Do BM dresses need alterations?

posted 2 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My girls all got cocktail dresses.  They did need minor alterations.  A lot of dresses tend to need them around the breats due to the way they are formed. For some reason, a lot of them have room for your boobs built into your armpits instead of the front of the dress.  Mine were also all halter tops that hooked instead of tied, and each of those where made way too long. 

Alterations, for as much as there were some griping about it, were $25 at the most.  I also live in a low cost area.

Post # 3
1528 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’ve been a bridesmaid 4 times and had to alter every dress but one. That was an off the rack, non bridesmaid dress, though. I’m pretty short so usually I have to have the length altered, but I also had to get dresses taken in. It really depends on your body type. My chest is bigger than my waist so the way bridesmaids dresses are ordered (to the largest part of your body), I have to order it to fit my chest and altered down to fit my waist. the most i’ve paid for alterations is $100. The least I’ve paid is $50. Keep in mind the material the dress is. One bridesmaid dress was chiffon with multiple layers and that is expensive to alter. I wouldnt assume just because your girls are wearing short dresses that they won’t need to be hemmed. If I hadn’t hemmed mine, it would have been way past knee length and just awkward. These dresses are meant to need to be altered.

Post # 4
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We also got short dresses, still needed hem, and 5 of 6 needed other alterations as well. I’d expect they would need some. My BM dresses when I was a BM also needed altered. 

Post # 5
3735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Most of my BM’s will need alterations.

Post # 6
6964 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Usually they do need some alterations unless you’re able to buy them directly off the rack and know that they fit well.

Post # 7
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I need alterations for any dress that is fitted, bridesmaid or not. I’m a pear shape, so I buy a dress big enough to fit my largest area (my bottom half) and then have it taken it to fit my smaller upper half. I currently have a cocktail dress in for alterations. They charge $27 an hour for labor, so my bill is looking to be about $70, which is more than I paid for the dress itself (it was a sweet deal at Nordstrom Rack)! I will say that Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren dresses are the ones that I am least likely to need alterations for. Their fit model must have proportions more similar to mine. But for the vast majority of my dressy dresses, alterations are necessary.

Post # 8
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m in a wedding this weekend and my dress needed no alterations. It is a traditional cocktail-length BM dress from Dessy.

Post # 9
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

cbj9:  They likely will need alterations. In fact, many normal clothes would look much better on all of us with slight alterations, but most women either don’t know that or don’t bother.

The choice of style can lessen the need for alterations. IF a dress has a full skirt, if the bust and waist fit, there isn’t usually a need to do anything about the skirt. If the dress has a slim skirt, it needs to fit properly everywhere.

Post # 10
2675 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

We had short dresses five bridesmaids…

Maid of Honor: $125 alterations, went from size 10 to size 6 due to weight loss, added straps to dress, and hooks on the dress that clipped to her bra so it wouldn’t show.

Matron of Honor: No alterations

BM1: No alterations

BM2: $25 alterations to adjust halter top straps

BM3: $60 alterations to adjust top of dress, her bust measurement was too small to even be on the size chart at all.

Each girl had a slightly different style of dress (pictured below)

Post # 11
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

My girls are wearing short dresses and they all had to get it hemmed and most of them are very tall (5’8″ and taller). It fit all the girls below the knee at different points which is not how it fit the model and looked rather matronly and awkward. The dress is a really simple bill levkoff chiffon short dress and all the girls ended up spending 75-100 for alterations.  It is possible to find a dress that some bridesmaids won’t need alterations but don’t count on it.  I have heard that david bridal dresses are shorter- didn’t go with them bexhaust I was afraid they would look a bit slutty on my very tall teenage sister who has all her height in her legs. 

Post # 12
481 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Definitely depends on the girl and on the material.  For the last wedding I was in my dress needed no alterations.  It was cotton type material from David’s Bridal, sleeveless.  

Post # 13
2895 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i had 3 girls and none of them had any alterations done. they all wore knee length dresses. my shortest girl was 4’11” and she could have had her dress hemmed a tiny bit if she wanted to, but she ended up leaving it alone (which was totally fine). i think the fit was a little snug on all the girls, but they didn’t feel the need to have it fixed. 

i was in a wedding once and needed my dress hemmed, taken in (size 2 to size 0) and i had straps added.

Post # 14
2428 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I had three bridesmaids and 2 of them needed alterations – and they all bought their dresses off the rack from ModCloth. So it just really depends on how well it fits.

Post # 15
1236 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

Five BM dresses later, I’ve had exactly one alteration – to replace a snap with a hook-and-eye closure. I just don’t think it’s worth it, personally, unless something catastrophic happens (need to add a panel to the back or something.)

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