Friday, January 29, 2010


I came across a post on one of my favorite local wedding blogs – The City Bride Blog - and thought that it is important that I share this.

Here it is!
A Note on Negotiating
This post is very straight forward and completely my personal opinion. If you don't wish to know how about I feel about price negotiating, come back tomorrow for The City's Best premiere.

An email from a vendor in the local wedding industry sparked my thoughts regarding the act of negotiating prices during your planning process.

Many brides are planning a wedding on a budget and I totally respect (and suggest) that. However, constantly asking for a discount is inappropriate. You may not realize this, but when you ask for a discount you are decreasing the value of the service that a vendor is offering and you are flat out suggesting that their service isn't worth the money. The conversation can become awkward and also puts the vendor in an odd position. You are asking them to quickly decide between cheapening their value and making a sale or standing behind the quality of their service.

Now, since many vendors do offer an off-season or a non-Saturday discount, there is a proper way to discuss the matter. Simply ask the vendor for their different pricing structures and you can do the math yourself. If you do happen to find a vendor that does offer a discount don't continue to try and talk them down. It's just rude.

So, the next time you are considering approaching the topic of a discount, keep in mind the proper way to do so and remember that it may lead to an awkward conversation.

As a boutique catering to brides our customers are constantly requesting discounts. So I thought this blog hit close to home for us. Our prices reflect the quality and value of our products. In addition these prices are required by the designers so there is not unfair competition in the marketplace. Finally, we have to pay our bills just like everyone else. We have overhead – rent, staff, heat, supplies, etc. etc. All of this plays into the factor of pricing. The prices aren’t there to rip our customers off. They represent the value of the product and all the hard work it takes to get that beautiful product into your hands. If there is a product out of your price range at the boutique we suggest finding something closer to your price range instead of requesting a discount. With ready-to-wear starting at $50 and bridal/bridesmaid starting at $140 we offer dresses in all price points.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fancy this. . .

Lucky Breaks
Well it isn’t all that surprising that Lucky magazine is one of my favorite magazines. If you haven’t seen it before it is basically a magazine about shopping and style. My two favorite things!  The magazine is filled with all sorts of styles & trends and where to find it all.  But if you head on over to the website – – you’ll find a ton of info from suggestions on where to shop in your fav city & online, to style advice.  And you can even shop on their website.

But my absolute favorite part is the Lucky Breaks section where you can sign up to win loads of items each month from makeup to shoes to shopping trips and more. I love it. Of course I have never won but have had friends who have and just having the chance to win a $2200 ring or $700 in makeup gets me excited. I don’t know why I am telling you this because that will decrease my chances of winning…but what the heck, I just can't keep this a secret! Good luck!

One of the giveaways this month - a $2200 ring!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dress of the Week

Designer: Jim Hjelm     Style: JH5002     Fabric: Silky Taffeta
Everybody has been calling about this style for weeks and it is finally here and one of our favorites! It is a strapless a-line cocktail-style dress with an adorable sweetheart neckline. The empire bodice with the pleated detail make this a great fit for all body types. And I love the silky taffeta fabric. If you weren’t a taffeta fan before this may change your mind. It is a soft fabric with a beautiful sheen and comes in some vibrant colors. Oh, it has pockets too (yay!) and will come with spaghetti straps for those that want a little something extra!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Inspired by . . .

Ciarla Jackie Dress
Fabric: Cotton Sateen
Color: Black with Gold Polka Dot Ribbon

Ciarla Black & Gold Cotton Sateen

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just in . . .

The classic collection from Ciarla has just arrived!  The photos do not do this collection justice at all so you definitely need to stop in and take a look.  Basically the collection consists of five different necklines paired with the same skirt (an adorable circle skirt, with pockets and a cinched waist). This skirt style looks fantastic on all body shapes.  The fabric is a luxurious cotton sateen and then the cinch waistband is made of ribbons!  Sooooo cute! You can select from polka dot or solid color ribbons. I adore the polka dots!  So for those brides looking for mismatched styles this collection is perfect. Plus the comfy cotton fabric and sweet pockets make it the perfect choice. Your maids will be smiling!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mismatched Bridesmaids

The trend of mismatched bridesmaid dresses has been around for a while now but I am pretty sure it is here to stay.  Your bridesmaids most likely do not have the same fashion-sense, and are probably not the same size with the same skin-tone so having your maids wear the exact same dress or even in the same color is not always going to work. Letting your maids select their dress in a style that suits their body type allows the girls to reflect their own individual styles and be comfortable in their selection.

Here are a few tips for pulling it off:
  • Decide how mismatched you want to go:
    • Different style dresses in the same color/fabric from a specific designer.
    • Different style dresses in different colors from the same designer.
    • Totally mismatched – any style dress, from any designer, in a specific color scheme.
  • Probably the easiest route is selecting the same designer and allowing the girls to choose a dress style from that collection. Because this trend is so popular you will have no problem selecting a designer and having a vast selection of styles to choose from. (Audey, Ciarla, and Siri collections make this process extremely easy!)
  • If you decide on a color palette but are letting the girls select any dress they want from any designer make sure to give each girl a color swatch to give them some guidance.
  • Fill your maids in on what details you prefer – short vs. long, taffeta vs. chiffon, prints vs. solids, etc.

    With the Ciarla collection you can select from six different bodices.

Bridesmaids wearing Ciarla.
(photo by Shawn Connell/Christian Oth Photography)

Each maid in the following two bridal parties wore the same color/fabric but different styles.
The dresses are by Siri.

Let your maids choose any of the Lela Rose crinkle chiffon dresses and they'll look adorable!
You could mix the colors up too!

With the Audey collection you can build your own dress.  So the girls can choose their top & skirt styles.  Plus there are a ton of fabrics to choose from, including prints & solids.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fancy this . . .

Free Stuff ! Giveaway at this weekends bridal show - Visit us this weekend at the Midwest Center's bridal show and you'll have a chance to win some cool stuff! 

Show Details
Hours: 11am-5pm Saturday & Sunday
Fashion Show:  Noon & 3:30 both days
Cost: $7 advance/$10 at the door (Miss Ruby has some comp tix so let us know if you need 2)

Here are some of the prizes we'll be giving away!

Bride Tank Top by Ruby-star

I'm Chic, Stylish & Engaged Notecards

You're the Most Beautiful Bride Ever Bubble Bath

Wedding To-Do List Notepad

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dress of the Week

Designer: Siri        Style: Vivien Leigh Dress        Fabric: Silk Shantung
Even though we’ve had the Vivien Leigh Dress since we opened it is one of our favorites. It is such a gorgeous dress and definitely a Siri favorite. The portrait collar and fuller skirt create a feminine and retro style. Plus the waistband flatters many figures. And it is perfect for any age – bridesmaids, brides and mothers love it! It comes in several fabrics and an endless option of colors and is pictured here in luxurious silk shantung. I can see this dress in just about any setting from a chic downtown wedding to a vintage affair.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just in . . .

The entire Spring 2010 bridesmaid collection from Alfred Sung is now in. There are 8 styles to choose from and you can do them all in peau de soie or dupioni fabric. So, that means you could let your bridesmaids choose among all the styles. So everyone will find a dress that fits them perfectly. Four of them are also available floor length and all of the dresses come in quite a color selection including some very vibrant jewel tones. And the best part . . . they are all priced under $175!







Coming up

Wedding shows, winter blowout sales, fashion shows . . . ahhh, it is that time of year! Miss Ruby will be participating in many events over the next few months. Visit us at any one of our wedding shows to receive show only promotions, visit our booth at the Boutique Blowout to save 50%+ on all sorts of fabulous dresses and accessories, check out some of our newest dresses at one of our fashion shows, or just stop by to say hi. Here is what we have going on over the next few month. We hope to see you there!

Wedding Planner & Guide Bridal Show
January 23-24     11am-5pm     Midwest Center, Downtown Milwaukee
Fashion Show at Noon & 3:30 each day
(We have a few comp tickets left so let us know if you’d like a pair!)

Boutique Blowout
January 30     10am-4pm     Atwater Elementary School, Shorewood

Save 50-75% off dresses, gifts and accessories from Miss Ruby! Other participating boutiques include B'Tween Friends, Flaire, Lela, Molloy's, Shoo, SHOP, & Valentina. $5 admission benefits the Shorewood D2D Athletics Initiative. (Note: Cash preferred. Not all vendors will be accepting credit cards.)

Married in Milwaukee
February 7     Noon-3pm     Broadway Paper, Third Ward  Milwaukee

Wedding Show & Tell
February 21     11am-3:30pm     Milwaukee County Zoo’s Peck Center
(Fashion show time TBD)

Event Showcase
March 13     Time TBD     The American Club, Kohler


Friday, January 15, 2010

Why do bridal sizes run so small?

Why do boutiques "make" brides order larger sizes? Is it true that they try to make money on alterations? This is always a touchy subject. Nobody wants to order a size 10 when they wear a size 4 in ready-to-wear.
I know a lot of us out there think that bridal boutiques are "making" you order larger sizes so they can make money off of the alteration costs. I can't speak for the other boutiques but since we do not offer alteration services I can promise you that is not what we are doing. And I can explain how the system works and why we encourage you to order the sizes that we do. That might shed some light on why bridal sizing doesn't always match up with what you typically wear in ready-to-wear apparel and why alterations are sometimes required.
Each wedding dress manufacturer has their own size chart. And they are all different! It would be great if there was a standard size chart used for all manufacturers...but unfortunately there is not. So you may find yourself ordering a size 10 from one designer and a size 6 from another.
Also, some of the bridal size charts are based on the standard measurements from years ago. Throughout time the fashion industry decided that they would use smaller sizes for vanity purposes. Let's face it...we know we do it...if we are fitting into that size 0 that we normally never would we end up buying it! So this is what many designers have done - it is called vanity sizing. And many bridal designers have not changed their size charts to reflect this. So in ready-to-wear what is now a size 0 for some designers used to be a size 4. But in bridal it is still a size 4.
Okay, so here is how the bridal sizing process works:
  1. You are measured - this usually requires measuring the fullest part of the bust, narrowest part of the waist, and fullest part of the hips.
  2. Your measurements are then compared to the designer's size chart.
  3. The boutique recommends the size that you should order based on your largest measurement.
For example, if Jane's measurements fall into a size 8 for the bust, size 12 for waist and size 8 for the hips Jane would probably require a size 12. If she orders a size 8 to fit her bust and hips the dress will be way too snug in her waist and will not zip up! Of course, this is if the style of the dress is fitted at the waist. The style of the dress should also be taken into consideration when determining the dress size. If the dress Jane was ordering had an empire waist she may be okay with ordering a size 8.

At Miss Ruby we want you to be comfortable with the size you are purchasing so we make sure to explain to you where exactly you fall on the size chart, what size we recommend and why and where you'll most likely need alterations. Since most bridal & bridesmaid gowns are made-to-order and non-returnable you definitely don't want to order a dress that is too small.

So here are a few things to keep in mind when ordering. If you take all of these into consideration when ordering you will know what to expect when being sized and what you'll get when the dress comes in!

Since everyone’s shape is different most girls don't fit perfectly within the size charts. That is why alterations are sometimes needed.
  • In most cases your dress is ordered based on where your measurements fall on the size chart - not custom made to your exact measurements.
  • All dress designers have different size charts.
  • Make sure that the style of the dress is taken into consideration when determining your dress size.
  • Be aware - ask to see your measurements as well as the size chart.
  • Ask questions - if you are unclear on why we are ordering the size that we are ask for an explanation.
  • Most respectable boutiques are on your side - they want the dress to fit you perfectly and want you to have the minimal amount of alterations possible. The staff is educated on how to size you appropriately - so have trust in them.
  • Make sure to listen – the consultant will explain to you why they suggest ordering the specific size. Listen up so that when your dress arrives and alterations are needed you are not surprised!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fancy this . . .

Sex and the City 2 Movie Trailer - check out the movie trailer for a peak at this stylish sequel!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dress of the Week

Designer: Siri       Style: Sweetheart Tea Dress       Fabric: Party Eyelet
The Siri Sweetheart Tea is just a precious little dress! I adore it and if I was getting married again this would be the dress I would wear for my garden wedding. It is a nice and simple cotton dress. Very easy to wear, super cute and the eyelet fabric adds a little touch of whimsy. The a-line skirt and slight sweetheart neckline will flatter pretty much anyone! It comes with a white sash but you can always order an extra sash in just about any color. Adding a petticoat to this dress could add some fullness and color as well. And because the dress is tea length you can show off some super sexy heels!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just in . . .

The Watters & Watters Spring 2010 bridesmaid collection has arrived! I’ve never been more excited for a new season than for spring 2010. All of the designers have really amped it up and have introduced innovative new styles, practical details (think pockets and smocked backs) and vibrant new colors. Watters & Watters is no exception. They’ve added some new styles and colors in the popular silk crinkle chiffon fabric. Check out the racer back dress (first pic below) in the stunning Nile blue. Love it! Some of the dresses (including the pink dupioni dress, and blue taffeta with flowers below - second & third dresses below) include smocking in the back. This means fewer alterations! With a stretchy back the dress stretches to fit, so you are less likely to have to alter the bust. Brilliant!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bridesmaid dress remix

Watters & Watters Silk Crinkle Chiffon Dress
Our mission today is to ease your stress and calm your nerves about dropping your hard earned cash on a bridesmaid dress, and show you how to wear one great bridesmaid dress to more than just a wedding.

This Watters & Watters cocktail length bridesmaid dress is perfect for several different looks. Take a glance at ours. What is your favorite look?

The top left and bottom right looks are perfect for a trendy, yet casual look. The white sweater, skinny belt, and brown boots act as a great way to play down the fancy dress, creating an overall playful and fun look. As we look to the bottom right, the casual shirt paired with the same brown boots allows for the bridesmaid dress to have functionality.

The remaining two looks, top right and bottom left, are great for any party. As for both looks, the dress can be tucked into any high waist skirt. The top right is slightly more sophisticated by finishing the look with a sleek black skirt. Just add a couple of fun accessories (we added a black headband) and you’ll be looking your best for a night out. Lastly, we brought in the element of color contrast to create a playful party look. Look to the bottom left, and you can see that adding the orange pumps acts as a contrast to the purple dress and black flowered skirt, creating a look that is entirely different from the others.

Which looks would you wear? What’s your favorite?

PS - Thank you to the lovely girls downstairs at Beauty Salon for helping out with hair and makeup for our model. Laura Holterman is responsible for the nails and makeup, while Carmen Rubio styled the hair.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fancy this . . .

Yosi Samra Ballet Flats – These adorable ballet flats available in a variety of colors in leather, metallic & suede are foldable, super lightweight, and come in a handy pouch. They are perfect for tossing in your handbag and throwing on your feet when you just can’t bear to wear your heels any longer. Or for the wedding day when those heels get the best of you; just grab your flats out of your cute little clutch and you’ll be ripping up the dance floor in comfort (and cuteness)! And they are only 55 bucks. I love the Rose Gold Leather pair!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just in . . .

The Lela Rose Spring 2010 Collection has arrived! With sweet and romantic styles in crinkle chiffon, cotton faille and even wool/silk gauze the dresses are more feminine and romantic than ever. This collection of designer dresses is of course perfect for the bridal party wanting something romantic and feminine, but it is also great for anyone in need of a fabulous designer dress at a great price. The collection is far from looking like bridesmaid dresses. And Lela Rose ready-to-wear dresses retail for $1000+ at Neiman Marcus & Bergdorf Goodman.  But the bridesmaid collection is only priced at $250-350.  So if you want a designer dress at a great price make sure to snatch one up!


Dress of the Week

Designer: Alvina Valenta     Style: 9990     Fabric: Duet Satin
This chic cocktail length bridesmaid dress is far from your typical bridesmaid dress. It is perfect for those wanting something that doesn’t look like a bridesmaid dress and that looks great on all body types. Every girl that tries this on looks amazing because of the fit of the higher waistband and the pleated sheath skirt. The skirt has side pockets (yay!) and the dress is available in over 50 colors. Plus you can order the dress in a solid color, two-tone, or even three colors as pictured. This is definitely one the girls will wear again. I promise!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

New year, new blog

New year, new blog! Our blog has slowly evolved over the past year or so to include everything from real wedding photos, to tips and trends for bridal parties, to updates on events and new store items.

But for 2010 we'd like to offer you an even better blog! We'll be blogging every day of the week (Monday-Friday). So make sure to check in everyday and you'll find everything from inspiration boards, updates on new arrivals, bridal & everyday style trends & tips, to wear again styling ideas for your bridesmaid dress, Miss Ruby customer photos, & even a bridesmaid 101 series!

So check back tomorrow to see what's up next!