PIOL custom made dress (c/o) // Zara leather jacket // Julie Lopez flats (c/o) // Celine sunglasses // Tumi tote (on SALE! c/o) // Vanessa Mooney double cuff // Nashelle custom name cuff (c/o)
You know when you find that one dress that, that diamond in the rough that fits better than anything you’ve worn, and you think, this makes me feel great when I wear it? There’s a chance you had it altered to fit to you, like say a wedding dress. Why can’t all dresses recreate that feeling? That’s probably because you’re buying off-the-rack. Unlike celebs, who often have their dresses custom made for them, or at the very least, altered to fit them perfectly, we all can’t be that fortunate when we’re seeking out the perfect dress to wear to say, a wedding, an event, or even to work. Nowadays, we tend to buy a bunch of dresses online or from a store after seeing it on a model or in a catalog and we take a chance that it may look just as good on us.
As a stylist, I know what you see when you’re shopping online is not necessarily what you’re getting. I almost always have to pin, clamp, and sometimes work with a tailor to make the clothes fit the models properly. No “body” is the same perfect shape and neither is one garment in a store.
That’s why I was thrilled to hear about the game-changer dress company, PIOL, which throws back to the old days of when dresses were made to measure. The process is seamless (no pun intended) and incredibly easy because it’s all online and you can basically design your new dress in minutes. The last time I had a dress from scratch made to order for me was for my prom, and that took months between sourcing fabric swatches, many fittings with lots of changes. It was my dream dress for then and if it still happens to fit, I would still wear it. I’ve also had a bespoke suit made to measure for me while in Vietnam last year and it’s my most favorite pieces in my closet. What I’m saying is custom dresses are always worth the investment for your wardrobe because they’ll always look good.
The first step to ordering your custom dress is to find your coloring, so based on your hair, skin, etc. they will only show you colors and fabrics that work well with you. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see this one I’m wearing or another on the site when you go to design yours.
Second, you choose your silhouette that flatters you most. I went with a nipped waist, which is always flattering on me, but they have so many that work for every shape, size (0-22) and even age. It’s a great idea for the alternative to the typical bridesmaid dress—and one that they would actually wear again because it’s unique.
The next step is to choose your fabric. They’re all imported and beautiful so you can’t go wrong, but I went with this floral design because I wanted something that was different from my usual all black daily uniform and would work for the brunch following the chateau wedding I went to in France, but sadly showed up to when it was nearly over because we sat by a bonfire until 5am. I ended up wearing this dress while touring Monet’s gardens in Giverny, which was casual enough to stroll around in and blend in with the floral dream-like scenery, but then take it to dinner in Paris after our day trip.
Lastly, you can put on the finishing touches, including your measurements. I went with buttons, which I tend to wear more than anything because there’s nothing sexier in a garment to me than a few buttons undone. I loved the vintage tie neck design which has a lovely nod to my favorite decade, the 70’s, and can be undone for a more casual look, like seen here, or tied up for a more prim and proper look, ideal for family occasions.
The only remaining wish for my perfect dress is that I would have liked to have chosen the length, so I could have gone a few inches shorter or maybe even tea length with slits on the sides. Until I can design every aspect of my perfect dress online, I will have to settle—which is hardly settling at all—for this dress that is made to order just for me and only me.