All gowns are designed and made to order here in the Bedfordshire studio, and are only available via personal fittings, as this is made to measure, bespoke service, mail order is not available.
Due to the time consuming nature of producing couture wedding dresses, they will never be as inexpensive as high street shops,( No sweatshop cheap labor outside the UK here!) however having a dress or corset made just for you is a unique experience allowing total control over every small detail of your gown, as well as the perfect fit that no off the peg gown can offer you.
Simple Gowns consisting of a plain corseted bodice and straight skirt start from £2,200. All quotes include fabric, but prices will change accordingly if the fabric, shape or details are changed from the original design fabric. Fabric prices may vary, but the main cost of the gown is the making time, all items are hand designed , cut fitted and sewn and finished.
All gowns prices are quoted on a individual basis after a consultation to choose the style, fabric and decoration.
Generally, the average price of Gowns Uptight makes is between £2,600- £3,300.(slim skirts) and £3,500-£4000, (full skirts) with more elaborate full skirted Gowns with decoration and jacket are priced from £4000+.
Please don't be put off by the prices, if there is design you like and you think it may be over your budget, please email or call Janice, it is possible that a design can be made to suit your budget, we try our best to accommodate as many budgets as possible, within reason, as stated above, gowns start from aprox £2,200, for a plain corset and simple skirt.
All quotes are for made to measure, including all fabrics, fittings. And everything you will need, from a wooden hanger, dress bag, pressed before it is taken home, and very offen dressing on the day, and Janice's ironing the dress if needs be in the day. There are no alteration fees, as the dress is made to fit you, it is not altered from a standard size. You will not need a bra or basque, as all the gowns are corseted, giving full bust support to all bust sizes.
As a guide,the most popular styles;
A straight skirt, and corset/embroidery and sleeves like Dragonfly start from £2'600.00.
A fish tale skirt/trumpet/draped front, with corset/embroidery and jacket/ sleeves, like Isis, Dragonfly Pale, Moonspell start from £2'800.
A gown like Tamsin or Forest, a full skirt and corset, with pattered fabric or embroidery and cap sleeves starts from £3'300-£3600.
A full skirted gown, with corset, embroidery and decoration,with sleeves and bolero jacket,like Dragonfly Queen/fullmoonspell... start from £3'800.
The most expensive ones tend to be a full skirted gown, with embroidered corset, embroidered skirt and full Victorian style jacket or full length coat, as this pretty much doubles the work load, prices starting from £4'000+.
Yes, it is more expensive than the high street, but we hope the unique quality of the design, fit of the gowns themselves and the personal service provided will speak for it's self, failing that...heres some customer feed back...
'If you want to quote me for publicity purposes, please do – I am only too happy to sing your praises. You’re not cheap, just very, very good. As my grandmother used to say: “Beauty lasts long after price is forgotten” and I am going to looking at my wedding photos in that dress and smiling for a long, long time.' Tania , real bride.
And the long...
'The Uptight wedding dress experience (and why I’m so happy with the price of my dress)'
Firstly if you haven’t read 'Why so expensive' on the FAQ page...go back and read it. This is a follow up to that! I’m a real Uptight bride. I wanted to write this for no other reason than to share my own positive experiences with Uptight clothing and to help future brides to make up their mind about their wedding dress. I was quite frightened about choosing my wedding dress, I’m 5’ 10”, busty, broad-shouldered and had been told that my wedding dress hunt might be more of an ordeal than a joy. Not long after Phil had proposed I found myself wandering into a bridal gown shop near to where I live. It was mid-week, so they weren’t busy, and I thought I’d pluck up the courage to make an appointment. When I walked in one assistant was having a cup of coffee and tidying her enormous oak desk. The other shop assistant was hoovering the carpet. Neither of them even acknowledged me or asked if I needed any help. When I asked if I could make an appointment to try on some dresses, the one with the cup of coffee looked me up and down and said “We are awfully busy this time of year, perhaps you could make an appointment another time”. They wouldn’t even give me an appointment. I felt terrible. I now look back on that moment and feel I should thank them, without their insulting attitude I wouldn’t have scoured the internet, found Janice’s website and I would not have had the amazing wonderful journey in creating my dream dress.
The start of my Uptight journey I live over 150 miles away from Janice’s showroom, but decided to visit her one summer day, “just to see”. My fiancé drove, but he wandered off for a walk while I tried things on. I deliberately wanted to be on my own, so that I didn’t get caught up on other people’s opinion. I needed to know how I felt in the dresses not just how I looked, and no one but you knows how you feel. If you are nervous about dressing in front of someone, or if you are shy, you have nothing to worry about with Janice, she is very patient, kind, and discreet whilst helping you into the gowns. We started with a corset which was too small for me, just to give me an idea. I’m sure it must have looked ridiculous from behind but it looked great from the front view and gave us a starting point. Again don’t be embarrassed, Janice is very discreet and you will not feel self conscious. I can’t remember how many gowns I tried on in the end, but Janice was great and guided me through. This was genuinely a lovely experience, no stress, no pressure, no pushing; just lovely. Once we had an idea of what sort of shape corset and skirt I liked, we then started laying various different fabric samples over the top of the trial gowns. I had pretty much decided on a two tone gown (being tall I can get away with it), but I really hadn’t decided which shade of blue or purple or burgundy I might go for with my antique ivory skirt. No matter at this stage. Janice and I then sat down and started to design my dress. I had quite a few ideas too, and had brought some sketches I had done. Do not worry if you are not artistic, Janice is brilliant at interpreting your ideas; you won’t have to draw too! I also had some weird plans too. I wanted an artist’s palette and a microscope (I’m an art teacher and Phil is a scientist) embroidered somewhere on the dress. Phil had proposed under my favourite tree in our garden, and hid the engagement ring in one of the knots. I wanted that tree embroidered somewhere too. The whole thing could have ended up being a complete mess, but Janice started interpreting my ideas straight away to give me an idea of what could be achieved. At this point, I must explain, there is no obligation, no hard sell, she is simply showing you what might achieved if you go ahead with it. There is absolutely no pressure – this is important to stress as you may think that with so much time spent in you might feel obligated. Honestly, this was just a fun chat with Janice drawing out some plans.
Making the decision; writing the cheque. Later that week Janice sent me everything I needed to help make my decision. She sent a drawing of the dress, some photos she took of me on the day trying on the most successful gowns (you won’t be allowed to take your own photos, so this really helped), some fabric samples (as I still hadn’t decided on my colour) and of course the contract and the price quote. I was going for something quite elaborate, full skirt with train, fully embroidered corset and a jacket with full length sleeves. My price quoted was £3200. The deposit you pay is 50% of the full price. Wow. I gulped. I was past my price range. I am 39, getting married for the first time, and paying for the dress with my own money that I had saved. So why did I gulp so heavily? That was same amount of money my car cost! The most expensive item of clothing I had in my wardrobe was a velvet jacket from Per Una at £120! How on earth could I spend this amount of money on a dress? A dress I would wear just once, for one day. Here are a few thoughts that might help you if you feel the same way. Brides often don’t disclose how much they spent on their dress, and a couple of friends of mine divulged that their wedding dresses had actually cost more than that! They were indeed beautiful dresses, made from beautiful material, but they weren’t made for them, to their exact specifications. I needed to adjust my sights; wedding dresses were more expensive than I thought. I haven’t got a “shoe or a handbag habit”. I started to justify in my head that my dress was going to make up for all the Louis Vuitton handbags I’d never bought, all the Jimmy Choo’s I’d never own, all the Gucci sunglasses I wouldn’t get. If you have got a shoe or handbag habit then just stop buying them for a bit and save the money for your dress! But it’s still for one day, just one day. But what a day.
When in your life will you have everyone taking your photo, all day? There will be photos of you from every angle, photos you didn’t even know were being taken? When in your life will walk into a room and everyone, absolutely everyone will be looking at you? How many days in your life will you have recorded on video, possibly several video cameras? How many times are you going to look at all these photos of your special day? How many years to come will you see “that dress” captured forever in photo form? The thought of having a great dress to look back on in all the photos is lovely but not essential. True. But when I thought about my wedding, I was thrilled to be marrying the man I loved, and thrilled that everyone was happy for us, but I was dreading all those photos, I was dreading how I would look.
When in your life will you declare your love publicly. How many days in your life will you want to remember forever and ever? What other day in your life will there be when you have to look amazing yet feel comfortable? How is that even possible? I took the plunge. Read and re read the contract, wrote out a check, and sent it off. That was it. I was going to have my dream dress. Incidently, the price quoted was the final price I paid. No hidden extras here! Throughout the wedding planning process there have only been two things that didn’t worry me at all. One was the man I was marrying and the other was my dress.
The creative process The rest of the process is just wonderful. I’ve read about brides, who get their dress quite early on in their engagement. Then they see a better one nearer the time and buy another one! Most recently in the newspaper there was a woman who had nine different dresses for her wedding day! I’ll bet she didn’t like a single one of her dresses as much as I love my one! There are plenty of opportunities to change your mind when getting a dress from uptight clothing. But decide on your fabrics carefully as once they have been purchased the making begins. Even once the making process has begun there are still some details that can be changed.
I still couldn’t decide on the colour of the top of my gown. The samples Janice had sent were great but I still wasn’t certain. I discussed this with her over the phone, as getting to the showroom again before the first fitting wasn’t possible. Again Janice was so patient. She sent me further samples and took photos with the coloured fabric next to the ivory, and with different embroidery colours and chiffons. This was so helpful and enabled me to eventually decide on a dramatic shot purple to go with my more traditional ivory. We still weren’t sure about how the embroidery would look or exactly where it would, but that didn’t matter at this stage so I was able to think about it a bit more.
At the first fitting the skirt was made and a mock-up of the corset and jacket in test fabric. This was great, Janice was able to make some size adjustments and able to fit the corset depending on how busty you want to be. She also checked my shoulders for the sleeve fitting. On this occasion my Mum and Dad came with me. I did not want my Dad to know how much the dress was costing me, as I didn’t think he’d understand why I was spending so much money. Once in the showroom, he couldn’t not believe how complicated the corset was, and how many seams there were to adjust. He said “this isn’t just a dress it’s a feat of engineering”. My Mum loved it, even she tried on a couple of jackets to give herself some ideas for her outfit. Janice even explained the complicated sleeve process to my Mum to help her if she wanted to make something for herself! How many other dress makers would be so generous with their time? When we got in the car he asked me what the price was. Reluctantly I told him. He nodded sagely and said “You get what you pay for, there’s a heck of a lot of work going into that dress. I’m surprised she can do it for that price!” You could have knocked me down with a feather. My Dad understood that you are not just paying for a dress: you’re paying for a trained and talented person’s time. It costs money to pay anyone to do anything- the plumber, the builder, the electrician all charge us for their time and expertise. Why should dress-making be any different?
Janice kept me informed throughout the next phase. She sent emails of the embroidery of the tree, microscope and palette before finalising the dress, I still would have been able to change things if it hadn’t been what was in my mind. I didn’t change a thing, Janice’s interpretations were superb. I kept looking at the photos she sent – she had taken an eccentric idea and turned it into something beautiful. I started to get very excited about my next fitting. Being a teacher it’s almost impossible to take time off work so all my fittings were in school holidays or at weekends. Janice worked round my tight schedule without a problem, she was so accommodating. Janice also makes amzing wire work jewellery to go with Uptight gowns. Being a creative type I was determined to make something for my wedding day and wanted to make my won necklace. I made a start. It wasn’t bad but not quite right, I emailed Janice to admit that I was trying to make something in her style, but that it was important for me to have something I made myself, but I needed some advice to neaten it up. Her reaction was so lovely, she told me to bring my unfinished necklace with me so that she could help.
My second fitting was a joy, the dress was all but done, just missing the ribbons at the back, some of the crystals, and the dingley-dangley bits. We were also able to decide on putting the microscope and palette at the foot of the train rather than hiding them in the folds of fabric which was our original plan. We then had time to inspect my jewellery, and Janice advised me on how to fit the clasp, which suppliers to use and how to mould the shape more effectively. Janice was however making some butterflies for my hair, she carefully inspected the crystals I had used so that our work matched. This is important to point out, on your wedding journey you will not find someone so helpful, or someone that understands your little foibles. Janice wasn’t annoyed I was making my own necklace, she loved it and enabled me to create something myself that looked great alongside her creation. Subtle extra touches like this make all the difference to your journey. Between the second fitting and my final fitting, Janice continued to email me with updates. I suddenly made a decision that I wanted removable wispy sleeves to put on, just in case I took my jacket off later on in the day. This was fine and Janice made some in time for my final fitting! Meanwhile my Mum had also emailed Janice asking her for some spare fabric as she wanted to make us a “wedding quilt”, so Janice kept the spare off-cuts and was able to give them to Mum when we collected the dress. Collecting the dress was incredible. My chief bridesmaid was with me too this time, keen to see how the lacing up worked and how to hitch up the train for later in the day. Again Janice’s patience shone through. A tie for my husband to be and a bow tie for my Dad had been made by Wendy Harrup to match my dress and my beautiful butterflies were ready and waiting, in a beautiful little box. Everything was in place.
Whilst planning my wedding there have definitely been times when I felt stressed out and overwhelmed. On those days I simply look at my dress (at whatever stage it was at) and felt happier. There is so much joy in this process, and no fear at all. I knew right from the start that this was the very best way to get my dream dress.
The wedding itself was an absolute dream. There were a few folks gathered outside the Medieval hall to watch me arrive and there were many gasps as I got out of the car! As indeed there were in the hall when I came down the aisle. My friend Eleanor, mother of one of my bridesmaids, had already seen the dress that morning, so when I walked in she looked at Phil, my husband to be, instead of me. She said his face was a picture, his lips wobbled and his eyes didn’t move from looking at me. He didn’t notice the tree until we were signing the register. He mentioned it in his speech –“it blew me away when I saw that tree…” He said he didn’t even notice what colour the bridesmaids were wearing until the end of the ceremony!
You will see on the Uptight website many brides saying what incredible comments you get in an Uptight gown. Well it’s true. All day, all I heard was, “ You look stunning”, “That dress is incredible”, “ This is truly the most beautiful gown I’ve ever seen”. People wanted to get close to the dress, touch the fabric, inspect all the little bits and bobs. Far from being embarrassed I loved it! Being married in the same year as two royal weddings presented no pressure at all; so many people that said to me “Kate’s dress won’t be a beautiful or as personal as yours!”
So now the day is gone and the thank you cards are being written, do I really think it was worth all that money. Oh yes, yes yes, a thousand times yes. I honestly was dreading how I would look in the photos and how I would feel with everyone looking at me all day. In my perfectly tailor made gown I felt so happy and confident that I didn’t mind my photo being taken at all. I’ve only seen a few photos so far, but all of them look amazing. I can’t stop looking at them. They are helping me remember my day. If you can save up for it, do. My gown was not for one day, I will treasure it forever, and treasure my photos of my wonderful day forever, mainly because I married the man I love; but what a dress to wear while you say “I do”
All Uptight's jewellery is hand made so the material used varies. The most frequently used stones are Swarovski crystals and natural semi-precious gem stones.
Prices start from £80 to £250 depending on the elaborateness of the design and the amount of crystals used. Please email Janice for a quote.
As a guide;
A dragonlfy/other tiara's are from£130.
Dragonfly hair pins £45 each.
Deep wire work necklace From £190.
Wire work bouquet From £250.