Wedding Wisdom™

Ordering A Wedding Dress For Success: The Size Discrepancy Dilemma!

11/1/2015 by Deborah McCoy

Ordering Wedding Dresses for Success!

There's a big difference between the size you choose when purchasing clothes off a rack in a store and the size you select when ordering your wedding dress.

Just like the clothes you buy when you go to a department store, each designer has their own idea of the measurements that constitute their sizes. For example, you might be a size 10 in Ralph Lauren, but a size 12 in Gloria Vanderbilt. It's the same for wedding fashion.

The truth about wedding dresses is, however, that they run smaller than street clothes! This causes the size discrepancy dilemma!

The Secret Is...

When you decide to purchase a wedding gown, you must be shown the manufacturer's size chart for your gown. Do not purchase a wedding dress from any shop who will not show you this chart!

Compare your measurements to those on the chart. When in doubt, go up a size. Don't consider the hip measurement if your dress has a full skirt, or is an unfitted, A-Line style.

Measuring for Success: An Example...

Let's say your measurements are: 34, 26, 38.5 and you're purchasing a sheath, or straight gown.  

Your gown is Lazaro. You look at the company's size chart: 

Size 8:     34      25     36

Size 10:   35      26     37

Size 12:   36.5   27.5   38.5

What do you do? First, notice that there's only one inch difference between an eight and a 10, and a 1 1/2 inch difference between a 10 and a 12. That's not much.

A size 8 in this example will fit you in the bust, but be too small in the waist and hips. A size 10 will be one inch too large in the bust, will fit the waist, but be too small in the hip.

A size 12 will be 2 1/2 inches too large in the bust, although "cups" will take up part of the slack. It will be 1 1/2 inches too large in the waist, but will fit perfectly in the hip!

The Solution to the Size Discrepancy Dilemma!

So what size do you order: You order the 12, which covers all your bases!

WARNING WORDS: You can always take a gown in to make it smaller, but you can't always let it out to make it bigger (because of "seam allowance" or the limited amount of material in the side seam).

CAUTION: Always look at the manufacturer's size chart before ordering your wedding gown. And when in doubt, order up!

P.S. If you'd like me to answer your wedding questions, just email:

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