Bridal Sizing Tips and Measurements

You went wedding dress shopping, found your dream gown and are ready to commit — and now it’s time to make sure the size is right! After all, you want your dress to fit like a glove (after alterations, of course). Wedding dress sizing can differ from ready-to-wear or street clothes sizing, so keep reading for our best tips and tricks for bridal sizing and measurements. 

Determining Your Wedding Dress Size 

When shopping at a True Society bridal store, your True Crew bridal stylist will also assist in measuring and choosing the ideal wedding dress size for you. During your bridal appointment, measurements are usually taken at the bust, waist and hip and compared to the wedding dress size chart.  

Your stylist will then choose the size closest to your measurements, ensuring that no area is too small, and a tailor or seamstress will take care of the rest when your gown comes in and you get your alterations done. 

Measurements and Sizing Can Differ 

Wedding dress sizes differ from standard, ready-to-wear sizing, so don’t be alarmed if you hear a size you aren’t accustomed to wearing. Wedding dress sizing is based on European sizing from the 1940s, so the wedding industry uses sizes that are typically two sizes larger than you would normally wear. As a result, a bridal size ten should fit someone who wears a size six in their day-to-day life.  

Bridal sizing can also vary slightly depending on the fabric and silhouette of your gown. For example, an A-line dress doesn’t hug the hips, so your bridal stylist may choose a size that fits your bust and waist with less consideration for the hip measurement.  

How Many Sizes Down Can you Take in a Wedding Dress? 

If you plan on losing weight before your big day, we would like to remind you that you are beautiful just as you are! Regardless, your gown will usually be ordered for the size you are at the time of your measurements and then can be taken in accordingly. It is typically safe to say that a wedding dress can be taken in two sizes, but some seamstresses may be able to accommodate more. We always recommend not sizing down so as not to put too much pressure on yourself to lose weight or tone up before your big day. 

How Much Should You Size Up for a Wedding Dress? 

Beyond the typical sizing up due to the nature of bridal dress sizing, there is generally only a reason to size up if you anticipate gaining weight or your bridal stylist suggests it, typically if a particular style is known to fit snugly given the silhouette or fabric. If your measurements fall between two sizes, it is always best to choose the larger size and have your seamstress alter your gown to fit like a glove! 

Wedding Dress Sizing Chart and Tips 

While a True Crew stylist will assist in measuring you, if you would like to measure yourself or have a friend or family member measure you out of curiosity, here is how to get the best measurements.  

For measuring the bust, the tape should be placed around the fullest point.  

Next, for measuring the waist, find the narrowest part of your waist, also known as your natural waist. Lastly, for measuring the hip, place the measuring tape around the widest point. Make sure the tape measure is wrapped around each point comfortably, being careful not to squeeze too tight.  

While we truly believe that you should wear whichever silhouette makes you feel the most beautiful, here are a few tips and tricks for finding which wedding dress silhouette is right for you: 

  • Hourglass figures, characterized as having similar bust and hip measurements with a smaller waist, look stunning in mermaid and fit-and-flare styles, which accentuate the figure. 
  • For those with a smaller bust and a wider hip measurement, A-line silhouettes or ballgowns that accentuate the natural waist are stunning! 
  • An A-line silhouette with a V-neckline and straps for support is an excellent choice for those with a larger bust. 
  • For the petite bride, sheaths, column gowns, A-lines and fit-and-flare styles elongate the body. 
  • For the plus-size bride, A-line styles elongate the body and highlight the waist. A mermaid style is stunning for the bride who wants to show off their gorgeous curves. 

Alterations and What to Consider When Buying Your Dress 

After your gown comes in, it’s time to get it altered! Wedding dress alterations are usually necessary to ensure that your dress fits you beautifully and comfortably. While it may be as simple as just a hem, a few nips and tucks or a bustle, alterations can also include adding customizations or taking a gown in one or two sizes. 

When buying your dress, make sure to discuss any big alterations plans with your bridal stylist, who can help inform you if they are feasible given the style and fabric of your gown. For example, a gown that lacks the support you need in the bust area may not be able to be altered to provide enough support, or a fit-and-flare dress may not be able to be made super tight around the knees to give more of a mermaid shape. 

Now that you have all the tips, tricks and information you need about wedding dress sizing, it’s time to start your dress search! Our True Crew stylists can’t wait to assist you and be a part of your special day! Schedule an appointment at one of our True Society bridal boutiques.  Dress availability varies per store.    

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