A long time fan of Anthropologie and quite familiar with their bridal boutique BHLDN, I was ecstatic to learn that they are now catering to customers shopping for Special Occasion wear. With Portland’s recent growth it has been a relief to see familiar brands like BHLDN finally pop up and offer that big-city experience. My experience shopping for this seasons must haves was such a blast that I can see myself returning here again and again in the coming years for every occasion.
While you will want to plan about 6-8 weeks in advance for a bridal appointment, walk-ins are always welcome for special occasion and party dress shoppers. Click HERE to Book Your Bridal Appointment // Located at 1115 NW Couch St Portland, Or 97209
First off let’s talk about the space. I was in shock at the expansion when taking the glorious walk upstairs where BHLDN has claimed about 2/3’s of the 2nd story. The space is simply stunning. I had a hard time finishing introductions with personal shopper, Erin who was chatting and filling me in on all the various stations. My eyes were in luxury fashion over load. I warn you- arrive a few minutes early to take it all in if you’re easily star- struck like myself.
There are two dedicated dressing stations at separate corners of the space which include luxurious chairs and full length, triple-aspect mirrors. It’s the perfect set up for inviting a couple friends and enjoying an afternoon of shopping for that perfect look. For our appointment, Erin planned ahead and pulled some amazing accessories that would accent my evening looks. As she acquainted me with the store, she offered water and champagne to which I said, heck-yes! It was like visiting with an old friend who made me feel right at home.
I was so excited to see what she had pulled for our appointment, since she only had my blog to go off of. Of course, she was spot on with gorgeous options like a sequined mini-dress and taffeta a-line skirt. She even pulled a few pieces I wouldn’t have tried otherwise and that I simply fell in love with. Later you’ll see me in a stunning convertible maxi dress that I would have sadly overlooked. I fell in love with it and would own it in every color if I could!
It was also beyond helpful to have shoes options from both bridal and Anthropologie at hand since I only had my one pair of stilettos. Erin was thoughtful enough to pull several pairs that covered all my shoe needs during the session. The attention to customer service here blew me away. It reminded me of walking into a shop on Rodeo drive, where old fashion luxury service still prevails. Personally, I love the doting and attention when looking for something special. It helps me narrow down choices more easily and relax enough to focus on what I’m shopping for.
Erin took the time to show me the various sections of the BHLDN floor including the lingerie department which offers AMAZING options for romantic getaways and an update to your intimates wardrobe. I pulled some stunning pieces to try since I’ve been obsessed with all things silk and satin recently. I was tempted to take this slip (can I call it a dress?) home and style it up for a night on the town. (Get their latest version HERE for $75). Of course the blogger in me thought it was a good idea to style it with a full on belt and cameo necklace. What do you think?
After sorting through all of Erin’s curated selects I scoured the racks for to make sure no diamonds were missed. I found a bit of everything- from girly gowns to smart, modern jumpsuits and chic separates. I was shocked by the every-woman price points of several pieces as well, which may surprise many shoppers on a budget. The stunning beaded clutch in my first look is only $68!! I was told this is a popular bridesmaids gift, but without a wedding party to plan for, I’m calling it a personal must-have.
Needless to say I was not disappointed with the selection, which included many classics and feminine pieces along with several modern, edgier options. I was definitely in a feminine mood, inspired by all the lace and tulle on the runway this season, so it was exciting to find so many fresh, boutique-like options at my fingertips. After enjoying a chat with Erin and enjoying some refreshments, I made my way to the gorgeous dressing room where she had all my selects set aside.
With Erin’s help I was able to envision each piece as a final look with all of the accessories and shoe options at hand. When her selects didn’t quite fit the vibe, she was happy to pull other pieces from the stunning Vintage Collection and various jewelry cases around the store.
For this first look I was having all kinds of bohemian feels. Can’t go wrong with florals and sequins, right? Even the headpiece was pulled off their racks and with the help of their little stool I could envision the skirt post-hem. (For all you vertically challenged ladies, you know how fabulous this is!)
With my second look I decided to go for something you may not envision on the racks of BHLDN, the bossiest boss-lady look of all, a jumpsuit. While I was gravitating towards the white version, I was glad to see that the black one had been pulled for me. While I haven’t fully acknowledged our recent transition into Fall, this black version is perfectly suited for the weather and so much more versatile than the white counterpart. I love the clean, modern lines and the understated pleating. It has a subtle sexiness to it with oversized pant legs giving it a bit of an editorial vibe. Such a classic, all-occasion investment piece.
For my third look I simply had to style a satin cami. This year I have been all about this cut in both cami’s and dresses, so for my second separates look I went with a frothy taffeta skirt and fluffy wrap. Does this remind you of Clueless at all? The 90’s are Alive in Portland after all, right? Haha. I have to say this was in my top 2 favorite looks. So feminine and simple yet fresh and flirty. It’s pretty versatile if you like to get more wear out of your clothes as well. The cami can be layered and worn with jeans while the skirt can be paired with a t-shirt for more of a grunge meets classic girls night out. Or heck, wear it exactly like this for an afternoon wedding.
This fourth look was a surprise for me. I nearly passed on trying it on expect for the urging of my photographer- or as my avid followers know him- my boyfriend. He held it up a couple times before I said, Sure, why not… And a few minutes later… Wha-la! I mean, wow, right? I was pleasantly surprised to see the yards and yards of fabric drape into such an elegant, sexy sillhouette. It’s one of the most flattering and comfortable dresses I’ve tried on to date. I styled the neckline much more conservatively first try, but what’s so cool about this dress is the versatility in bodice- sillhouette. It’s created to wrap and fold across your torso and waist in various ways that best suits you for that evening. It’s kind of like having eternal dresses in one! Plus, did I mention it’s on SALE?!
As for my last dress- I styled up my love-at-first sight dress. This Sequined Royce Dress drew me in with it’s glamorous floral sequins and delicate tulle sleeves. I kept glancing back at it while I shopped and was ecstatic to find my size already pulled for me. Isn’t this such a dream? Now this particular piece reminds me of everything that represents the brand BHLDN including artisanal details, their signature romantic silhouettes and a timeless quality. This dress is a piece that will never go out of style, but always offer a feminine statement option and perhaps be passed down someday. Doesn’t it have an heirloom quality to it? Obviously I was crushing hard and will be dreaming of this particular dress for time to come.
Overall this was one of my favorite personal shopping experiences and I was blown away not only by the incredible variety and options, but also the growingly rare personal service and thoughtful customer care. It was so easy to get inspired and find my perfect, special occasion look without feeling pressured to buy a single thing. I discovered many pieces I wouldn’t have normally tried on or felt confident to ask for beneath their glass cases. Take a look at some of the details including the hair accessories, shoes and jewelry I was able to style.
If you’re looking for that intimate boutique experience with the quality and style that you’ve come to expect from a thoughtfully curated store, this is the perfect one-stop shop. Even when other stores have thinned their racks seasonally, you can find a variety of selects here year round.
SHOP MY LOOKS:
2. Black Mara Jumpsuit
4. Ginger Convertible Maxi Dress in Charcoal
5. Sequined Royce Dress