Confused by Bridal Sizing

Are Wedding Dresses True to Size?

Bridal gown sizing is often a hot topic when brides are shopping for their wedding gown. It can be a bit confusing, so we thought we would break it down for you. 

Bridal sizing is based on traditional European sizing from the 1940s. Ready to wear sizing in the U.S was adjusted over the years, but bridal has remained true to original size charts. That is why, for the most part, bridal sizing runs 2 sizes smaller than ready to wear (what you would buy when you are shopping in Nordstrom for example).

But every designer uses a different size chart based on their own patterns. Some designers can run smaller or bigger than others. And the cut of the dress can also affect the size as well. For example, a bride who has a larger hip then bust line who’s planning to wear a full skirt will likely order a smaller size that will fit her perfectly in the bust and waist. With this type of wedding dress, the hip measurements won’t matter as much.

For this reason, some brides-to-be are often confused by the shopping experience, especially if they’re browsing sample sales or shops without the help of a bridal expert. Some brides can also get frustrated by the sizing, but I try to remind my brides, it is just a number. Your measurements are what matter. It’s about finding the ideal fit. And an amazing seamstress will also be your best friend. Alterations are almost always necessary and an expert seamstress can turn your dress into a perfect-fitting gown.

At Dream, I do my best to accommodate brides with dresses that work for every shape and size. I believe it is important for brides to not only see the fit of the gown but to feel good while they do it! With that being said, most of my gowns are a bridal size 10 or 12 which would, therefore, be an 8 or 10 in street (aka ready to wear) sizing.  I do at times have gowns in a size 8 or 14 at times and a small selection currently in plus in size 18 or 20. You can see the selection by registering to pre-shop.

Contact me with any questions. I look forward to helping you find your dream gown!

xoxo, Malinda