If you’re looking for the out-of-the-movies dress-shopping experience—trying on elegant gowns in a fitting area with couches and flowers—Harriet Kassman Bridal Salon (5300 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-363-1870) won’t disappoint. The salon, going on two years old, is the epitome of classic: a glittering chandelier, a courteous staff, a selection just big enough to give you options but not so big that it overwhelms. Kassman, a petite woman who has owned the adjoining Harriet Kassman women’s boutique for 35 years, is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She’ll chat your ear off (while you pet Bastien, her pretty much perfect pet poodle), but she’ll never push you to buy. “The bride needs to feel it in her heart that this is the dress she has dreamed of,” she says. “All you have to do is watch her face. When she knows it, she flushes.”
On-site alteration—there’s a room of tailors in the back—cuts down on the number of fittings you’d have at most salons, which typically send dresses out of house to be taken in or hemmed. Harriet Kassman also has the Washington exclusive on Romona Keveza gowns and Chris Kole’s new Cotton Bride collection. If the wares here are out of your price range, at least swing by to check out the sample rack, which usually has about 20 dresses up to 60 percent off. Most are size 10, but remember: Those in-house tailors can work wonders.
Harriet Kassman Bridal Salon
5300 Wisconsin Ave., NW (inside Mazza Gallerie); 202-363-1870
Hours: Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, Thursday 10 to 8, Sunday noon to 5
Prominent designers: Anne Barge, Badgley Mischka, Chris Kole, Reem Acra, Romona Keveza, Siri, Stephen Yearick
Bridesmaid dresses? Small selection
Approximate price range: $1,800 to $6,800; sample rack up to 60 percent off.
Accessories sold: Small selection of veils, shoes, jewelry, tiaras, handbags
Appointment needed? Preferred
Wait, a Cotton Bride collection? Yup—and we've got the scoop.
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