Dress: By Watters Lynette Gown for BHLDN
We’re always excited when we see more people (designers) and places (bridal retailers) showing up for plus-size brides. That said, we’re going to caveat that comment a bit, because in our opinion, at this point in time, anyone who isn’t part of the inclusive [bridal] party clearly needs to rethink their strategy. It’s a missed opportunity for the dress businesses themselves, it’s a total shame, and it’s just not the kind of vibe we can get down with as our world [hopefully] continues to change, grow, and become a much more accepting, responsible, and in-this-together type of place. That’s how BHLDN sees it, and that’s why they’ve taken some of their best-selling, most-loved looks and made them available to a much more diverse audience, offering dresses in size offerings 0-26W.
The great thing about love is that everyone fits.
F*** yes, that’s the best way to put it, because we’ve been so over the ‘one size fits all’ anthem that’s monopolized aisle styling for decades. And these dresses aren’t just a response to checking the ‘has plus sizes’ box, nope, they’re actually the final part of the full and pretty plus-size picture. Extended sizing is a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if the customer still doesn’t feel seen, heard, or listened to - something that can happen a lot if the only option for curvier brides is online shopping, with little resources or support. For BHLDN’s General Merchandise Manager, Lori Conley, that’s exactly where they wanted to start and what they felt energized to improve.
“We want our brides and their bridal parties to feel beautiful and confident, which starts with a shopping experience that exceeds expectations,” she says. “Every neckline, sleeve shape, waist drop, and detail in the collection was designed with the Plus customer in mind.” And not just in theory, but practice, too!
Talking the talk AND walking the walk.
The Plus collection’s arrival in select stores allows BHLDN to offer personalized, one-on-one shopping experiences for more brides than ever before. “It’s not enough to simply order a gown in your size, especially if you’re a plus-size bride-to-be,” says Conley. “We want all brides to have the magic moment of trying on a gown in-store and falling in love, so getting the fit right was priority number one. Before going into production, each BHLDN Plus gown is fitted in-house on a true plus-size fit model who can move, sit, stand, and spin in the dress and tell us what she likes and doesn’t like.”
Dress: BHLDN Ludlow Gown
The feedback is so important, because it lends authenticity and intention behind the silhouettes that are now readily available for more brides. The thing is, that whole “exceptional shopping experience” can’t just be accomplished with dresses and willing, soon-to-be weds who wear sizes 16+ - the stores and the staff have to be on board, too...
It’s an all-in way of true change.
“As a brand, we recognize that education is key to providing an unforgettable customer experience. To ensure this, we provided our BHLDN stylists with a blended learning experience to prepare for launch. All stylists completed training to learn about service standards, fit, tech, and product. During this time, they also learned from subject matter experts including members of our home office, buying and fit tech teams to ensure a full comprehension of our Plus product. Additionally, in select stores, stylists were given the opportunity to try on the new styles to learn the ins and outs of each piece in the assortment, giving them the confidence and knowledge to speak to the product from a firsthand experience to our Plus brides.” ~ Lori Conley, BHLDN General Merchandise Manager
Dress: BHLDN Carmel Gown
BHLDN’s carefully-curated Plus assortment offers 30 bridal gowns and 20 bridesmaid dresses of varied silhouettes, top styles, and trends - all featuring the brand’s signature elements: innovative designs, romantic details, and thoughtful craftsmanship. NO ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR PLUS-SIZE STYLING, EITHER!! And the campaign imagery is so spot on and full of smiles. Gives us all the feels!
Dress: Jenny by Jenny Yoo Haven Gown for BHLDN
A lot of our own vendors have been blazing the extended-sizing trail for sooo long. So, definitely take a peek at our vendor credits below for even more destinations to shop plus!