I know not everyone is comfortable talking about sizing but I really feel like this topic is becoming more frequent during bridal appointments and to be totally honest even though it shouldn’t be, its seems to be putting a negative spin on finding the perfect dress for some brides. I’m hoping that speaking out about it here and sharing my knowledge, it will help brides to understand bridal sizing and that its all about getting the perfect fit for your body rather than “what size is this dress”.
Shopping for your bridal gown, is a special, unique experience unlike buying clothes from a regular store. Therefore it would be unfair to make any kind of comparisons between the two, especially sizing. Wedding gowns generally do come up smaller than your typical high street sizes. There are reasons behind this and its not ‘downsizing’ in anyway to make someone feel bigger than they actually are.
There are two fundamental difference between Bridal and High street. Firstly, Bridal Gowns are not usually made from materials with a lot of stretch or give in them. They are structure garments and some will have fitted bodices or seam shaping around the hips and bottom area. Almost every bride will have to have some degree of alterations carried out on her dress even if its only the hem. Bridal gowns are bespoke items of clothing, more importantly so if the gown is fitted. They need to be tailored by a seamstress to fit you perfectly.
High street garments usually, are made from stretchy fabrics or cut on the bias, giving the garment flexibility to fit a persons shape. For example if someone is a size 12 up top and 14 on the bottom, it is likely that person would still be able to fit into a size 12. Meaning that sometimes we can fit into a size smaller on the high street depending on what fabric the garment is made from. Sometimes you can also find that in one high street store you can fit into a 10 and in another store between a 12 and 14, this can be down to the manufacturers sizing.
Generally, there is less of a difference in inches between bridal sizing, the reason for this is to ensure a better fit. This helps to maintain the style of the dress after alterations are carried out.
As a bridal boutique it is very difficult to cater for every bride. As we do not loan the dresses from the designers, we have to buy them. It is not financially viable for us to have lots of sizes in each dress. Therefore we have to make a calculated decision of who our potential brides are going to be. I try to sit in the middle and buy in sample sizes of 12’s and 14’s. However our chosen designers do go up to a size 22. As a professional I will pin and peg to go down a couple of sizes or add panels to go up a size so that I can get the closest fit possible to allow you to see what your dress will look like.
I totally appreciate that it does then take a little bit of imagination on the brides part to be able get an idea of how it would look in their size but remember this is not like regular dress shopping.
Why am I telling you all this? Because, I want you to have the most amazing experience in the boutique, and hopefully find your dream dress. I love what I do and its devastating if a bride comes in and feels dejected about the fact that they don’t fit into their usual size. I get asked so many times, “what size is this dress?”. I always encourage brides to forget about the size tag, at the end of the day once you have chosen ‘the one’ I will take your measurements and this is how I order your dress, not because you usually wear a size 10, 12, or 14. This means that once your dress has arrived we will work with our amazing seamstress Natalie to create your perfect fit. Because at the end of the day, it should fit you like a glove! It will nip you in at the waist like it should, fit your bust perfectly, accentuate your curves and highlight your best bits. This is part of the whole experience of buying your wedding gown.
We want you to look the best version of you on your wedding day, so forget about the size tag and enjoy the process of finding that one perfect dress that makes you feel special.
I hope all this information has been insightful and if you are looking for your perfect gown with a luxury experience, take a look at our award winning designers and request an appointment at Shade Bridal Boutique.