Amsale Bridal Trunk Show at Nitsa’s

Join Nitsa’s for a bridal trunk show featuring Amsale’s spring 2015 collection in our Winston-Salem location on December 19-29 or our Charlotte location on December 31-January 3, 2015.

Photo courtesy of Southern Bride and Groom

Ethiopian-born American bridal designer Amsale Aberra’s career as a couture bridal gown designer began in a very personal way. In 1985, while planning her wedding, Aberra scoured the stores to find a simple, refined wedding dress. She found little in the way of clean, sophisticated gowns and discovered an untapped niche in the bridal market. Aberra placed an advertisement for custom-made gowns and started her business out of her New York City loft apartment.

Today, Aberra is a leading designer in the world of luxury bridal gowns, and her design signatures are instantly recognizable. Her approach is to create stunning, simple gowns that fit the modern woman. Her design philosophy is to take a “forever” modern approach to sophisticated design. Her designs are seen as modern while still keeping in mind traditional designs, such as her use of “illusion” necklines.

Amsale wedding gowns have been featured in several television shows and movies including Grey’s Anatomy, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, 27 Dresses, American Wedding, When in Rome, and The Hangover.  In June 2011, WE television aired Amsale Girls, a reality show taking viewers behind the scenes of Amsale’s Madison Avenue flagship salon—featuring the highly skilled bridal consultants who work to help each unique bride find her perfect dress. Celebrity clients include Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Heather Graham, Lisa Kudrow, Katherine Heigl, and Heidi Klum.

Aberra also has a regular column, “Ask Amsale,” on The Huffington Post website where brides and brides-to-be can post questions for her or express their love of her gowns. Aberra expresses her love of finding the perfect gown for any bride and asks real brides to submit photos of themselves wearing her creations on their wedding days to her website.

Call 336-725-1999 in Winston-Salem or 704-940-1999 in Charlotte for an appointment to see Amsale’s spring 2015 collection.

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Trunk Show at Nitsa’s

Join Nitsa’s on December 19-20 at our Charlotte location or on Saturday, December 27 at our Winston-Salem location for a bridal trunk show featuring designer Monique Lhuillier.

Monique Lhuillier designs capture the essence of sophisticated luxury by provoking the femininity, allure, and glamour that have made her renowned in the world of design.

Monique Lhuillier’s love for fashion has been a lifelong passion. Growing up in the Philippines, Monique’s early experiences with fashion took place alongside her mother whose own sense of personal style and elegance were major influences on the designer. At a young age, she moved to L.A. to attend the Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and to foster her craft.

The delightful fantasy of special occasions, especially weddings, has always inspired Monique. While studying at the FIDM, her natural inclination towards bridal and evening gowns led her to her niche. It was also during this time that she met her husband, Tom Bugbee. In 1995, while searching for her own bridal gown, Monique was surprised by the lack of fashionable bridal options. This void in the market reignited her passion to create couture bridal gowns that transcended styles available to women in search of the perfect wedding dress.

In 1996, Monique debuted her first bridal collection to acclaim from retailers and magazine editors. The following year, Tom joined the company as CEO and turned Monique’s vision of a couture design house into a reality. Their partnership has grown the business into one of the most successful brands internationally—a brand which now includes a ready-to-wear collection and an array of licensed categories.

Monique has dressed celebrities and notable political figures including First Lady Michelle Obama, Kristen Steward, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, and Drew Barrymore.

Call 336-725-1999 in Winston-Salem or 704-940-1999 in Charlotte for an appointment to see Monique Lhuillier’s spring 2015 collection.

 

 

Deciphering Holiday Dress Codes

‘Tis the season for endless invitations. There are formal balls, office parties, neighborhood gatherings, church socials, family get-togethers, and more happening during the holidays, and with each invitation comes a specific dress code. Invitations may state “cocktail attire,” “black tie only,” or “business casual.” Or a new trend is “festive attire,” a holiday dress code so vague that guests aren’t sure what to wear!

Here is a handy guide to help you decipher holiday dress codes and find the perfect outfit to wear to all of your holiday gatherings.

Black Tie – This is code for a formal event. Men should wear tuxedos and women should dress in full-length, elegant gowns or shorter formal dresses, but stay away from mini-dresses. If the invitation specifies “Holiday Black Tie,” women might want to wear a great red dress with a beautiful wrap, a beaded bag, and dressy pumps.

Creative Black Tie – This still requires formal dress, but attire can be a little trendier and more fun. Some creative suggestions for women might be dressy black pants with a silky or sequined halter top and fancy heels, a satin ball-gown skirt paired with a bejeweled sweater set, or a modern cocktail dress. Men can go with a more modern tuxedo or a dark suit and a fun tie.

Cocktail Attire/Cocktail Attire Festive – Women can show off their knee-length party dresses paired with sexy sandals or even tailored pants with a silky or beaded top. A little black dress is always a good choice, and then you can add interest with accessories such as heels in a festive color, a faux-fur wrap, or statement jewelry. Men can wear dark-colored pants with a dress shirt and tie.

Festive Attire – Dress for the holidays! Add a bit of holiday color with reds, greens, silver, or gold. Dresses or silk or satin tops with beading or sparkle are perfect for this occasion. Men can add some holiday color with their shirts or even festive ties and dark pants.

Business Casual – Your outfit should communicate professionalism, especially if the event is a workplace function. Women can wear khakis, pants, or a skirt with a dressy T-shirt or sweater. Stay away from anything too revealing such as spaghetti straps or tank tops or super-short mini-skirts. Men should wear slacks or khakis with a collared shirt; ties are optional.

Casual – This typically means anything goes, but still dress with some sense of decorum in mind. Pull out that nice pair of jeans and pair them with a nice shirt or sweater. Make sure shoes for both women and men are nice and clean—leave the sneakers and flip flops at home.

Whatever the dress code, remember you are still going to a holiday party, so dressing festively is completely acceptable and even expected.

Guidelines for the Pregnant or Post-Pregnant Bridesmaid

You’ve just announced your engagement and chosen your bridesmaids, when one of your bridesmaids says she has news of her own to share—she’s expecting!

While fitting a pregnant or post-pregnant bridesmaid can be tricky, it’s not impossible. You can still make sure her dress is in line with what the rest of the bridal party will be wearing while ensuring that she will feel comfortable and pretty.

Tips For the Pregnant Bridesmaid

Depending on how far into her pregnancy a bridesmaid is, there are many dress options. Typically, the bride makes the decision when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, but a pregnant bridesmaid should discuss her needs and wishes with the bride, so she can be both comfortable and stylish for the wedding.

Pregnant Bridesmaid

A woman’s body goes through many changes when she is expecting a baby, and these new body measurements should be considered when selecting a dress, as well as how they will change leading up to the wedding. Generally, bridesmaid dresses are ordered five to six months prior to the wedding. Because a pregnant woman’s body can change rather drastically during this time frame, it’s a good idea to wait until as close to the wedding date as possible for your final dress alterations.

Usually, if a bridesmaid is up to four months pregnant, a standard dress can be ordered in a larger size to match the rest of the bridal party. If a bridesmaid is further along in her pregnancy, the best alternative and most flattering style is a dress with an empire waist. If your bridesmaid will be more than six months pregnant, there are many maternity styles available to choose from that allow for more room in the belly.

For the Post-Pregnant Bridesmaid

Post-pregnancy offers similar challenges in that a woman’s body is going through many changes including weight loss and an increase in bust size if she is breastfeeding. The rate at which a woman loses her pregnancy weight varies greatly for each woman. If your bridesmaid will have just delivered at the time of your wedding, she can expect to be the same size that she was at five months pregnant, so the tips recommended for this stage for pregnant bridesmaids can apply.

There are two options that are recommended: (1) estimate and order the dress a couple of sizes larger than what your bridesmaid is wearing and have it altered if closer to the date it is needed, or (2) wait and order the dress as a single order at a later date than the rest of the bridal party. With the second option, however, it is important to keep in mind that many bridal stores may not offer the group discount since it’s a separate, single order, and there may be additional rush fees depending on the time of order. You should ask what the latest date is that you can do a separate order if you chose to go this route and what any additional costs may be before making a decision.

If the wedding will be a few months after your bridesmaid’s due date, she may be tempted to order in her pre-pregnancy size, but it’s better for her to order a size or two above to be safe.

It’s much easier to take dresses in than to let them out.

Nitsa’s 50th Anniversary Celebration to be Held December 4-6

Nitsa’s will celebrate 50 years with a special in-store celebration on December 4-6, 2014, at their Winston-Salem store.

Visit Nitsa’s anytime throughout the weekend when they will be holding several special sales and promotions as well as exciting prize drawings.

Customers can enjoy classic Greek food such as delicious pastries as well as mimosas and wine. Nitsa’s will offer 30% off all items during the weekend with the exception of a select few pieces and bridal attire. Customers will also receive special goody bags with cosmetics and other surprises.

All customers who make a purchase during the celebration will be entered to win a $500 Nitsa’s shopping spree. Other drawings will also be held for customers who participated in past events such as the October scarf sale and the November jacket sale. These customers will be entered to win a $150 gift card.

Follow Nitsa’s on Facebook and Twitter for more opportunities to win. Facebook fans can share their personal Nitsa’s stories in the “Why are you a fashioNITSA?” contest and be entered to win a $200 Nitsa’s gift card.

Nitsa’s will also be holding flash sales throughout the weekend with up to 50% off, so be sure to follow Nitsa’s for these announcements on social media.

Nitsa's Anniversary Weekend Drawings and Promotions

And remember that through Nov. 29, Nitsa’s is also holding its annual Food for Families sale. Bring in five cans of food or make a $5 donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NC and receive 20% off your purchase.

Don’t miss out on Nitsa’s 50th Anniversary Celebration—it’s our way of saying “thank you for a fantastic 50 years!”

Nitsa’s to Celebrate 50 Years

Nitsa’s is excited to be celebrating 50 years of exceptional personal service and high fashion.

Nitsa Bambalis opened her first Winston-Salem store, Nitsa’s Fourth Street Tailors and Alterations, in 1964. Word of the shop spread quickly, and her store became well-known for providing expert alterations and custom-made clothing for women.

In 1979, the shop moved from Stratford Road and changed its name to Nitsa’s Apparel and Alterations. In 1987, Nitsa’s son, George, joined the business and built a new 5,000 square-foot space. The store significantly expanded its offering of women’s fashions.

Exterior of our former location on Stratford & Healy (1987)

Then in 1995, Nitsa’s moved to its current location at Stratford Place. With 10,000 square feet, they added a cosmetics department and a full-service bridal salon featuring renowned bridal designers. A recent addition is Nitsa’s shop-within-a-shop, Fashionista, known as the Triad’s alternative for contemporary clothing. The shop is currently undergoing more extensive renovations.

In 2003, Nitsa’s opened a second store in Charlotte at Phillips Place offering the finest selection of designer couture bridal gowns, social occasion dresses, and cocktail dresses.

With 50 years of experience, and as one of the nation’s leading retailers, Nitsa’s offers its signature personal service and professional alterations in an environment where customers can truly “expect the exceptional.”

Join Nitsa’s on December 4-6, 2014, for their in-store 50th Anniversary Celebration featuring special sales, prize drawings, gift bags and more. Follow Nitsa’s on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Debutante Season: Rules and Rituals

Debutante season is upon us: a time when young women don their white gowns and are presented to society.

The formal debutante ball is usually held right around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, when young women are home from college. These formal events call for a certain etiquette for the debutante, her escorts, her family, and guests.

Dress Code

The proper attire for a debutante is, of course, a white gown with a full skirt. Dresses must be pure white, with no other colors. Off-white or cream is not acceptable. While the dress may be adorned with a few white crystals or lace panels, most debutante ball committees prefer for the dresses to be as plain and traditional as possible.

Choose appropriate accessories to go with the dress. A young debutante should have, at the minimum, a pair of long white gloves and white satin shoes with proper heel height. Proper heel height is determined by the final length of the gown and the height of the debutante.

Guests at the debutante ball should be dressed in their finest formal attire. Women should select a formal gown for the occasion, and men should be dressed in a tuxedo. Black tie is standard.

Entrances

A debutante ball begins with a grand entrance by the debs. The debutantes are assigned two male escorts who will accompany them into the main ballroom. They will then bring the girls to the front of the room or, in some cases, up onto a stage where they are introduced and must perform a special curtsy known as a Texas Dip. All other attendees are expected to watch the events and applaud when appropriate but otherwise remain silent.

Dinner and Dancing

After the entrances, a formal dinner is held. Proper manners should be used at the dinner table, such as laying the napkin on your lap and placing it on the table when you are finished eating. Take small bites, do not talk with your mouth full, and use the correct silverware for the corresponding course. Speeches may take place after dinner, at which time attendees are expected to stop eating and listen quietly. Once dinner is finished, there is usually dancing for all guests.

Gifts

Guests are not expected to give gifts to the debutante. However, if guests wish to do something, sending a bouquet of flowers to the young lady’s home prior to the event is most acceptable. Parents or grandparents of the debutante may wish to present their young lady with a keepsake gift, such as a strand of pearls, diamond-stud earrings, or an engraved piece of jewelry—it should be a classic gift that the debutante may wear throughout her life and that commemorates this special event.

Something Borrowed

The wedding tradition, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” represents four items that are tokens of good luck and carry special significance for the bride and her new journey. Originating from a charming Victorian rhyme, these small personal treasures are typically unique to each bride.

The “something borrowed” part of the saying symbolizes borrowed happiness. It relates to a happily married friend or relative, in the hope that her good fortune will be passed on to you. It’s also been suggested that borrowing something means you can rely on your loved ones for support in your new life.

There are so many different things you can incorporate as your “something borrowed” on your wedding day, but often, this is the one that stumps a lot of brides. So get started by first looking to your mother, grandmother, or other female relatives.

The most popular way to incorporate something borrowed is with the bride’s wedding attire. It may be wearing the wedding gown, garter, or veil that your mother or grandmother wore, or a borrowed veil that you use to create something fresh and modern. Another idea is borrowing a piece of jewelry from your mom or grandmother that holds a special significance. For example, maybe she has the earrings or necklace that she wore at her wedding.

Something Borrowed- earrings

Borrowing something from your matron of honor is also a wonderful way to acknowledge your love and friendship for her. Nothing is more touching to a beloved friend than reusing a part of her special day in your very own wedding.

Don’t forget about your dad either. You could borrow one of his handkerchiefs or even one of his ties to wrap around your bouquet.

Get creative! “Something borrowed” doesn’t always have to be something the bride wears or even a tangible object. Using your grandmother’s china at the wedding reception or as wedding decor is another way to incorporate special family memories into your wedding. Or how about dancing to the same song for your first dance that your parents or another couple you admire did?

Whatever you chose for your “something borrowed,” make the most of the tradition by choosing something meaningful to you and your new journey.

Have a Spooktacular Halloween Wedding!

Would you dare get married on the scariest day of the year? October is a popular month for weddings, and many brides choose to have a Halloween wedding date. You can incorporate a Halloween theme without sacrificing elegance. Skip the costumes and go for elegant accents, fall-themed dishes, and scary cocktails.

Here are some ideas to incorporate just a little spooky into your wedding day:

  • Create invitations that convey the theme of your wedding using elegant or gothic script on black or orange and black backgrounds.
  • If you want guests to come in costume, formal attire with masquerade-style masks will keep it elegant and less kitschy. Halloween Wedding
  • Opt for a beautiful black wedding gown or if you still want to wear classic white, add a few touches of black, such as a sash or black veil.
  • Decorate with fresh pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns and lots and lots of candles in all sizes.
  • White gauzy fabric over tables and stair railings adds a spooky touch.
  • Choose fall-colored flowers for bouquets and floral arrangements or select black-dyed flowers for a more gothic look.
  • Dress up tables with black candles and china over black and white tablecloths.
  • Serve your guests dark, stormy cocktails, such as blood red sangria with a black licorice straw.
  • Give guests Halloween-themed treat bags with favorite candy treats.
  • Serve a few selections of pumpkin-flavored foods.
  • Have a trick-or-treat candy buffet with candy jars decorated in a spooky motif.
  • Have fun with a Halloween-themed cake topper, such as a bride and groom skeleton, vampires, or ghosts.
  • Many bakeries can also make a Halloween-themed cake. Red velvet cake is a popular choice for a Halloween wedding or traditional cake with dark chocolate accents.

The possibilities for a Halloween-themed wedding are endless; just be sure to decide how much of the theme you want incorporated into your big day—just a few touches or an all-out Halloween extravaganza!

Hot Trends in Bridesmaid Dresses

What’s Hot in Bridesmaid Dresses?

Forget taffeta, bubblegum pink, and poufy sleeves – those styles of bridesmaid dresses are a thing of the past. Current trends in bridesmaid dresses are chic and flattering for all body types.

You’ve selected special women to be your attendants so you should choose dresses that make them feel special. Here are a few of the latest bridesmaid dress trends that are hot right now:

  • Bold and vibrant colors – No more “blush and bashful” pinks or pea greens – when it comes to selecting a color for your bridesmaid’s gowns, think bold and vivid hues like plum, fuchsia, coral, or even bright yellow.
  • Short and Sassy — Rethink tea-length and longer dresses and go for shorter styles, in above-the-knee flattering lengths.
  • One-shoulder dresses – The latest trend is asymmetrical details like one-shoulder long or short dresses.
  • Mismatched gowns– Who says all your bridesmaids have to look exactly the same? Your bridesmaids will appreciate picking out dresses that flatter their body types. You can choose one color in different styles or chose varying shades of one color.

    Hot Trends for Bridesmaids Dresses

    Bride Kayla Olsen looks stunning in her wedding gown from Nitsa’s and her mismatched bridesmaids dresses really complete the look!
    Photo by: Audrey Snow of Audrey Snow Photography

  • Lace – Lace dresses or details add a touch of romance and interest to a monochromatic gown.
  • Pretty backs – Just like trends in wedding gowns, designers are focusing more on the back view in bridesmaid dresses. Details like keyhole, illusion, and gorgeous ruffled backs are all hitting the bridesmaid dress scene.
  • Two-tone – Black and white two-toned looks are modern and an interesting twist on monochromatic styles. And a classic look that your girls might actually wear again!

Choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses is a notoriously hard task but by incorporating some of these ideas, you can select a dress that will make your attendants look fresh and modern. Your bridesmaids will thank you!