Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Kalispell shop provides bespoke experience in bridal and formal occasion wear

by SUMMER ZALESKY Daily Inter Lake
| May 5, 2024 12:00 AM

When Heather Kesteleyn was 8 years old, her grandmother taught her how to sew, and a few years later, she started working in her great aunt’s alteration shop. Since 2014, Kesteleyn has been harnessing her love for fashion and sewing to give brides their dream dresses at Perfect Fit Bridal. 

“Right after I had my third daughter, I graduated college for fashion design. I was doing alterations out of my parents’ house and I got to a point where I was really busy. So I rented a space,” said Kesteleyn. “I had a fold up table and chair and my sewing machine and I just started with that.”

The then Illinois-based alteration shop slowly began to offer more wedding services such as tuxedo rentals and bridal gowns. 

“I brought in the dresses that my aunt used to have at her store. Because they closed so quickly, they were put in the basement and I said, ‘Let me try to sell them for you guys,’ and that was my stepping stone to getting into bridal. When I started selling them, I thought ‘This is where I need to be,’ and I began buying my own inventory,” she said.

Then in 2022, Kesteleyn, her husband, and their four daughters moved from Illinois to Montana and she reopened Perfect Fit Bridal in their new community. Apart from bridal gowns and alterations, the downtown Kalispell shop offers mother's dresses, prom, pageant, homecoming, special occasion, and other formal wear. For the short notice bride, Kesteleyn has a large off the rack selection, and in the future, she hopes to offer tuxedo rental services.

“I offer all price points,” Kesteleyn said. “I will not charge someone who comes in for an appointment, unless they want the extras like snacks and champagne, or it’s after hours. A lot of places also charge for alteration consultations, but I don’t charge for that either.” 

Some of Kesteleyn’s favorite projects have been redesigns from the dress of a clients’ mother or their grandmother. She has also done a steampunk wedding, an NHL Blackhawk themed wedding, a Halloween wedding, and a Christmas wedding. 

“COVID kind of threw the wedding industry and there is more uniqueness and everyone kind of doing their own thing, which I think is great because your wedding day is supposed to be about you and what you want. You can pick what suits our personality and run with that,” she said.

Because of Kesteleyn’s sewing and alteration experience, she has a neutral approach when it comes to sales, and is able to give advice to her clients on how to look for a dress that will fit their body type well. 

“I make sure that when a bride comes in, that she actually loves her purchase. I don't want you to feel obligated that you have to buy something here,” she said. 

“In college, I did a lot of figure drawing to understand the human body and I really understand proportions and where things are supposed to fit people, so I try to educate them. I had a bride tell me that she went shopping with what I said and it was so much more of an enjoyable experience because she had an idea of what was going to look good on her body.”

Whether a bride doesn’t like a dress because the waistline is too low or the bust seams are too high, Kesteleyn says she hopes each bride can walk away more confident in their search for the perfect dress and encourages them to keep an open mind about what may work well in regards to style and material. 

“I want people to come in here and feel really comfortable, and if they didn't find something that they love, but they loved their experience and being here, I hope they’ll go tell their friends or they'll come back for alteration,” said Kesteleyn. “I love helping women find their dresses.”

Perfect Fit Bridal is located at 220 First Avenue East in Kalispell. To find out more, visit or call 406-885-2074.

Reporter Summer Zalesky may be reached at

    Wedding garters at Perfect Fit Bridal in Kalispell on Tuesday, April 30. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
    Perfect Fit Bridal in Kalispell on Tuesday, April 30. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
    Wedding gowns at Perfect Fit Bridal in Kalispell on Tuesday, April 30. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider