Avoid the pitfall—Inflating the alteration bill

“I wear a size 6 in street clothes and I was rather surprised when the bridal woman at the bridal shop told me I needed to order a size 10. In fact, the sample gown was in a size 10 and it really didn’t fit. What size should I wear? ”

First, understand that bridal sizes do not correspond to real-world sizes. Clothes sold in department stores generally conform to an industry-wide sizing chart. Hence, a dress that’s a size four in Macy’s is roughly the same dimension as a size four at Nordstrom’s.

Adding to confusion: bridal gown sizes run small compared to ready-to-wear. If you wear a size 8 at most department stores, you might be a 10 or 12 in bridal apparel. If the wedding biz were savvy, they’d have it the other way around.

Here are some tips for you get the correct size bridal gown:

Don’t pay attention to the sample gown. Most gowns are tried on so many times that they stretch—what once was a 10 may now be a size 12 or even size 14! Bridal gown manufacturers even warn a 10 may warn their dealers not to rely on the sample gowns.

Instead, get measured with a vinyl tape measure. Needed measurements include bust, waist, hips and from the base of the throat to the hemline (called hollow to hem). Don’t let the bridal shop use a cloth measuring tape, since it can stretch over time and give inaccurate measurements.

What if you are measuring yourself for a gown you plan to order online? Keep in mind these measurements guidelines we found at the website www.jjshouse.com:
A Bust Size

Measure across the back and fullest part of the bust(not under the bust).

B Waist Size

Bend to one side to find the crease or natural waist.Measure across the narrowest part.

C Hip Size

Standing with feet together and measure at the fullest part of the hip.

D Shoulder Width

Measure the widest part from left to right.

E Hollow to Hem (for short length dress)

Measure from the center of the collarbone (Hollow) to the dress hem.

F Hollow to Floor (for floor length dress)

Measure from the center of the collarbone (Hollow) to the dress hem.

Given your measurements, pick a size that closely matches your largest measurement. Why? That’s because it’s always easier to make a bridal gown smaller; expecting a bridal gown is much more difficult. Make sure the size you pick is clearly marked on the sales receipt.

Don’t get too caught up in the size number. Some brides get personally insulted when the bridal shop tells them they need X size, which is several number larger than their street clothes’ size. My advice: don’t fixate on that number. Remember: it’s the bridal designers who are insane, not you.

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One Response to Avoid the pitfall—Inflating the alteration bill

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