Dress Sizing 101

Why are wedding dress sizes so weird?

Wedding dress sizes don’t seem to be the same as ready to wear (aka your favorite dress from LOFT), why is that?!

Well, “vanity sizing” has snuck into our everyday clothing over the last 30 years, and has skewed the reality of a “real” size. Have you noticed how our daily clothing moves and stretches with us? It is because most clothing is made of a knit. Most wedding dresses are made of woven fabrics that don’t stretch. With that being said, it gives that fitted, push up, look in the bust and the slim waist.

Remember that dresses are not like our everyday clothes, so it will feel and look different. Fit will not be PERFECT when trying on, and here’s why:

  1. Most stores carry a run of sizes from 6 to 18. They will only have one specific style in one size. So, you may not be able to try on your favorite dress, BUT don’t let that dissuade you from choosing that particular dress. A savvy consultant will find a dress in your size with a similar style to let you see what would look like, and then find a way for you to view your favorite. It’s a leap of faith, but it’s worth the risk if it’s YOUR dress. Keep in mind that there are specially stores for plus size brides. They are popping up all over the country if you really feel the need to try that dress on in your size.
  2. ALL bridal dresses will need some type of alteration. If it’s only a nip and tuck to a hem. Expect that most samples you try will need “help” to make it perfect for you. Don’t judge the sample style by the way it fits, or you will totally miss your perfect dress.
  3. Don’t pay attention to the literal dress size number. Just let your consultant guide you in choosing your correct bridal size for the best possible fit. Size doesn’t matter, the FIT does.

Trying on dresses can be stressful, but let the consultant guide you in what to try.  A good store will “clip” you into the dress so you can “see” your fit. Go with the flow, and make sure to come prepared as discussed in Dress Shopping Prep.