The Sizing Saga

It’s a long running battle you’ve probably never fought until you’ve found yourself needing a formal gown. I’m talking about the Fashion Battle of Ready to Wear vs Wedding/Formal Wear. Ready to wear clothing is that cute outfit you find at your favorite “go to” store for everyday and casual occasions. It comes in a standard size that doesn’t require alterations. Formal wear is designed for special occasions and usually worn one time. Designers make formal wear under the premise that alterations will be made.

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You will always need alterations of some kind with wedding/formal wear. I’d venture to say that 95% of those buying wedding/formal wear require some sort of standard altering. The other 5% are either extremely lucky people (very, very few fall into this category) or people who “spent enough on this dress already” and just don’t care. There are quite a few women who’ll wear six inch heels to avoid paying for hemming! Standard alterations are hemming, bustling, and usually adding darts to the bust area to make it flush against your skin. If your dress has some sort of straps or sleeves, more than likely you will have those tweaked a little to get the perfect fit.

But the deep, dark secret of the Fashion Battle is the sizing charts. Bridal gowns typically run on the small side compared to ready to wear. And to add to the frustration, you’ll more than likely wear a different size in every designer – because they all have their own sizing charts (which should really be called “guides”). My advice and genuine hope for you is this: When you’re dress shopping DON’T worry about what the tag says!

Trust me, being on the other side isn’t any easier. In my wildest nightmares I never want to tell a woman that she needs a size 2-3 times larger than her street clothes. And let’s add insult to injury and tell her that while she’s shopping for her wedding dress. Nothing will trigger a woman quicker than talking about her size.

Find a dress that makes you feel beautiful – no matter what the tag says. Don’t get hung up on sample sizes that may or not fit you. Please be kind to yourself. You’re not alone. Every single woman who buys any piece of clothing goes through the same battle. At the end of the day, it’s just a number on a piece of paper. And the person who designed it and decided your size has never laid eyes on you.

I can’t guarantee you many things in life, but I can this: No one will know your dress size. No one will see it as you walk down the aisle. You can even cut out the tag if you like – after all, once you have it altered it’s no longer that size anyway!