dress shopping for a self conscious plus size bridesmaid

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@TheWagners1112:  hi there! I’ve been a bridesmaid countless times. I’m a size 6/8 now, but used to be a size 26. (I lost 180lbs 6 years ago and destroyed most of my old pics!) I found a-line dresses worked best on me. And whether it was more flattering or not, I wanted sleeves or a cover up option. Also being able to wear my hair down kept me in my comfort zone. 🙂 You are a really great friend to consider her insecurities. 🙂

Post # 4
3623 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@TheWagners1112: I think that is a good idea, but I’d be open to buying at David’s. We were there yesterday and there were some dresses that looked amazing on our size 18-20 girls. They were way more flattering than the other designers.

If you go to the reviews on the David’s site, you’ll see actual btidal party photos.  We went with an a line dress with a defined waist– for us, the thick, defined waistline was key to us all looking good.

BTW– the bridesmaids in the picturs are 5’7 and about 110, which would be 150 on a 6 fot girl (as someone who has the inseam of a 6’3 man and is a size 2…They dont fit me either! My tall, leggy bridesmaid problem was far more difficult than the plus size problem. I looked like a hooker, everyone else looks adorable,  regardless if they are a 4 or 24. So as long as you dont have giraffe legs, your bridal party will be fine!


Post # 5
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would think your girtls know what shape they like best to wear.

There are quite a few pics if you just Google “plus size bridesmaids”


Post # 6
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I’d say talk to your bridesmaids about what dresses they normally like to wear. What styles have you seen them wear? Something similar to what they’re already rocking would probably be good, unless they say they want to try another shape.

Since I’m plus-size myself (although I’m not bottom-heavy) I can recommend a couple shapes as supposedly “flattering” on all plus-size girls (well, they worked on me and I was told they should, but people are all different).

  • A-line – one with a defined waist that floats away from the body and ends at the knees is really pretty and comfortable
  • Loose sheath – I don’t know the actual word for it, but if you want a long dress, please don’t go with empire waist; everyone says that it “hides flaws” but what it tends to do on me is make me look even bustier and also very very pregnant; instead, a dress with (once again) a defined waist and a skirt that skims along the hips and legs without clinging looks really nice
  • Mermaid – for those who are really confident, mermaid is super fun and flattering to the curves, but once again . . . you need confident bridesmaids and to shut down any nay sayers (seriously, I’ve had people badmouth me basically to my face when they thought I was “too confident for my body” or whatever)
  • Belts are always fun, and bold ones will really define the waist
  • Sleeves – I tend to dislike them unless they’re from a jacket, but that’s me

Post # 7
4719 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@TheWagners1112:  I’m a 12 street clothes, which is definitely plus size in the bridal world. On every shopping trip I really couldn’t zip up any dresses. My main issue is my large chest, and most dresses would not zip closed once they got to that area. We went to a bridal salon and our consultant was the same size as me, and happened to personally own most of the dresses from the designer (Alfred Sung) we were looking at, as she wears them for work. She brought in her own personal collection for me to try on. So awesome! I found most the dresses to be very flattering – and I actually have to wear two different ones in weddings a month apart this year.

One of the other BMs is plus size, if I had to guess I’d say around a 22 street clothes as well. While searching for Alfred Sung dresses online, I came across a wesbite that sells them much cheaper (and apprently, after reading thousands of reviews, they are a legit authorized retailer with a brick and morter store). On top of that, they also do a try-before-you-buy program. You can request as many dresses (for $1 each) to be sent to you to try on. You get 3 days, and then you ship them back and order your dress.  (www.weddingshoppeinc.com)  I just sent in an email yesterday (hoping to hear back soon) with the styles I wanted to try – and their website shows that they carry sizes 00-16 and then 80W-30W in the plus sizes. I think we’re going to have the other BM order some for herself to try on in her size too!

Post # 8
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@TheWagners1112:  My girls are all wearing the same color/fabric/designer but each chose a dress that best flattered them. My girls are all different sizes and the style of dress can be a huge confident booster or depressing. It’s super hard to know how a dress will look just by looking in pictures.

Also, I think the whole wedding industry is such an a-hole when it comes to dress sizing. One of my bridesmaids has a tiny frame and is very slender. She usually wears a 0-2 and she was a size 8 bridesmaid dress. What is the point of this?? 

This thread also has some pictures of real life bridesmaids:


Post # 10
2449 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My bridesmaids ranged from bridal size 6 to bridal size 22. We found that Ivy & Aster offered to make their tops a different size than the bottoms for a small fee. They weren’t inexpensive but not too bad. We did the Lierre in ivory and added our own sparkly belts. You can check thephotos in my recap, the girls looked beautiful.

Post # 12
3623 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@TheWagners1112:  Sounds like every experience I have had at David’s! We actually walked out twice (once with mine, once where I was a BM) and ended up ordering online. But, if you get free alterations somewhere else, go for it! Mine really added up.

We had a 2, 4, 6, 8, 18, and 20 this weekend. What worked well on all of us were these dresses:

http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Short-Chiffon-Dress-with-Ruching-F15603_Bridal-Party-Bridesmaids-All-Bridesmaid-Dresses (If you are all older. It looked a little too mature on the 18 year old and it made no one look great. Even me as a size 0 waist looked chunkier than I was, but it wasn’t horrible).

http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Short-One-Shoulder-Crinkle-Chiffon-Dress-F15608_Bridal-Party-Bridesmaids-All-Bridesmaid-Dresses — This looked surprisingly okay on the plus sizes and great on everyone else. I hated it (it looked great on, but I would never wear it again).

http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Short-Crinkle-Chiffon-Dress-with-Front-Cascade-F14847_Bridal-Party-Bridesmaids-All-Bridesmaid-Dresses — This is the dress that we got. It looks really great on everyone. We didn’t feel our slimist in it (any of us), but looking in the mirror and on the other girls, it was the clear winner. 

http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Strapless-Chiffon-Dress-with-Layered-Skirt-F14169_Bridal-Party-Bridesmaids-All-Bridesmaid-Dresses — This was a runner up and looked really good on everyone. But it has a Tinkerbell skirt and I think it looked more ballerina than bridesmaid. It would have gone to my neice for dress up after the wedding.

http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Short-Cotton-Dress-with-Y-Neck-and-Skirt-Pleating-83690_Bridal-Party-Bridesmaids-All-Bridesmaid-Dresses — We had this dress for my wedding in a different fabric and it is an excellent modest choice. It looked fantastic on my plus sized girls, the fellow giraffes, and the sticks with no curves. I would recommend trying it on. It doesn’t do justice here, but Y neck looks so good on so many people.

Post # 13
4719 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@TheWagners1112:  We’ve got the SAME problem with bridesmaids of all sizes. We’ve got a 00, several that are in the 4-8 range, a couple of us in the 10-14 range, and then one who is 22+. It’s definitely NOT easy to find a dress for everyone. The first thing we all agreed on, including the bride, right off the bat….NO STRAPLESS. Those of us with a chest NEED to wear a bra, and strapless doesn’t cut it when you’re a 38D or larger. 😉

I just did a search on that website, and narrowed it down to Allure in Chiffon – and came up with 4 pages of results!


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