Under the Ruffles:Bridal Sizing

So many brides ask us about bridal sizing and, unfortunately, the rumors are true - many times you will wear a larger size in bridal than you do in ready to wear clothing. Our Huntsville Bridal Shop and Nashville Bridal Shop are excited to answer the many questions circling around about bridal sizing in our Under the Ruffles Column today! 

Photo via Seth Farmer. 

Photo via Seth Farmer. 

Q: I am a Size 6 in regular clothing, but my friends have all told me I likely won't order that size in my bridal gown. How does bridal sizing compare to stores like J. Crew or Anthropologie? Will I need to order a larger size? 

This question is probably asked to us a hundred times a week, so don't worry - you are not alone in wondering whether you will need to go up in size for the bridal gown you order.

First, you should know that our boutiques (and pretty much every couture boutique out there) will be special ordering your gown. What does that mean exactly? We aren't going to be calling our designer and having them pull from a warehouse. Instead, we will place an order after taking intense measurements and reviewing the designer's size chart. After the order is placed, the designer will order the fabric and begin the construction of your wedding gown - just for you! Since we are ordering a gown according to a very specific size chart (each designer has a different sizing chart for us to use to determine the dress that will fit you best), you might be surprised when you hear the size that we suggest - as it will likely be very different than the size you are accustomed to ordering. 

Why is this the case? Most leaders in the fashion industry are based in, have trained in, or are immigrants from Europe. European sizing is based on couture fashion and has been used in the wedding industry since before your parents were born. This means that today's bridal size charts are based on body types from nearly 50 years ago. Over the years, women have become more athletic, have adopted different eating habits, and don't have the same body types as women in the 1950s did. Due to this, many stores that sell to American women have updated or changed their size charts from the traditional European sizing. Thus, in a store like J. Crew or Anthropologie you might wear a Size 6 while in bridal sizing you could wear anything from a Size 6 to a Size 12 depending on your shape. 

The bottom line is, trust us when we suggest a size! It is always easier for us to use the designer's size chart and ensure that it will fit than trying to make tons of alterations just because of a silly label on the inside! 

We often take measurements for brides and their family or a friend even if they don't buy a dress through us. If you would like to take advantage of our full measuring service, please request the service by calling our Alabama Bridal Shop at (256) 270 8895 or our Tennessee Bridal Shop at (615) 840 7478. Please note that this service does incur a $30 measuring fee. However, we will send you home with a full set of measurements.