These experts will dress you up from head to toe.

The Dress Matters in Media is on that list of black-owned bridal salons, suit makers, and more for wedding gowns, tuxedos, and other stylish looks in Philly territory. Photo by Jaime Muth from Pearl Photo & Video

As you start planning your big day, you need to make decisions that are important to you and your partner about your wedding. You make deliberate, conscious decisions in every detail, including the vendors that you want to support. Whether you are dreaming of a stunning wedding dress, a tuxedo, or even slim shoes, this list of black-owned wedding salons, bespoke suit designers, and more will make sure you look stylish. This is not a comprehensive list of all experts, but we will add and expand it. We have also compiled a list of black-owned Philly area beauty professionals, wedding planners, florists and decorating professionals, as well as a range of photographers and videographers. We will expand to include professionals in the fields of food, entertainment, jewelry, stationery, wellness and fitness, and more. (Please email suggestions to [email protected].)

Blue sole shoes
City center

Steve Jamison fulfilled his childhood dream when he opened Blue Sole Shoes in 2007. The men’s shoe store offers both casual and formal styles – from boots to monk straps to slippers – many of which are exclusive or limited editions. (Think Jo Ghost, Magnanni, and Roberto Cavalli.) You can also find socks, clothing, and accessories like belts, bracelets, cufflinks, and leather bags. Jamison notes that the store receives a significant amount of business from grooms looking for unique steppers for their big day, which he believes helps set his boutique apart from others. What’s next: an expanded range of formal shoe options in line with the latest fashion. 1805 Chestnut Street, downtown.

Damari Savile
Old Town

Former Eagles safety and fly enthusiast Malcolm Jenkins may have co-founded Damari Savile in 2017 with his childhood friend Eric White, but it wasn’t his first foray into the world of fashion style. Jenkins, who now plays for the New Orleans Saints, started an online shop for bow ties and pocket squares for the first time in 2012 – and that came to Damari. Today it is a one-stop shop for men’s and women’s evening wear. (Check out this wedding with Damaris elegant tuxedos.) The store works with various manufacturers to offer bespoke suits, shirts, pants, shorts, jeans, coats and accessories, among other things. Their clientele spans across the country, and they see “a lot” of wedding shops since they can customize almost anything, says White. This year, Damari Savile plans to expand its options to include ready-to-wear and casual wear. 72 North 2nd Street, Old Town.

Expect top

After working in the lingerie and intimate apparel industry for more than 10 years, Shaw Lewis felt the need for a bigger bra shop. Your main focus? Style and fit. In 2018, for example, she opened Expect Lace, a lingerie store that specializes in bras and fittings. The boutique carries different brands with sizes from 30A to 42J. Lewis and her team offer bespoke bra fittings and work closely with bridal shops across town to provide future newlyweds with the right underwear to wear on their dresses. Expect Lace also sells panties, loungewear, pajamas, and swimwear. This year Lewis plans to add a second floor to the store called Expect Lace and More. 4403 Main Street, Manayunk.

The dress is important

Established for dates only, this boutique was founded in 2014 and offers customers the option to say yes to the dress. Owner Deborah Collins’ goal: to create a welcoming and affordable place for brides, their families and friends to buy their dream dresses. From bridal and bridesmaid dresses to flower girl dresses, each style in The Dress Matters costs less than $ 2,000. Custom dresses take anywhere from four to six months to make. If you’re going the bespoke route, visit nine to 12 months before your big day to get the design process going. The boutique also carries styles of a variety of sizes, rents tuxedo, and sells accessories. The labels include Morilee and Christina Wu. Note: Collins’ associate Nadine Warder-No will soon be opening couture The Dress Matters in Malvern, offering a higher quality selection of dresses between $ 2,000 and $ 4,000. 1024 North Providence Road, Media.

Lillie Couture

With Lillie Couture, the owner and founder Latasha Hall just wanted to create beautiful dresses for beautiful women – and that’s exactly what she’s been doing since 2010. The designer offers tailor-made and ready-to-wear looks for brides and their bridal parties as well as exclusive accessories such as capes and veils. Make an appointment and Hall will walk you through fabric procurement and muslin models. Couture looks start at $ 2,500 and last anywhere from six to eight months. Next up: a capsule collection in memory of her late mother. 2930 Jasper Street, Kensington.

Madelange LaRoche Bridal Design Studio
Elkins Park

Haitian designer Madelange LaRoche didn’t let the pandemic get in the way. Instead, she fulfilled her wish by opening her homonymous bridal studio last November. (Read more about the debut here.) LaRoche primarily designs bespoke wedding day dresses and looks for her clients, although she does offer a ready-to-wear line for those who don’t have a particular style in mind. The studio also offers cleaning and preservation, remodeling, tuxedo rentals, and accessories such as veils, jewelry, and flip-flops (to protect your feet perhaps on the dance floor). Walk-ins are available, but appointments are recommended. 8015 Old York Road, Elkins Park.

Xavi Row Tailored
Greater Philly

Leroy West started Xavi Row Bespoke in 2018 because he wasn’t a fan of what bespoke suits the industry had to offer. He began his journey as a traveling tailor, making unique suits, tuxedos, shirts, coats and shoes. He visits his clients’ homes or offices to make personal adjustments. (Suits cost between $ 800 and $ 1,200.) Much of his business involves weddings. (West had one of their own designs for their engagement last summer, which you can see here.) A current perk: West is offering wedding customers a free bottle of whiskey or champagne – a gift to make customization more convenient, he says. And in April, the label will launch its Xavi Row Kit with a box of fabric samples and a style book to help remote customers choose their styles.

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