I’m a street size 16, and I have to say I 100% completely felt the same way when I started dress shopping.. I was nervous and anxious… it took me a long time to feel comfortable in my underwear in front of my fiance with the lights on, and now I am expected to strip down in front of a complete stranger under bright glaring lights?! Yikes!
I started at David’s Bridal (because I KNEW they’d have my size in a variety of dresses) but ultimately HATED my experience there. I went twice, and both times I was assigned a different consultant. One made me feel totally comfortable, like I wasn’t actually standing there in a bra and panties. The second made me feel SO completely uncomfortable and awkward and ugly (which was only one of the many reasons I ended up running FAR from David’s Bridal).
So on to the actual salons… my nerves were SUPER tense. And I went to a LOT of boutiques!! Of the 6 boutiques I went to, and 9 trips total (I’m really indecisive..), only ONE of the consultants made me feel uncomfortable. And it was actually because she was TOO casual – while I was in the dressing room and she was lacing a corset back (I had my strapless bra on), out of NOWHERE, she said “This dress will look 100 times better without the bra!” and with one shockingly swift motion, my bra was on the floor! I didn’t even have a chance to notice what was happening. I must have reacted in shock, because she then said “Don’t be shy, honey, I see girls strutting around naked here all day! It’s no big deal!” Well, that’s great if it’s no big deal to YOU, but these are MY boobies!
Sorry for the tangent…. but after a few visits, I felt comfortable (even when one consultant INSISTED she could squeeze me into a size 6! Halfway through I made her give up, made a joke about my enormous Hungarian hips, and brushed it aside).
You have to remember they see ALL types of bodies, every day. And if they are in the profession (except for a few) they understand full well how self-conscious girls can be, and they understand how to be respectful and courteous.
And I promise, you WILL feel amazing!!!
P.S. I highly recommend Maggie Sottero – her dresses are designed with so much support that you won’t need any bra at all, and they suck everything in and leave only the curves you want. 🙂
Here’s my dress: In Maggie sizes, my bust and waist were a 14, but my hips were a size 18… but I was able to buy my corset A-line dress in a 14, and because of the shape, it fit beautifully everywhere. 🙂 (crappy photo, I can’t wait till I get mine in and can take better pics!)