Shopping for a wedding dress is always a challenging assignment. If you are plus size, though, the challenge can be a much harder one.
However, it doesn’t mean that you will never find a wonderfully beautiful wedding dress that will make you look fabulous on that special day. Here are a few tips to help you make the best choice.
1. Call first
Many wedding dress stores only keep one sample dress for each design that they carry. If most of their customers are between sizes 3 and 20, they usually only have a size 10 sample for all of them.
You could have a hard time finding stores that have sample sizes that you can actually try on. Calling stores before you go should be a good idea.
2. Think big-box stores rather than bridal stores
While bridal stores can only afford to carry a few design lines and one sample for each dress design, big-box stores go with a completely different approach – they like to keep large inventories of every size, right in the store. Even if you don’t plan to actually buy a dress at a big box store, you should think of starting your search at one of these places so that you can get to actually try on a few dresses.
3. Don’t allow the salesperson too much influence
A good purchase in a wedding dress often requires input from a deeply involved salesperson. It’s important that you find a store with a salesperson who is enthusiastic about your business.
Sometimes, though, salespeople tend to become controlling. They can try to push their own choices, rather than make room for what you really want. You need to watch out for this kind of pushiness and resist it when you see it.
4. Don’t let the sizing scales confuse you
In the wedding dress industry, different brands tend to use different sizing scales. Affordable brands usually prefer the same sizing scales as the makers of regular clothing. Expensive brands, though, use the couture scale that the fashion industry chooses.
Deciding on a dress by its size number or comparing dresses can be impossible. It can be a better idea to judge dresses by the way they actually fit you.
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5. You get to make major changes to any dress to choose
Since sleeveless and strapless wedding dresses are all the rage now, you may find it hard to find other kinds of designs. Luckily, alterations are possible.
If you choose a sleeveless dress, for instance, you can add sleeves if you prefer them. You simply need to ask the store about the alterations possible with any given design.
6. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad
Many salespeople at bridal shops ask their clients a routine question: they ask if they plan to lose weight before the wedding. While this may seem like a harmless question to many, it can be an unacceptable one to a plus size woman. If a salesperson’s weight-related suggestions or questions seem unacceptable, you should waste no time leaving.
7. Your dream designer is always a possibility
If you always pictured yourself wearing a beautiful Vera Wang, Givenchy or another top designer on your wedding day, you don’t need to give up your dream. Many major designers do cater to the plus size market. They make all their dresses in sizes up to a 24.
8. Consider many kinds of style
It can be difficult to tell what styles look good on you until you actually try different designs on. Many brides looking for plus size dresses, for instance, completely overlook strapless dresses because they believe they have inadequate bust support.
Some strapless designs, though, do offer the right kind of support. It’s important not to rule anything out before you try it on.
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9. Make sure to shop for your undergarments first
Whether you plan to wear a long line corset or a special bra on your wedding day, you need to make sure that you have it on when you go shopping. These support garments can greatly influence the way a dress looks on you. Consider finding and buying undergarments that really fit you.
10. Make sure that the dress you buy fits the largest part of your body
This is probably the most important tip to remember when buying a plus size wedding dress. If your bust is a size 13 and your hips a size 17, it’s the hip size that you should buy your dress for. The rest of the dress can be taken in.
Many plus size brides decide to buy smaller sizes than will fit them. They hope to lose enough weight by the time the wedding rolls around.
While it’s a good thing to try to lose weight, the stress involved can take away from the joy of preparing for your wedding. It’s a better idea to simply buy a dress that fits you just the way you are. Love yourself, your body and enjoy all the preparations for your wedding day!