David's Bridal is eyeing 3D dress try-ons to boost pandemic sales

Now you can say yes to the dress — or go full bridezilla — in 3D from the comfort of your own home.

A bride is seen observing herself in a mirror at a David's Bridal store.
David Ramos/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world and practically changing how we conduct our day to day affairs, weddings are still very much going on. And with wedding season comes a bunch of shopping. When it comes to saying yes to the dress, David's Bridal is trying to adapt to this coronavirus landscape by offering augmented reality and 3D dress tryouts, Forbes reports.

In a partnership with Vertebrae, David's Bridal is testing the 3D waters (alongside augmented reality) to make bridal dress shopping more pandemic friendly. Prior to joining David's Bridal, Vertebrae collaborated with the likes of Coach, Kate Spade, Adidas, Crate & Barrel, Toyota, and Herschel Supply Co. to help consumers better understand their products and make informed, economy-boosting choices.

The startup's CEO, Vince Cacace, told Forbes, "The whole goal here is to bring that physical shopping experience to life and make it easy for consumers wherever they are. And that means having 3D that looks real." Shopping for dresses is already riddled with analysis paralysis based on the endless variety of colors, cuts, designs, brands, price tags, and more.

With the help of this augmented reality and 3D technology, Cacace says that "you can actually just walk up to it. You’re getting what we call six degrees of freedom – things like yaw, pitch, and roll, where you can closely mimic real life. It tricks your brain into believing that it’s there because you’re interacting with it like it’s there and you’re seeing it like it’s there."

How it works — Right now the company has 52 of its dresses listed for 3D and augmented reality viewing but it plans to expand the range in the future. So now you can browse online, check the measurements, and then purchase the dress in the store.

But will it work? — Bridal dress shopping is no joke. Unlike regular clothing at retail chains, hunting for bridal dresses involves a lot of tactility. In other words, the average consumer will want to touch the fabric, see the angles in person, test the limits of the apparel, and compare colors in person that might not be easily done on a smartphone screen.

It will be interesting to see David's Bridal attempt to use the digital landscape as a marketplace for a hard-to-please crowd: soon-to-be brides. But if it can get it right, we might see bridal shopping change overnight and become far more fluid, much more successful, and almost fully virtual.