(Closed) Plus size gowns- independent store or chain?

posted 7 years ago in Full Figured
Post # 3
1342 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@jatelynn:  It’s all going to be okay!  I was SO scared before I went.  Look online for reviews.  Call boutiques and ask them if they carry plus size samples.  My mom and I even went into a few places to browse long before I made my appointment to go try dresses on.  I’d just do all the research you can.  I live in the suburbs of Chicago and there were quite a few places that were not David’s or House of Brides.  I was in the same boat as you, just really did not want to go to either place.  I had a horrible experience at a house of brides and nothing at David’s wow-ed me enough to where I would even want to try it on.  Just do your reseach and  you’ll be just fine.  Have fun!

Post # 4
11165 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I don’t think you can really say that chains are better or worse than small boutiques because everyone’s experience will be different. I visited both and had marginal success at the chains while the boutiques I visited (and eventually purchased my dress from) had a wide selection of size 14 and up dresses.

Plus size is now such an important market sector that most stores it seems are trying to carry a wider variety in larger sizes. I do agree that if you are planning to travel definitely give them a call and make sure that the boutique or chain you have in mind does in fact have a selection in sizes you can try on.

Best of luck in your search!

Post # 5
8882 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I had the same worry but found dress shopping not to be so bad. I purchased my first dress from David’s Bridal and not once did the consultant make me feel different b/c I was plus size.  My second dress (I’m selling the other) came from an Independant shop. They didn’t have the sample in plus size but they made it work and didn’t make me feel different either.

Post # 6
1733 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Call in advance and see what the sample size is on the gowns that you want to try. Tell them what your street size is and ask them if that will work to try on. If they’re icky on the phone, give them a miss.

Mostly — just love yourself and don’t put up with any BS. I’m an 18/20 and I didn’t have a bad experience anywhere I went (although I also didn’t expect size 10 gowns to zip up! We DID, however, put them on me and clip them appropriately, and it was FINE. Bring the shapewear that you know you’ll want to wear, too. This will help. And unless you’re looking for a sheath or something, wedding gowns are constructed to be more flattering than most off-the-rack stuff. 

I eventually bought from a small store close to where I live. The saleswoman was about my age and also plus-sized, so it was really like having an ally in the search. 🙂

Post # 7
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I thought I was going to be stuck getting my dress from davids bridal. Not that their dresses arent pretty or nice, just nothing that I envisioned myself in. I didnt want to order a dress without trying it on My mom convinced me to go to a small boutique in town and I found THE dress.

I would suggest calling and seeing if they carry plus size gowns. I was impressed with the selection at the boutique I got my dress at. ANd if they do carry plus size gowns, make an appt and go try some on 🙂

Post # 8
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I purchased my gown from a small boutique. There were not plus size samples to try on but the owner is so fabulous and only sees one bride at a time so youre not trapsing around in gowns that are 10 sizes to small in front all the little brides who are falling out the size 4 sample. Plus, you get the entire salon to yourself. She made me feel so comfortable and like it was seriously not a big deal (and it wasn’t – she just pinned the back so it would stay put even though it didn’t close and that was that). I met with the designer of my gown during a trunk show and she designed a gown for me. I think the level of service makes all the difference. My advice is to avoid stores like DB at all costs (but obviously others have gone there and had a good experience) and go with a smaller boutique.

Post # 10
2807 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

i’ve gone to both. i had good experiences and bad experiences at both. it all depends on what you’re looking for.

i agree with PP’s. call ahead and ask if they have any plus size samples (: some stores do, some don’t.

@jatelynn: i wore my own strapless bra to each and every store i went to, but some stores have them for customers (david’s bridal does, and then one of the private/independent stores i went to did as well). you can call ahead to wherever you’re going and see if they provide them, or if you must bring your own.

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