Nestled discreetly in a second floor loft on Water Street in Downtown Milwaukee, Miss Ruby Boutique has become a destination for sought after attire by stylish brides and their maids and mothers. I popped by the boutique on Thursday and had the opportunity to meet with Erin Thull, who is one half of the mother-daughter team that launched Miss Ruby five years ago.
When walking into this quaint shop I immediately wished I had a fancy dinner date with my husband that I could justify spending some time trying on a few of the many designer dresses they have from names such as Alvina Valenta, Dessy, Jim Hjelm and Wtoo. As the website states, the designers Miss Ruby sells create gowns with clean lines, feminine details and emulate classic elegance. No matter who the dress is for, dress shopping in preparation for a wedding has become much more than slipping on a handful of dresses that you pull off of a rack. Thanks to television shows such as “Say Yes to the Dress,” these shopping trips have turned into full on experiences that are often shared with many members of the bridal party. Although no food or drinks is allowed in the shop (no champagne spills on the dresses please!) it is still a cozy environment where groups can come, relax and enjoy.
Miss Ruby started with a vision to give bridesmaids a special place to come and shop where the attention would be focused on their look for the big day. While the main draw should always be the bride, it’s still nice to treat the bridesmaids extra special as they are spending a lot of time and money on dresses that may not be quite their normal style. With this vision in mind, Miss Ruby was born and after a few years of success they have now expanded into an additional space across the hall that focuses specifically on bridal gowns and accessories. The design of the gowns keeps the theme of clean lines and classic style with not a lot of frills which makes it a one stop shop for the brides who love simple elegance.
While the styles are simple, Erin still does her very best to hunt down designers, fabrics and styles that have mass appeal. High quality fabrics are a staple at Miss Ruby and are worth the extra splurge. Don’t believe me? Try on two dresses of the same style with one being made of silk and one of synthetics and I guarantee that you’ll agree with me. Erin also does her best to support local women designers whenever possible so products such as Jaxie bridal accessories have become a staple in the shop.
Bridesmaid dresses at Miss Ruby range from approximately $140 to about $300 with the majority of their selections falling between the $180 to $220 range. Wedding dresses are also moderately priced between $1800 to $3500. While Miss Ruby does keep normal business hours it’s best to call ahead to set up an appointment, especially for groups as they only have a couple of fitting rooms.