Bridal sizing is tricky. And weird. And frustrating.
Basically, list off all “awkward” descriptive words you can and they would most likely apply to wedding dress sizing. Why? Well, there are several reasons including that most manufacturers got their start in Europe where the sizing is not the same as US sizing and add to the fact that bridal is an industry rooted in tradition and hasn’t changed a whole lot over the last century and you get a mix of sizing that feels very, well…..foreign.
We have a good, general rule of thumb around the boutique and that is in order to figure out your bridal size, you need to take your street clothes size and add 2 sizes. This isn’t a hard and fast rule however! If you are blessed with an hourglass figure and fall in love with a mermaid dress, you could be 3 sizes up from your street clothes size in order to best fit your hip measurement. On the other side, if you have a very straight figure and fall in love with a ballgown, you’ll probably be in-between 2 sizes.
Here’s what you need to remember and is most important on your wedding day: your wedding dress size doesn’t matter. No one knows what the size on the tag says. What your guests do know is that you are wearing a beautiful wedding dress that has been custom altered to fit you and your beautiful figure.
We have been in business over 10 years and in those 10 years we’ve helped dress thousands of brides. What we’ve found is that the vast majority of brides are in-between 2 sizes so if that’s you, welcome to the family. No joke, out of almost 4,000 brides only about 10 have fallen into 1 size. So, if you’re in-between sizes you are the norm.
It can be hard to decide whether to size up or down because neither is a perfect answer. We always advise our brides of our recommendation and that depends on the fabric in the dress and the shape of the gown. What we will say, is we have far fewer brides concerned about the fit on their dress when it comes in a little big versus the concern you feel when your dress comes in a little bit small.
At the end of the day, trust your boutique to recommend a size that is going to best fit your figure as it is today and know and trust that your alterations will ensure your dress fits you and not some random measurements on a size chart. The arbitrary number on the tag in your wedding dress is just that – an arbitrary number. Don’t let it have more power than it deserves!