Ironically, this was both the very first and very last shop we tried and where we ended up getting THE most beautiful dress. Don’t be fooled – this small shop houses a treasure-trove of dresses, which can be altered or tailored according to preference. If you give them enough notice, they can also create something specific – so be sure to take your ideas with you in case you’d prefer to have something made. The quality is exceptional, as is the fabric – I have no doubt that the resulting dress will be worn for years to come!
Divas by Design
Operating by appointment only, Divas by Design is another excellent venue to try. The fact that you have their undivided attention, means that you can take your time and tap into their wealth of expertise and knowledge. They have a large collection of stunning and affordable dresses in every style, (from little black dresses and cocktail dresses to dresses embellished with sequins and lace), colour and length.
Bride & Co
Don’t be fooled, Bride & Co is not just for bridesmaid dresses! If you’re looking for something short, rather than the traditional long dress, then choose from their selection of cute cocktail dresses. Or, if traditional is what you want, then browse through their huge variety of long dresses available in many different styles and colours. Do book a fitting to avoid disappointment.
Simri Bridal Boutique
Simri Bridal Boutique can make your dream dress for you – either to hire or to buy! they also have a wide selection of bright and vibrant dresses, and an on-site seamstress to discuss any design requirements that you may have in mind.
Dresses By Roxanne
This Northriding studio will design and make a one-of-a-kind dress from start to finish. We love the fact that they will work and adhere to your specific budget, and aim to make all shapes and sizes look their absolute best. Their website is an excellent starting place to see the types of dresses they have made for previous customers, and they are renowned for quality items and excellent service.
The Dress Suit
This one is for the guys! The Dress Suit offers gentlemen an outstanding selection of tuxedos, tails, formal wear and accessories (cumber bands, waistcoats, cufflinks and handkerchiefs) for hire. Choose from designer suits from Christian Dior and Yves St Laurent, and have them tailored by their experienced tailors to find that perfect fit. There is also a made-to-measure service available if you are looking for something different.
With an extensive range of dresses to suit your shape and size (available from sizes 6 to 18), including Faviana and Jovani dresses from New York, Just Gowns offers you stunning dresses to “borrow, party, and return“. Their policy of not allowing an identical dress to be duplicated at your matrix farewell means that you don’t have to worry about someone else turning up in “your” dress! By appointment only.
Misteeq in Alberton is another unsung hero that deserves a spotlight! Operating by appointment only, the team will take their time helping you choose the perfect dress to suit what you have in mind, your colour of choice, and your particular body shape. Appointments are available from Monday to Friday (9am to 4pm) and on Saturday (8am to 12pm). The store is also one to bookmark for wedding dresses and other evening dresses down the line!
Young Designers Emporium
This budget-friendly option is every mother’s dream with affordable alternatives to high-end price tags. We found a couple of front-runners that were ruled out only because they were too similar to what other girls would be wearing on the night. It’s touch-and-go as to what dresses will be featured each time you visit, but it’s a highly recommended first port of call!
There are a number of stores that are well worth the visit – each with its unique style of dress! The selection at each shop was a lot smaller and more limited than other stores we visited, but the styles of dresses were so unique and completely breathtaking that we’re convinced some very lucky girls will find their dream dress in one of them!
Know of other great spots to shop for your son or daughter’s matric dance not mentioned above? Let us know below!
Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.