(Closed) Dress sample sizes/ terrified of dress shopping!

posted 5 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
4810 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

View original reply
twistaway:  I’m a street size 14 also – please don’t worry!!  There are very creative ways to shimmy into the smaller dresses, and it’s amazing what size you can fit into when put on from the top or stepped into.  And the larger sizes actually clip up pretty well.   I fit into a size 8 of the dress I chose, and that was a wedding dress size.  No worries!!!  Enjoy!!!

Post # 3
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

Dont worry about trying dresses on! Even if the dresses you chose to try on dont zip all the way up they can pin it and make it look like how it would fit if it did zip up!Enjoy trying on dresses you will have fun!

Post # 4
283 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I am also a street size 14.  I had no problems. 🙂 Lots of dresses did fit, but for dresses that were a little too small it was a little awkward being in a dress that didn’t quite close up, but it was just me and my Mom in the shop so it wasn’t too bad.

Post # 5
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015 - Ballroom

I am a pear-shaped street size 14 and I was able to try quite a few dresses on at the first two bridal boutiques I visited, but I honestly had trouble envisioning how I would look in some of them because they were ill-fitting – or wouldn’t fit at all – around my “pear”! Then I went to a plus-size bridal boutique and it was AWESOME because everything fit!! It gave me so many more options and I wound up choosing a style that I didn’t initally think I would like, which is a trumpet shape.  If you have the option to go to a boutique for plus sizes, you definitely should. 

Post # 6
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016 - The Burgundy Basin

I’m going shopping this Saturday and I have the same exact fears! <3 it will be alright though! :]

Post # 7
3470 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

You may not get a perfect view of the back, but they can definitely still give you a good idea of a standard sized dress style.  I’m a street size 12 and I was trying on size 6/8 dresses and was able to see the overall look and make a decision no problem.  

Post # 8
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I’m a street size 16 and was worried about this too! I loved the little shop I went to- they had color-coded labels for size ranges, so while I was browsing I looked at the bigger ones so I wouldn’t feel so bad trying to get into tiny dresses!! They had a great selection of “plus size” samples, and they also helped me get into a few 10-14 size dresses too. Maybe call the shop beforehand to see how they do it

Post # 9
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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twistaway:  I bought a 16 dress and only the very first dress was a 10 and looked horrid.  All other dresses were at least a 12 up to 22.  I went to 2 stores and both had a range of sample sizes.  I was looking mostly at fit and flare.  The sample for the one I bought was a 14 and looked good but felt too tight so I ordered the next size.

Post # 10
954 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I was able to go to a bridal shop that had plus size only (bridal 12 – 28) and it was fabulous. They didn’t carry “plus size designers” but designers that make dresses the exact same for plus size as non-plus size and it was awesome! I was terrified of dress shopping and figured I’d start there becuase I should be able to fit into the dresses and POW! found my dress! It helped that I am whatever size their samples were – they all zipped on me just the bust and straps were a little big. But it was an amazing experience!

Have fun!

Post # 11
1806 posts
Buzzing bee

I was pretty apprehensive about trying on dresses, too. I called the boutiques I had made appointments at after the fact to confirm sample sizes! Come to find out, I was nervous for nothing. I’m a street size 8 (sometimes 10 depending on the brand) but had read that many stores only carried 6s and 8s (which are more like 2s and 4s when you’re talking about wedding dresses). I knew I would be trying on 10s and 12s but I didn’t know how many I’d get to try on and if I would be limited. What I also didn’t know is that not only was I not limited, but I could actually try a size 20 or a size 6, have it clipped, and get a good idea of how it would look when altered. Some of the samples I tried on were actually smaller or larger than my size and they clipped things in the back, to my bra, etc. After I picked “the dress,” they took my measurements and compared it to the designer’s chart so I could be sure I ordered the correct size off the bat. Worked like a charm. My dress came in perfect and is in alterations now.

Long story short: I saw soooo many brides in all shapes and sizes trying on dresses and there was something for everyone. I did have a so-so experience at one place that did have smaller sample sizes and just picked out dresses I said I didn’t like the shape of (also known as: not listening). I simply went somewhere else!

They have ALL SORTS OF SIZES to try on, bee.

Post # 12
1569 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

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twistaway:  I think you will be pleasantly surprised! I am a street size 20 and was concerend as well. I went to one shop that had literally one dress for me to try on and I was immediately put off of dress shopping after that. Then I came back around and have had wonderful experiences ever since!


Some tips:

– Davids Bridal has a ton of dresses in a ton of sizes. Even if it isn’t where you want to buy your dress, you can try on every style ever made so that you’re never left wondering “hmmm, but maybe I should have gone with a mermaid…”

– Yelp! I found a shop near me that had a TON of plus size dresses by looking up “Plus size bridal” on Yelp.

– Call around. Before/while making an appointment I asked if they had samples in my size, only one place told me that they wouldn’t have much for me, and it saved me a trip. 

– Shapewear. I don’t even wear an 18 in real life, but with shapewear I could fit into size 18 bridal dresses (!)


Post # 13
644 posts
Busy bee

Even if the label says its a 8-10-12 whatever doesn’t mean it is so don’t worry about fitting in to things they will find a way. I’m a street size 12 (uk) and I fitted as in it actually fitted nicely everything from an 8 to an 18! Bridal sizes are very weird! 

Post # 15
191 posts
Blushing bee

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I will be honest with you about my experience, I wish someone had told me! I’m a street size 14 and I had a very hard time finding a dress in a traditional bridal salon. There are several factors that go into ‘shimmying’ into a size 12 dress if youre a size 14…like the style of the dress and your body type. If youre a pear shape (like me) and trying to cram yourself into a size 12 mermaid dress, it just wont work. I found myself getting discouraged at traditional salons because i’d see a bunch a beautiful dresses that I couldnt try on! It was quite frustrating and discouraging.

Size 14 is a unique size in that you’re not ‘big enough’ to shop in a an exclusively plus size boutique, however, the samples at traditional shops will be too small. I didnt feel comfortable paying throusands of dollars for a dress that I couldnt really try on and i’d just have to hope I liked the fit/look when the dress comes 6 months later.

I finally decided to try a ‘plus size salon’ and the experience was heavenly!Its where I said ‘yes tot he dress’ for a beautiful gown I would have never been able to try on at a traditional salon. I could literally try on any gown in the store that I wanted, I wasnt limited th few samples (like at a traditional salon) that they only had in size 12 that were either not my style or wayyy out of my budget.

Some PP’s are correct in that the salons have a way of being able to fit you into a size 12 dress, but if you want the full, unhindered dress shopping experience try going to a plus size salon. You dont have to exclusively shop at one, but i’d recommend going to at least 1 or 2.

I hope that helps! Again, I didnt want to be to forward, I just wanted to share by experience!


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