Friday, November 5, 2010

Lauren’s Guide to Bridal Sizing

 tape measure2 Okay, so we’ve all been there... we go to pick up our beautiful... clear throat... bridesmaids dress that you’ve been expertly measured for... clear throat... only to find that it’s 15 sizes too big! ugh.  It’s like an industry created to make you angry and to keep you paying until you actually start to hate the bride. Speaking of bride, they get your sizes jacked up too, all while you pay a boatload to get a “custom” gown, which is no more custom than an off the rack creation. So, here is my little insiders guide into getting a gown that fits.

BridalAlterationsLogoFor the Bride:

Okay, so here’s factoid #1. They tell you your gown is custom and it’s all just for you. Wellllll, that’s not entirely true. The sizing for most wedding gowns is similar to bridesmaids, they take your measurements and order you a gown based on your largest part. And then the gown goes into production. Now, with this type of gown you can usually make changes, which would indeed make it custom, but you would for sure be charged. 

#2. Wedding gowns are expensive. True story. Alterations are also very expensive. Also true. The only way to guarantee that your gown will come in perfectly fitted to your body is to get a muslin first. It is basically a mock version of your dress made with muslin, a cheap fabric, that they pin, hem, fit perfectly to you then based on that model, make your gown. They range in price from 300-500 dollars, which sounds expensive, but think of it as paying for your alterations ahead of time.

#4. So if you aren’t down for the muslin, you can have your gown’s hem pre-hemmed. This is usually 150 or so dollars. It’s definitely the way to go if your dress has a beautiful hemline. Think about it, if you have a stunning hemline you can’t just hack it off, but instead you have to raise the hemline from the waist, which is nutty expensive and sometimes not possible.

#4. Don’t be surprised if the sample size you try on fits perfectly, then when your dress comes it’s a wee bit snug. A sample is tried on by size 0’s and size 16‘s and a popular style can be tried on hundreds of times in a week. So basically what I am saying is, they get stretched out. It’s usually not much, so if you still can’t fit in it comfortably by wedding week than it can probably be let out.

For the Bridesmaids:

#1. Now, the sales folk don’t ever seem to care as much about the poor bridesmaids dresses. They begrudgingly take your measurements, for a gown that’s gonna be huge, then they eagerly charge you three hundred dollars for it. So, know your rights. You can request what size they order you, but it’s true that the store will not be held accountable if you order the wrong size. I’ve actually knew a bridal consultant, who threw a fit when they tried to order her a size 8, so she got a 6... and that 6 was so tight that she couldn’t sit down... sooooo tread lightly my friends.

#2. The bridesmaids gown sizes are based on a very basic set of measurements. Bust, natural waist, and hip. That’s it. So, whichever is your biggest spot, well that’s the size they are gonna order for you. Now, for the ladies with the ample bosoms, sometimes you are just stuck because you have to get a top that fits, so i generally insist on going with the best size for your ladies. If you have a large booty and a disproportionally small mid-section and bust, then you can get away with a lot more. As long as your dress doesn’t have a clingy skirt, I would suggest going with your bust/waist measurement for the size. 

#3. This might sounds like common knowledge, but you can base a lot on the sample. Samples are usually a 6 or 8, make sure you look!! So, if it fits perfectly and they try to order you a bigger size, laugh in their faces and order the sample size. If it’s huge and they tell you that, that is your recommend size, once again feel free to laugh... in their face. The same goes for it being too snug, if they tell you need 3 sizes bigger, just go laugh in their faces. If a size 8 won’t zip up all of the way... you don’t need a 14!? but they will try and give you some kinda of crazy logic of why you need it. Trust your instincts.

Now, a piece of advice for all the ladies involved. I generally discourage buying a gown for the size you want to be. I’m all for being optimistic, but I prefer being realistic. If you plan on kicking your butt and losing weight, then do it, but I don’t suggest going more than 2 sizes lower than your recommended size. I think it really does depend on your own personal motivation and sticktoitiveness.

Until we meet again, stay bridal and beware the wedding week weight drop. Please keep eating. I’m serious, your dress slipping right off of you is not a chic style statement... it’s a funny youtube video.