(Closed) Bridal shop ordered my dress a full size too big (STEAMED!!)

posted 11 years ago in Dress
Post # 32
Member
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Congrats on standing your ground and scoring some free (and very much deserved) alterations!  Good for you!

Post # 33
Member
19 posts
Newbee

Annaz wrote just about exactly what I was going to write about sizing in the fashion industry.  In my more svelte days, I was wearing size 16 JC Penny  pants, sz 14 Liz Claiborne, and size 10 Donna Karen.  Guess which pair of pants were my favorites?

Some bridal companies are more generous than others, some skmpier than others. We always dreaded ordering dresses from Venus and Pallas Athena (same company) because not only was their seam allowance only 1/2″ at that time, but the seams were also clipped.  So if a bride was inbetween two sizes, we had to go up a size.  If a bride had broad shoulders, we had to go up two sizes!  Sizing and altering this company in the bust was problematic, and eventually we dropped them.  They also beaded their laces at the hem right through from lace to fabric.  That meant, from an alterations stand point, a nightmare of work.  To do a hem, even just one inch, meant removing the lace and beads, move the lace up to its new location and then rebead.  Some shops may do the job by cutting around the lace right from the gown fabric and lifting, and just placing it on top of what ever.  But that is the “down and dirty” way to alter a lace hem, and was not our style.  As Annaz said, there is a lot more to taking dresses apart than putting them together.  The goal of quality work is to make the altered dress look like it had never been altered at all. 

As a fitting and sizing specialist, I have seen brides stay the same size, I have seen them gain weight, and I have seen them loose weight.  We had a bride whose gown was discontinued right after we ordered it, so she took the stock gown in the size 12, we orderd fabric and lace and made plans to alter it to a size 20 for free at the time of her wedding 6 months away.  When it was time for her fittings, the bride had lost weight, and the 12 fit perfectly with the seam allowance that was available for let out!  No extra fabric was needed!  And we still did her work for free of course.

Then there was the bride that with each fitting, she lost 2 inches.  We started fittings 3 months before the wedding, one per month, the last fitting a week before the wedding.  The dress kept going in, and in and in.  Nervous, we scheduled a fitting a a day before the wedding, and sure enough, the gown needed to come in again, after being taken in the week before!

Then there was the bride that insisted she was going to lose weight.  She demanded a smaller size than what we reccomended that we order for her.  She gained weight.  We swapped dresses (with her permission) to the stock dress, let the stock dress out, did a lot of praying, she dieted, and she just barely made it.

My reccomendation is, that when you have your measurements taken, make sure you are wearing the same type of foundation that you will be wearing on the wedding day.  The same slip, especially if you are ordering the dress from hollow of the neck to hem.  For hollow to hem, you should wear the dress, slip and shoes.  Pin the hem of the sample up to the appropriate level off the floor and see if it is what you like.  If you measure with the tape pushing everything back to your body, you could end up with measurements that are too short if you are trying to measure a full ball gown.  Have the shoe style marked on your file so that you don’t forget.  If you decide on a different shoe, then you are going to have to stay with the same heel.

If the sample gown that you are buying is too big or small, then try on a gown from the same manufacturer in the size that the sales person reccomends to see how it fits.  Try on a gown in the size your measurements say you are from that company.  This is so worth the time and effort.  There can be some difference from style to style, but for similar styles, it should not be a huge amounts.  As Annaz said, the manufacturers are fitting to fit models and body types of their own.

Also, think about being measured at the same time of month that your wedding is. Also, try to plan you fittings as the same time of month your wedding is too.  In other words, so your body will be the in the same part of your cycle.  Some women change dramatically with fluid, and it can make a lot of difference in such a close fitting garment like a wedding gown!

Alterations does not have to be a stressful process.  I’ve met a lot of seamstresses that are delightful women, and as a fitter, I always tried to make the time fun.  Don’t beafraid to communicate about what feels comfortable, and what does not.  But please, stand still, look straight ahead, and don’t look down.  We want those hems perfectly straight!

Elizabeth

Post # 35
Member
250 posts
Helper bee

Our bridal store over in St Pete, measured and remeasured and then “discussed the measurements” and showed us the manufacturers sizing chart and said, his dresses run true to the size chart.

 

The fit is awesome, needs just one little nip under the arms and that is because she lost some weight.  Most of all I was impressed that the manufacturer would do a custom hem~ the hem is perfect and cheaper than hemming multiple layers of fabric on a dress.

 

Guess it is just dependent upon so many factors. But after reading this, i think I would post and ask for referrals and also look at the sizing chart carefully.

Post # 36
Member
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I’m so glad it’s working out for you ETP! 

This same thing happened with my fiance’s suit.  I don’t know what the deal is.  The whole suit is practically being reconstructed.  At least suit alterations are the cheaper of the two.  I got lucky and bought a used dress that doesn’t really need any alterations other than adjusting the single point bustle up a little bit.  (I should add, my size 6 Casablanca fits me almost perfectly.  The store that almost sold me an Allure gown wanted me to buy a size 8, preferably a 10 to be safe – and yet the 12 that I tried on was HUGE on me.  I just compared their sizing charts and they’re pretty flippin’ similar.  I was nearly in the same boat as you girls.)  Maybe if enough fuss is made they’ll quit doing this.  I can understand where they’re coming from with some of it, trying to cover themselves but it’s pretty ridiculous most of the time!

Post # 38
Member
4381 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Ceremony - First United Methodist Church; Reception - My parents' house!

Good luck!! That reallly, really sucks. I didn’t even THINK of the possibility of something like this happening.

Post # 40
Member
299 posts
Helper bee

Damsel_Fly, very useful information, thanks!!!!! 🙂

Post # 41
Member
3331 posts
Sugar bee

I’m so glad that after everything, you’re happy with how your dress fits!  Thanks for sharing your story, it’s a great cautionary tale for other brides!

Post # 42
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

very informative post! 

when i ordered my dress, they actually wanted me to go a size down from what i thought i should be based on the chart.  but i said that since i like the way the sample i tried on fit, i wanted to order the exact same size. 

i understand their logic, though.  my chest, waist and hip measurements are three totally different sizes on the chart.  i think they were basing their recommenation on my chest size, but my tummy is the problem spot, and the dress looked flattering in that area at the size i tried on, so that’s the size i requested.

my dress arrived (ordered it end of june) and i’m going to visit it this weekend (not a fitting yet), so i’m hoping the size turned out okay.  i know i’ll have to do something about the bust area, since it was a bit loose when i tried on the sample.  but i’ve worn enough evening gowns to know that it’s a lot easier to find a nice padded bra than squeeze into a dress that’s tight in the tummy. 

Post # 43
Member
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

<span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Times New Roman;”>  I actually had this happen to me as a bridesmaid. I tried on a dress when we went with all the other girls and size 4 fit me to a T except for needing a hem…. we got the dresses and it wouldn’t stay up. I went right back to the store and they ordered me in another one no problems…. with wedding dress you may have to put up a little fuss but I would be concerned about the beading and all of that too… When I was wedding dress shopping they started me trying on a size 12! We were down to an 8 when we found the dress and the girl swore I couldn’t go down anymore despite the fact the corset top was touching in the back … she finally let me try on a 6 and it was perfect.

Post # 44
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2010

this is one of my dress worries as well! what i’m paranoid about is that they either 1) won’t measure me correctly or 2) provide a fraudulent dress size chart!  does that sort of thing actually happen to people? or am i being completely insane?

Post # 45
Member
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Alfred Angelo wanted me to be a size up. I tried on a size 12 in the store-my size-perfect-it would just be an inch too long (crinoline would fix it). They wanted me to go to a 14! I’m planning on loosing weight so if I got a 12 (which fit in the store) I would do a ton of alterations to make it fit @ a size 12 & then extra for weight loss. I got the size 12 & it’s perfect. I’ll be loosing weight so hopefully it’ll be taken in some 🙂 It’s just annoying that they want you to order the size up to alter down. They just want their money! It’s not like they aren’tmaking it off of expensive dresses…

Post # 46
Member
19 posts
Newbee

Engaged To Panda, I am so glad to hear that your dress fitting went so well, and that your dress is lovely!  Yippee!

Elizabeth

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