Shopping for a wedding dress is much different than shopping for any other article of clothing. First of all, since this is the most important piece of clothing you will ever wear, you want to make sure that it fits you to a T. Secondly, wedding dresses are sized differently than other types of clothing, like shirts and jeans.
Knowing exactly what size you are – and the difference between wedding dress sizes and regular clothing – will allow you to find a dress that will fit you like a glove and will make you look absolutely ravishing on your wedding day.
Here’s some helpful sizing information to keep in mind when you are shopping for your wedding gown.
The Sizes on the Gown
There are two sizes that are used to describe the size of a wedding dress:
- The label size, which is the size that is actually printed on the label
- The street size, which is the size that you most often wear when you purchase clothing
The label size on wedding gowns is usually larger than the street size. Don’t fret if you are a size 6 and the dress that fits you the best has a label size of 10. Wedding dresses are cut differently than regular clothing, which explains the reason for the difference between the label size and the street size.
Use the Designers Sizing Guide
Most designers offer a sizing guide. This guide shows your street size and suggests what label size coordinates with the size you normally wear. Use this sizing guide to your advantage. Doing so will give you a good idea of what sizes will fit you, which means that you will be able to avoid the frustration that comes with trying on dresses that are too big or too small.
Get Your Measurements
The best way to find a wedding dress that will fit you perfectly is to have your measurements taken. You can either take them yourself, or you can have a professional seamstress or tailor take them for you.
If you are going to take the measurements yourself, keep the following tips in mind:
- Use a tailor’s tape measure and hold it firmly, but not too tight, around he portions of your body that you are measuring.
- Make sure you stand up straight and in a pose that comes naturally to you.
- Keep your heels together and arms resting by your sides.
- Avoid sucking in your body.
- Measuring the Bust: Take the measurement at the fullest part of your chest. Pull the tape as tight as possible without altering the shape of your breasts. Make sure your arms are at your sides and are relaxed.
- Measuring the Waist: To measure your waist, wrap the tape measure around your torso, at the smallest part of your waist. This is usually about an inch above your belly button and is your natural waistline.
- Measuring the Hips: To measure your hips, put the tape measure at the fullest part of your hips. Pull the tape measure tight, but not too tight that it draws your skin in.
Once you have your measurements, you can then start shopping for dresses, using the measurements to determine if the gowns will fit you properly. Do keep in mind that even if you try on a dress that matches your measurements perfectly, you will likely need to have some type of alteration done. It is very seldom that a wedding gown will fit your body perfectly right off the rack; for example, the hips may need to be brought in, and the chest may need to be let out.