Most people have been frustrated by today's sizing system. You head out to the store, knowing that you fit into a pair of size 6 jeans. But when you go in one store, their size 6 is tight. In another store, the size 6 hangs on you. You decide which pair is close enough to fit you want.
Most shoppers have come to expect these variations in size when it comes to casual clothes. But when it's your wedding dress – and you know all eyes will be on you, the bride – close is not good enough. You want your wedding dress to fit like a glove so you can relax and enjoy the day.
Bridal salons know that fit is important, which is why they employ an expert alterations team. They can take the off-the-rack dress you selected and nip it here and hem it there so it fits you well well.
High end bridal salons even offer the couture experience, where a master seamstress will make a pattern for your dress that is fitted exactly to your figure. The seamstress then uses this pattern to cut and create your wedding dress. All focus will be on making your dress look like it was created just for you – which, in fact, it was!
When you purchase a couture dress, the seamstress will make a muslin pattern that will be used to create your dress. At this point, you can modify the pattern's basic features – such as raising or lowering a neckline, lengthening or shortening the train, changing the style of the sleeves, etc.
Most bridal salons purchase their inventory from dress manufacturers. You, the bride, will order the size closest to fitting you and then it will be altered to fit. But do not mistake alterations for a couture dress. Couture gowns also feature more more expensive materials than those used in other dresses, such as French laces and Italian silks.
If you decide you want a couture dress, expect to pay more than you would for other dresses. After all, you're paying for the time and talent to get a perfect fit. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your search for the perfect gown:
Make an appointment – and if you can not get one right away, realize that this is probably a good sign because it is a busy and popular shop.
Do not go from salon to salon in one day. You can get overwhelmed. Start by selecting one salon with a wide selection and go from there.
If you make an appointment, keep it. Remember some other bride was probably turned away because of your appointment, so honor all sides involved.
When you make your appointment, ask about the salon's requirements. Do they want you to wear gloves to try on the dresses? Should you avoid wearing makeup? When you're trying on the salon's expensive silk dresses, you want to do your best to avoid damaging them.
Be honest about your budget. If you only plan to spend $ 1,000, do not ask to try on the $ 6,000 gown.
Avoid bringing your entire wedding party on your first shopping trip. Maybe you and your mother can narrow down the choices before bringing in all the bridesmaids. Too many opinions may only confuse you.
Do not allow anyone to rush you into making a decision – not your parents, bridesmaids or the sales staff. If it's the month before the wedding, it might be time to rush to a decision, but not before.
By all means, ask the salesperson for advice on the most flattering dress for your figure. Let them know your ideas, but be open to benefiting from their experience. They know from experience that some styles are more flattering to certain figures, such as:
Large busted women should avoid a very high neckline as this can make you look even bigger. Try to get the neckline equidistant to the point of the bust as the line underneath the bust.
Small busted women can either introduce some padding or add some ruching and pleats over the bust. These textures add volume to this area and give the appearance of a larger bust.
Big shoulders can be minimized with thick straps on a sleeveless gown. And try going for a fuller skirt on the bottom to balance the width on the top.
Small shoulders would do well with cap sleeves set as far apart as possible. You could also try an off-the-shoulder look. Avoid a full skirt.
Hour-glass shapes look good in just about any style, but if yours is a full-figured hour glass shape, firmer materials are often better.
When you've got your dress and it fits like it was made for you, then relax and enjoy your big day!