Wedding Dress shopping while Plus-Sized

Wedding dress sizes

There is no greater time to ignore a size than when you are shopping for a wedding dress. I have said it once and I’ll say it again… the number on your clothes does not and will not ever define you!  Yet no matter how hard I try to apply my words to myself; I will admit there was a punch to my self-esteem as I was squeezing into a dress two sizes bigger than my everyday clothes. I ended up asking the same question I am sure tons of other brides asked. Why do these dresses run so small? So I googled it.

I found some information that related to my question but more alarming was the numerous women, on board after board, who were complaining about how they had to order dresses sizes bigger than their regular clothes. These women were distraught saying that wedding dresses shouldn’t make you feel like you are bigger than you are. Others were stating how their day is ruined because they will feel fat. This made me feel sad.  The fashion industry has really done a number on the self-esteem of women. On a day where we are supposed to be the center of attention and feeling beautiful we are once again thinking about our size. So I stopped myself from getting any more upset than I was over a stupid number on my dress. The most important part is that I love it and that it fits. No matter what size I am if the dress fits me well and I look beautiful than the numerical identifier doesn’t mean a thing. Cross fingers that I remember this when I go back in two weeks to say yes to the dress!

In addition to the reminder that women are insecure about their size I did learn something new. Well something I didn’t realize until trying on wedding dresses. Our everyday wear clothing is designed to be well ready-to-wear. We no longer live in a time where all our clothes need to be tailored. Clothing companies are trying, maybe not hard enough in some cases, to produce clothing for all body types, sizes and heights. However, wedding dresses are not designed this way. I was told by a sales associate that once I put my deposit down and they order the dress I will have to come in for fittings and the dress will be altered numerous times. They are tailored to fit your specific body shape.

Another thing I learned is that bridal sizes are still based on outdated concepts of body sizes and have not been refreshed to more modern standards. By this I mean the fashion industries idea of “body size standards.” As all the internet doctors like to remind the overweight that “plus-sized” is not normal. Seems to me like bridal sizes are not yet caught up to the whole every-body-is-a-good-body standard. I can’t actually say that for all companies as I don’t know all companies. As far as I have learned David’s Bridal is actually making plus size dresses with current size-to-measurement ratios give or take an inch or two.

For arguments sake I went to the sites of designers whose dresses I actually tried on. I wanted to see if any of them had size charts.

Maggie Sottero

I could not find a sizing chart. The website instead stated that the fitting of their wedding dresses are precise and we would need to contact the store for further assistance. I can tell you now from my experience of trying them on they definitely run one to two sizes small. This is my experience and obviously someone else with a different body type might have a different opinion.

Essence of Australia/Stella York

They also did not have any information about sizing other than a size range of a dress style. When I tried on a Stella York in store, for me it ran about two sizes too small.

Allure

I love love the Allure Bridal dresses! I will probably be purchasing one for my wedding. I was surprised to see a size chart but here it is.

allureBy the looks of it the numbers are all over the place so I won’t even try to understand the madness. From the looks of it I will likely have to buy a dress two sizes larger than my “everyday wear” dresses. All good it’s cool it’s cool!

David’s Bridal

This is one of the companies that I am aware of that are actually trying to make more “realistic” plus size dresses. I would be able to purchase a dress from them within my actual size range.

davids.jpgThat made me happy however that is where my love of David’s Bridal will have to end. Read the next section for my review on the shop experiences!

Bridal Shop Reviews

David’s Bridal- 1 out of 5

This was perhaps the worst experience I had during my dress shopping. The reason it received a 1 and not a 0 is because the woman at the door greeted me right away and assigned me to a sales associate… plus we had the same last name! After that the experience went from hopeful to get me out of here. The woman that was “helping” me kept disappearing and bringing me dresses that were not the style I was looking for. I felt like she was just grabbing whatever see had in my size. Their dressing room was a 4 by 4 closet with no mirror and she didn’t even help me try them on… for those who have shopped for wedding dresses can understand the difficulty of lifting them monstrosities on your own. Then… and here is the best part… I had to walk out into this big common area that was in the middle of all the dressing rooms. I had my back hanging out, rolls and all, in front of all these strangers… men included… waiting for the woman to zip me up. On two occasions I didn’t even wait for her to show up because I hated the dress. All of them looked as if I took curtains and wrapped them around myself. Not a single one had shape to it. Sorry David’s Bridal you get props for trying to make dresses ready-to-wear off the rack but nah…

Lotus Bridal- 2 out of 5

This was my second worst experience. They get a two because the ladies were nice and their dresses were pretty. The issue was they lacked the dresses in plus sizes. They had so few that it wasn’t worth the time I spent in there looking through the racks. I tried on only two dresses when I was there. She found one in a relatively bigger size and also suggested a size 12 that was a corset. She felt that I would be able to squeeze into the corset if I stretched it all the way out. Well I did and I got into it. Very pretty dress but… I got stuck in it! I was boob and butt locked into the dress. I couldn’t go down because well… baby got back. I couldn’t go up because bigger boobs only really go flat in one direction… down not up! Ever see that episode of Rosanne when she gets stuck in the stove vent because of her boobs locking… same thing. I needed two people to help me out of that dress. They pulled up while I tried to squeeze down my boobage. It was so embarrassing. I left after.

The Curvy Bride- 3 ½ out of 5

I went to the Curvy Bride but it says it all in store name. I am a curvy bride. They had a big selection of dresses. They were pretty well priced. The dressing room was air-conditioned! Majority of them looked amazing on me! I even found two dresses that I loved. I was probably going to buy one of them until I walked into the last bridal shop. The problem was the nasty customer service.  My sales associate looked and acted like she hated her job… Enough said!

RK Bridal- 5 out of 5

This place is a pain to get to but soooo worth every minute of the city priced parking meter. They don’t take appointments so it is done on a first come bases. The sales associates spend an hour with you pulling and trying on dresses. The selection is huge and they have a plethora of beautiful dresses. I showed the women the ones I tried on at the Curvy Bride that I was considering and she came back with ten that she felt I would love. She was so attentive and listened to what I had to say regarding the look I was trying to find and I believe she nailed it. Out of the ten I am torn between two. I will be going back to try on one more in addition to the two I already did. I am pretty positive I will be putting a down payment on one before I leave.

What I was expecting/What I discovered

A lot of expectation is put on the wedding dress. It is seen by many articles that I have read as the centerpiece to the whole event. Therefore, when I first set out on my dress shopping experience I expected to feel overwhelmed in emotions. I am a big crier so tears were anticipated but never came. This is the biggest day of my life and not a tear fell as I stood there in dress after dress looking every bit the princess I always wanted to be. The dress is not the centerpiece to the wedding. My fiancé is. Marrying the man I love is. Nothing is more important than that. He and I end of story. Yes I want to wear the pretty dress but a material object is not going to bring me to tears. Walking down the aisle and seeing him waiting for me will. I’ll probably even shed a bunch prior to the ceremony due to the anticipation of the emotions of the day.

A little mush to end this long post!

I would love to hear about your experiences!

 

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10 thoughts on “Wedding Dress shopping while Plus-Sized

  1. I hate how clothing sizes, particularly dress sizes very so much. When I was shopping for prom dresses back in the day, I remember having to purchase my jr prom dress 2 sizes bigger than what I wore, and my sr prom dress was 2 sizes smaller than what I wore. Crazy!

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  2. thanks for all the advice on this!! It’s one thing that I fear if/when I ever need to go bridal gown shopping. But I’m not sure I want a traditional bridal gown. Right now I’m on the fence between a full on princess gown and a cocktail dress haha.

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  3. Girl, I could’ve written this same post a year ago when I was shopping for my wedding dress! It’s so demoralizing to be shoved and clipped into those stupid sample sizes. I was really glad to have one of my dearest friends there with me for moral support (and feeding me drinks before going in). I didn’t even want a wedding dress– I was going to buy a sundress at Macy’s– but she insisted I had to go try stuff on. “Just for the pictures!”

    David’s Bridal is THE WORST, imo. It was nice that they didn’t do sample sizes, and everything was on the rack, but the customer service was non-existent. I went on a Saturday, with an appointment, and my friend wound up pulling dresses and getting them onto me. They did nothing. Why did I have an appointment! At least I was able to get in a fitting room, plenty of women were trying on dresses out in the open.

    She also took me to a fancy boutique and everything was in sample size, so many clips and feeling like a sausage. But I wound up changing my mind about wedding dresses there– I tried on this strapless, A-line, corset back, simply constructed lace gown with a beautiful train and, well, that was it. I tried on probably 15 dresses at the boutique, but that one never left my mind. It was an expensive dress– La Sposa– but I saved a little money and by buying the sample since it was last year’s model. Since it was a corset, the top fit fine, and the owner/seamstress assured me that the seam allowances were big enough to let it out at the hips enough to work. It turned out lovely, and my mom was so thrilled that I wore a traditional white dress. Of course, now I have an expensive pile of lace in a box with no use…

    I wrote a novel here, sorry! 🙂 Congratulations to you and your fiance, and best of luck on putting together the wedding of your dreams! I hope it goes smoothly and stress-free. ❤

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  4. Hello,
    My name is Michelle and I am the owner of The Curvy Bride. I am sorry to hear that your experience was not a 5 out of 5 and I would be very interested to speak to you in person about your experience and invite you to come in for another appointment with myself. Please contact me at 732-536-6100 I would greatly appreciate it, thank you so much!

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