If we are being completely honest, sizing in the world of bridal can be a nightmare. Not a nightmare in the way that it is difficult to get the correct sizing for our brides, but a nightmare in the fact that it is a lot like sizing for jeans. How many times have you tried on the perfect pair of jeans at one store only to be a completely different size at the next store?? Yeah, it is kind of like thatbut a little worse. Join us as we unpack the complexities of sizing for wedding dresses and why size is truly just a number.
Ive Never Worn That Size Before
This is something we frequently hear from brides, and my goodness it makes sense as to why they feel this way!! One thing is certain when it comes to sizing for wedding dresses, and that is that you will wear a size or two larger in bridal than your street size. For example, if you typically wear a size 10 dress, you will probably wear a size 12 or 14 wedding dress. Or if you buy size 14 jeans, be prepared to try on dresses that are size 16 to 18. We have no idea why the sizing is like this, but it is consistently this way across designers. It is understandably frustrating to brides! When youve worn a certain size all your life and then we come in and tell you that you wear a different size, it is confusing. Trust us, we are just as annoyed by this as you are, but its just something we have to roll with. Through our pre-appointment process, we explain this to all our brides so they arent blindsided by this when they walk through the door.
I am 3 Different Sizes??
Here is where things get a little more complex in the world of bridal. When a bride says yes to the dress at Ellens, she is trying on a sample gown. We then take measurements of her bust, waist, and hips to determine what size to order so she has a brand new dress that is straight from the designer. Now here is the tricky part. Wouldnt it be nice if your bust, waist, and hip measurements all came out to one size? HahaI think this has happened ONCE in the entire existence of Ellens. Typically, your bust will measure one size (lets say a size 16), then your waist will measure another size (lets say a size 14), and your hips might measure a completely different size (maybe a size 18). Awesome right?
So What Do We Do??
This is where our expertise comes into play. We order a gown based on the largest of the 3 sizes we take. We also carefully consider how the sample size fits, our knowledge of how the fabric will fit when it is brand new (not stretched from other brides trying it on), and the details of the gown that could be challenging to alter. Typically, we will recommend for the bride to order a gown in the largest of the 3 sizes, but we always go with what the bride wants and we take all things into consideration. It is easier to alter a dress down to a smaller size rather than make a dress larger. When you attempt to make a dress larger, you may not have enough lace, beading, or fabric to do sohowever, you can remove the lace, beading, or fabric to alter the gown down to fit your frame flawlessly.
So Size Really Is Just a Number?
Yes. In the world of bridal, the number is just a starting point. To start, bridal gowns run small, and then nobody is a perfect size 4, 18, or 30. We always want to be transparent with our brides about this. Keep in mind that you will more than likely have to spend additional money on alterations to your wedding dress to truly achieve the fit and comfort you want. Our ultimate goal is for you to feel comfortable and confident in the gown you choose to wear on your wedding day in whatever size that may be!