May 1, 2009

One Size Does NOT Fit All!

The current trend of allowing bridesmaids to select their own, non-uniform, style dress is long overdue, in my opinion. Designers in the bridesmaid business have responded (encouraged even?) this trend by providing a variety of styles in the same colors and fabric. Here is a where I am proud of you, Mr. Wedding Industry.*

Where I take serious issue with you, Mr. Industry, is in your utter failure to provide bridesmaids (and brides, for that matter) around the world the opportunity to try on a dress in their size or a close size! I get that there are limitations on how many samples a given designer can send to bridal shops for folks to try on, but what I don't understand is why those designers couldn't at least give brides an option to order a sample in a smaller or larger size, should she need one to try on. Not only that, but once a maid orders the dress, she is stuck with it if the style doesn't suit her or doesn't fit her.

Designers are more than willing to charge out the patootie for the dresses (more than a reasonable person would pay even for a gorgeous dress that she really LOVES, let alone a dress that, let's admit, she will probably not wear again), but can't seem to work any kind of customer service into the equation. How can they expect us to pay so much money, with the risk that we are not going to love it?? Extortion, I tell you!

As a former bridesmaid and current bride, this situation really hits home for me. My sisters and I are different shapes and sizes, and I know so many bridal parties are made up of a variety of different looking girls.

That is why I am glad that my maids and I decided to go to vendors and dress shops that have an assortment of sizes available to try on and purchase, and to not support those designers that lack what I believe is a fundamental element of customer service. And I hope that other brides will think about this when they make their maid dress selections.

*This entity must be identified as male, because there is no way that a woman would expect that all women wear a size 8 or 10, nor would she expect that women with their variety of sizes & shapes would be able to select a dress without trying it on!!
**The dresses that adorn my beautiful sisters above (from Alfred Angelo) are not what we picked, though we went with a similar shape.


  1. Great post!
    Any specific recommendations on vendors for bridesmaids dresses?

  2. Unfortunately, only a few accomodated.

    David's Bridal was the obvious one, they have most sizes in the store to try on.

    Bella Bridesmaid really tried to accomodate and called the designers for me to get samples in more sizes for my appointment (but they didn't have sizes I needed, so we never actually went).

    We went with Alfred Angelo, who has a variety of sizes in their actual storefront, but not in the larger bridal shops that carry the brand.

    I didn't really find anywhere else!

  3. Christie, you're totally right. My sister-in-law, when planning her wedding a few years ago, had the problem of five bridesmaids in completely different sizes and shapes, plus the addition problem that we were all located in different states all across the country. She had us pick different dress styles in the same fabric and color at David's Bridal, which is big enough to have stores near each one of us and thankfully carries them in a variety of sizes. (She did ask us to tell her what our selection was before buying it, since she wanted to make sure none of us coincidentally picked the same dress which would have looked weird...our tastes were totally divergent so that didn't happen.) What a crazy and complicated process!