I Bought My Own Flamenco Dress!
After going to the Feria once in 2017, I decided that for the next year I wanted to get my own dress. Just because I was so intrigued and excited by the idea of owning one of these dresses. Finding a dress was quite a process. Almost like buying a wedding dress (even though I have never bought a wedding dress in my life, this is just how I imagine wedding dress shopping would be).
I had been looking at dresses on the internet and shops I passed by on my way home from work, but I never really dared to enter a store because this ‘guiri’
had no idea how you’re supposed to behave in a dress store. I realized I needed reinforcements. So I asked sister-in-law to go with me. She has 4 dresses of her own, and has lived in Seville all her life, thus she is an expert in this field. She explained what different types of dresses there are, asked me what type of dress I liked and based on that, she made some good recommendations. After figuring out – more or less – what I wanted, we went out on the street to visit some stores she already had good experiences with.
The first store had a book with all the available models for that year. We were going through the pictures and I saw some that I really liked, because they had a special type of skirt. My personal flamenco dress expert advised against buying a dress like this. As you probably already read in my last blog, these dresses are fashion sensitive. If you don’t have the funds to buy a new one every year, it’s best to go with the ‘timeless style’, which will be in fashion every year. Even though I liked this type of skirt a lot, I decided it wasn’t worth it.
After looking around in that first store, we found out that it was a bit too expensive. I had a pretty low budget of € 300,- (Yes, I know, € 300,- is a lot of money, but for a flamenco dress that’s a really really low budget) and most dresses there were over € 500,-. So we decided to go to another shop. The dresses there were items from last season. Prices there started at around € 200,- per dress, so that was a lot more manageable. Even though these outlets are great to find amazing bargains, unfortunately, I didn’t find my dress there either.
A week later, we went to another shop. Micaela Villa is a shop that I passed by a lot on my way home from work, and I had seen some dresses that I really liked there. There were two dresses I tried on there that I completely fell in love with. A dark red one and a dark blue one. The red number had a ‘fashionable’ skirt and looked really beautiful. I absolutely fell in love with this dress, and I almost changed my mind on the ‘not-fashionable-but-timeless’ policy, but eventually, I decided that € 300,- was a lot of money to spend on a piece I could only wear for one week and then never again.
In the same shop, I found another dress that stole my heart. And this one did have the timeless style skirt. It was a beautiful dark blue color that went really well with my blue eyes and blonde hair (at least, that’s what all the women in the shop at that moment told me). It fit right in my budget, so it was the perfect choice for me. It is definitely the most expensive piece of clothing I ever bought, but I’m so happy I did it.
I left the dress there so the women at the shop could make some adjustments to make it fit me perfectly. I picked it up one week later and I was over the moon! However, my feria outfit wasn’t complete without some ‘complementos’ (the matching accessories you put on with your dress). I had to find a mantoncillo (a scarf that flamencas wear over their shoulders which they tie together with a broche), a flower and some earrings. Choosing the right complementos required an in-depth study of colors and combinations that work well together. With some help of my sister- and mother-in-law I found complementos that fit me perfectly, which you’ll see in the pictures.
When you’re in Seville, don’t hesitate to walk into some of the flamenco dress shops and feel them and try them on for yourself. It’s lots of fun and it gives you the chance to feel like a true Sevillana.
What’s the most expensive piece of clothing you’ve ever bought?