Kaitlyn Bristowe waiting at the final rose ceremony in a Mac Duggal dress. Photo Courtesy of ABC/The Bachelorette
Figuring out what to wear on a date is difficult, but can you imagine what it’s like having to pick out the dress you want to wear when (or if!) your man pops the question? Lucky for The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe, she’s found a friend in the show’s stylist, Cary Fetman, who helped her find the perfect gown for the much-anticipated final rose ceremony (airing July 27 at 8 pm ET on ABC). “When the season first started, there were five racks of just gowns. I bet during the first day we have about 150,” Fetman tells Yahoo Style. “I would say that Kaitlyn, during the first two days of the fitting, tried on 75 to 90 gowns.”
So how on Earth did she come to choose the one she’d wear on the night she just might commit to her life partner? Below, the two spill their secrets, including the different alterations it took to make the dress fit like a glove.
Yahoo Style: How did you decide on your finale dress? Was it love at first sight?
Kaitlyn Bristowe: It was one of the first dresses I tried on before the season even started, when I was trying to find my night one gown. When I put it on, I fell in love with it so fast.
Cary Fetmen: Kaitlyn went to this dress within the first three dresses and definitely wanted it for the first night.
YS: But it’s the finale dress?
CF: Well, that was our first disagreement of the season. (Laughs) I thought it was too romantic and too soft for the first night, especially considering that there were going to be two people competing. Kaitlyn just fell in love with it and thought that it said everything that she wanted to say, but I thought it was perfect for the finale dress when she wants to be sweet and much more open and soft as opposed to the first time she is meeting 25 men.
YS: Who makes the gown?
CF: So the designer is Mac Duggal and it’s just a beautiful dusty rose gown that has a sheer back and front. It has beautiful netting and it’s all embroidered with white flowers and silver leaves. It’s a high neck, almost a slight mock neck and then we made a very high slit that is double-tiered.
YS: You made the slit?
CF: Yes! There was already a slit there, but it wasn’t as spectacular as it became. So the higher we went on the slit, the more it became Kaitlyn’s dress rather than the original concept of the dress. And that’s pretty much what we did with Kaitlyn all season.
Kaitlyn Bristowe approaching the final rose ceremony in a Mac Duggal dress. Photo Courtesy of ABC/The Bachelorette
YS: So this isn’t the first time you’d made a slit in her dress?
CF: Oh, god no! We have taken dresses that have sleeves and made a sleeveless dress. Or we have taken out a lining inside and cut it so that it was a more flattering line.
KB: I didn’t think I was picky with what I wore, and then I found out that I’m extremely picky to have things fit me. So it was kind of fun to tailor the dress to be more my style.
EO: What was the craziest change you’ve done?
CF: We’ve literally changed entire dresses. We have taken necklines and completely plunged them. We’ve made a completely zipped up closed back a backless gown. We’ve taken sleeves off. We don’t really lock ourselves into just the way a dress looks.
EO: How do the designers react to the way you alter their dresses?
CF: After this many years of doing it and the amount, and the way the dresses come out, most designers are very cool about just allowing us to change their design a little. I never heard a bad word from any of the designers about the dress we took the back out of, or the dress we took the sleeves off of.
EO: Do you have a favorite dress, other than your finale one, that you refashioned?
KB: I loved the black, kind of sequined dress I wore in Ireland. It was Mac Duggal too. It sat a bit low on me, so we really hiked up the neckline. We made the rounded neckline more of a dramatic “v”. We also made the back go down a bit lower and hiked up the slit too.
EO: Has anyone changed their minds on their finale dresses last-minute?
CF: Sometimes the bachelorettes think they know what they’re going to wear before and then we get to two days before and they say, “I don’t know why I ever agreed to that. I don’t want that anymore.” Not Kaitlyn, she was so good. Once she made up her mind, there was no changing. She never changed one dress once she said, “I love this, I want to wear this.”
EO: Does Kaitlyn get to keep her finale dress or any of the other dresses?
CF: I don’t know yet. This is always something that we deal with at the end of the show. Sometimes the designers will be very nice and say, “You know what, she looks so beautiful in it, we’d love to gift this to her.” It’s not mine to decide.
EO: Kaitlyn, have the guys ever said anything to you about the way you dress?
KB: Yeah! Every single thing that I wore the guys always commented on it and they liked how I dressed.
EO: Do you think that was genuine or they were just trying to get some brownie points for a rose?
KB: I’m sure it was a bit of both. (Laughs)
More from Yahoo Style:
Kaitlyn Bristowe Dishes on Being the Bachelorette, Dressing for Dates, and Her Suitors’ Style
14 Things “The Bachelor” Teaches Us About Dating
Chris Harrison from “The Bachelor” Made this Man Fiancé of the Year