getting it to the Post Office by the needed time yesterday. I use USPS because of the cost difference (FedEx/UPS are double). I don't think customers want to be charged $60 for next day, where I currently charge $30.

Then I got a call from the customer today at 5PM their time on the East Coast, 2PM my time. They have not received the dress yet. So I call the Post Office help line that you need to go through a frustrating menu that is voice driven. If I was not a lady, I would use a word that starts with H to describe it. Voice H***. So I finally get a person and explain the situation. The answer, sorry, there is nothing I can do. After 24 hours of the promised delivery time I can open a ticket. Since it's Express, it does not go through the local post office. I explain there is a little girl who needs this for a play at 9AM tomorrow morning. He explains after 24 hours I can request refund. I comment back this does not help this little girl get her dress. I ask him to do what he can.

I then call the customer and explain the situation. She then mentions some services have Early Morning delivery. I look at FedEx's site and find one for $94 or so dollars, but it will be there between 6AM-8:30AM. So I go down to the local FedEx and mail the package at my cost.

I am going to complain to the Post Office on this and my local congressman, I don't appreciate my customers being made to go through this. If they pay for next day, they should get next day. The answer I got from the Post Office that they could do nothing about the order surprised me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Reduced Shipping

I just reduced how much I charge for Next Day to $29.95, saving $7. A customer ordered a Girl's beautiful Blue sleeveless formal dress for a play their daughter is in. Another Dress I shipped out next day was a Girl's beautiful sage sleeveless formal dress. Both customers loved the dress prices.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

VN designer working on ao dai for Miss Universe

VN designer working on ao dai for Miss Universe

This should get some great publicity for Ao Dai's! I believe most people have no idea in the US what an Ao Dai is, so with Vietnam hosting the Miss Universe contest and having on Ao Dai's worn by all the contestants, this will be great publicity.

More Resources on Ao Dai's"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bridesmaid revisited

Cute article from Canada - Bridesmaid revisited about how Bride Maid dresses are becoming something you can actually use after the wedding.

I do need to get the film 27 Dresses about a lady who has been a Bride's Maid 27 times, with 27 horrible dresses. The reviews on Amazon range from wonderful to horrible. It is PG-13. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 39 out of a 100.

For my dresses for Flower Girls, they can be used for other things. My goal is beautiful dresses at a fair price. Prices start at $24.99 and my most expensive dress right now is $39.99 that I just got in with lots of fancy details in White that should be good for First Communions and Flower Girl's.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Prom Night - What not to do

Skimpy Prom Dress Lands Teen in Cuffs

Sad with all the work that had gone into the custom made dress. I understand both sides, the school that is trying to keep some standards, and the young lady who created her own dress for wearing to the prom.

The comments are a good read.

The color of the dress is a bright yellow and orange dress, that are fashionable colors this year.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dress Up - Thinking of New Items

I may add some robes that have a slightly Asian Theme to them. People who are doing dress-up parties might want to consider them. Of course once I stock them what people actually buy them for will probably be 100% different than what I thought :-) That's what is so exciting about running a business.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vietnamese fashion needs 5-10 years to reach the world

Interesting article about Ao Dai's - Vietnamese Dress.

Vietnamese fashion needs 5-10 years to reach the world. There was a trade show in Japan where Ao Dai's were very popular.

The Miss Universe Pageant will be held in Vietnam which will give a lot of publicity for Ao Dai's

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dress Sizes - Frustrating!

It's strange, but over the past 20 years I weigh a little more now (just a little). But, I wear the same dress size. Hmm... Could it be that dress sizes have increased? I have noticed in buying clothes they very from one chain to another. I have heard that Nordstrom's sizes are bigger than other stores. And of course they vary from style to style.

Unfortunately I have the same problem, especially with the Girl's Chinese Dresses and the Vietnamese Girl's Ao Dai's. That is why I measure them and put that in the description. The sizes run to the small size. So until I manage to have my own dresses made for the Chinese and Vietnamese styles, measurements work best.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

David's Bridal - A Visit

$100 and up for Flower Girl Dresses! Wow! I stopped by a David's Bridal today, I have seen their advertisements and I wanted to compare my flower girl dresses to theirs. They had nice dresses, but the prices! And the ones I looked at were all made in China! The dresses were all white for Flower Girl's (I have a new one, I just need to post it).

My comparison:

EliteDresses.com Flower
Girl Dresses
David's Bridal

White, Sage,
and more!

$24.99+ $ 100+
Made In USA China

There were some positives. Staff was very nice, lots of dressing rooms, so many dresses, nice catalog, but the price!
And they offered financing with no payments for one year. Of course if you
bought my girl's dresses you would not
need financing because of their much lower cost :-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother Day Pictures

Nice set of tips for taking a good Mother's Day Photo. Suggestions were keep it simple and have the tops match.

Related photography observations. A customer just picked up some dresses for a wedding for their flower girl's (they had family near Rowland Heights, so I said OK. I usually just ship everything out to make life simple). They were surprised at how sparkly the Girl's beautiful lilac sleeveless formal dress is because of the Organza. Organza is this thin net that this dress has on the skirt, that is so hard to show in a photograph! At least for me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Article I had my daughter read

Risky Business: D├ęcolletage At a Work Dinner from the Wall Street Journal. It's about how women are judged by what they wear, even at a social event associated with work. I am amazed by what some Mother's let their kids wear for formal events at school. The dresses are just not appropriate often for that age. My daughter's middle school graduation was an example.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chinese Wedding Cakes

I was speaking with a customer tonight and discussing cakes, specifically Chinese Cakes for a wedding. Chinese cakes uses a whipped cream frosting instead of butter cream, and are not as sweet. Common cake types are chocolate, coffee, and white. Fillings include mango, peach, strawberry, and mixed fruit. Some places also offer Durian (Jack Fruit), it's smelly, but some people say it tastes good.

In the San Gabriel Valley Van's, a Vietnamese Bakery that does Chinese style cakes is well known. A wonderfully looking French Style bakery (bit pricey, but the quality) is R.J. Patisserie. Good Chinese Bakeries are JJ Bakery and NiNi Bakery (used to be called Ruby Bakery). JJ Bakery has locations in Irvine, Arcadia, Hacienda Heights, Torrance, and Rowland Heights. NiNI has another in Hacienda Heights.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

NO DRESS EXCESS | Maid of honor, groom, even bride mindful of prices

The economy is having an impact - an article from the Chicago Sun Times - Price check on walk down aisle.

A couple of friends of my mother-in-law looked at my site and wished they had known about it before their wedding for the flower girl dresses. The burgundy girl's dress and Lilac girl's dress were favorites.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

: Speed Dating Eclipses Parental Matches in China

Interesting segment I heard on my local NPR Station on the way to work: : Speed Dating Eclipses Parental Matches in China

Of course they did not mention the Chinese Wedding Customs, and how these have changed with the times.

slips and petticoats

Slips or petticoats are great for your dress to give it more body. They help puff up a dress. A full slip hangs from the shoulder, and one from the waist is called a petticoat.

Monday, May 5, 2008

YouTube of Customer's Performance

From Gabby - my girl's trio performance with your outfits..which also got good reviews.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Airbrushed Photo's Backlash

A scary article about The Backlash Against Magazine Airbrushing | Newsweek Enterprise: Global Business | Newsweek.com. So basically every model you see in a magazine has been changed, so they are no longer real Great quote: "Those young kids looking at the magazines, they're dreaming of something that doesn't exist," says Philippe Paschkes, a Manhattan stylist and makeup artist who has worked in the industry for 30 years.

Photoshop is so seductive. To fix the red eye in a family photo is seen as a fix, not changing the photo. The question is when does it become deceptive? With Girl's Dress Photo's the color is so important. The problem is it's hard to capture the exact color. It varies depending on the lighting and some cameras are better than others at taking photos. A sage girl's dress is hard to capture that it's a soft green. I don't even want to talk about Organza, and trying to capture the fine net in a photo. Dusty Rose is another challenging color to capture. And then people's monitors show colors a little bit differently! I do adjust the color to make it as true as possible.

I have learned so much about photo's and I have actually gotten compliments on my photography. I like to get as many photos as possible of a dress on the product page, so it shows all the details.

When EliteDresses.com gets larger, I plan on asking Julie Diebolt Price to do the product photographs. She does beautiful work! www.jdpphotography.com 714.669.4537 and has a great tagline - "More Than Just a Shot in the Dark".

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Weddding Planning via Polling

Ido - With online polling, brides-to-be are turning to a new type of wedding planner -- a few hundred of their closest friends

Nice idea that can be useful, but I don't think it would result in an A+ wedding, but probably a strong B. Sometimes polls lie and also result in mediocrity. Asking the right questions is important, and so difficult. As is having the right vision. Sometimes you get into a group think situation, which results in the wrong answer being selected such as Choosing a Flower Girl. Like so and so becomes the flower girl, even though she is totally unsuitable.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Season's Colors

This season's hot colors are bright per two articles I just read Mixing patterns is easy from the Chicago Tribune and Gretta's Got It! Season dresses from Channel 7 Boston. What the articles miss is the symbolic meanings of colors.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Prom 101

Interesting article Prom 101: Everything you need to know about the big night, but after reading it it's a different world than what I am selling. The most popular colors are turquoise, pink and orange. Of course there is a regional difference on the colors people prefer, so in Florida those colors may be more popular than in other areas of the US. Per my page on colors and their symbolic meanings, Orange is usually a Fall Color. Orange is a combination of Red and Yellow, so it's a very vibrant color.