What size are you? A question that we all dread and honestly may not even know the answer to. Humans are not created to standard sizes, but sadly our clothes still are, it’s just the nature of the beast. And don’t even get us started on the term “standard sizing”, there’s nothing standard about it! We know we’re preaching to the choir, but let’s face it–you can be one size in one brand and two sizes different in another. Or, you can be one size on top and another size on the bottom. There is no actual standardization of sizing in the fashion industry and no sign that it’s going to happen any time soon. And, where sizes were once based on measurements, they’re now based on something called “vanity sizing” which attributes a certain set of measurements to a single number, hence 0 and 00 sizing.
If all of that wasn’t confusing enough, wedding gowns have their own sizing metrics that make them a lot different from your average clothing purchase. The biggest factor in the sizing difference seen in wedding gowns is the fact that most of them don’t stretch (like most of our ready-to-wear clothing does these days). So while you may be a 10 in most brands, don’t be surprised to learn that you’re a 12 or 14 in most wedding gown lines. Even though this difference is pretty consistent throughout the industry, it is still normal for one bride to be a different size in different brands.
The good news is that knowing your wedding gown size shouldn’t be your responsibility. If you’re buying your gown through a boutique, the stylist on-site should be able to take your measurements for you and recommend the correct size. If you’re purchasing your gown online, it is likely up to you to select the size for yourself based on the brand’s size chart. Before you place your order, we recommend going to a tailor (preferably the one you are going to use for your bridal alterations) and asking them to take your measurements for you. Believe it or not, there is a science to it and it’s something best left to the professionals.
Even with your measurements professionally taken, you’ll likely find that you are between two or more sizes. For example, your bust measurement may be a size 10 but your hips are a size 8. In a situation like this, it’s best to order the larger of the two sizes and have the gown taken in to fit properly. Remember, you can always make a gown smaller but it’s almost impossible to make it bigger! So to answer the question, are wedding gowns true to size? The truth is there is no such thing. The one thing that you should be able to rely on is that the gown should be true to the company’s size chart–everything else is just a number.