Every bride deserves to feel beautiful and confident on their wedding day, and finding the perfect dress is a crucial part of that experience. However, for plus-size brides, shopping for a wedding dress can often feel frustrating and discouraging.
The wedding industry has traditionally focused on the “ideal” body type, leaving many women to wonder: what is considered plus size for wedding dresses?
In this article, we will explore the definition of plus size for wedding dresses, the challenges faced by plus-size brides, and provide tips for shopping for and customizing plus-size wedding dresses. Whether you are a plus-size bride-to-be or simply interested in learning more, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about finding the perfect wedding dress for your body.
From navigating sizing charts to overcoming body image concerns, our comprehensive guide will help you feel confident and empowered in your search for the perfect dress. Let’s dive in!
The Definition of Plus Size for Wedding Dresses
When it comes to wedding dresses, plus size is a term that is often used. But what exactly does it mean? Generally, plus size refers to any size above a standard size. For wedding dresses, this typically means anything above a size 10 or 12, depending on the designer.
However, it is important to note that the definition of plus size can vary depending on the designer or retailer. Some may consider anything above a size 16 to be plus size, while others may include sizes 14 and above.
Additionally, it’s important to consider that sizing can differ across brands and even across different styles within the same brand. It’s essential for brides to try on dresses and consult with the sizing chart provided by the designer or retailer to ensure the best fit possible.
Overall, the definition of plus size for wedding dresses is not set in stone and can vary depending on who you ask. However, with more and more designers and retailers expanding their size ranges to be more inclusive, there are now more options than ever before for plus size brides to find the dress of their dreams.
Industry Standards for Plus Size Wedding Dresses
Industry standards for plus size wedding dresses have been long overdue for a revamp. For decades, wedding gown sizes have been determined by the standard measurements of a single mannequin, which are far from accurate representations of the diverse body shapes and sizes of real women. Fortunately, the fashion industry is beginning to recognize the importance of inclusivity and is taking steps to improve the range of sizes available for brides-to-be.
One of the most significant changes in the industry’s approach to plus size bridal fashion is the use of diverse models in advertising campaigns and fashion shows. This move has been well received by many brides, as it offers a more realistic representation of what wedding dresses look like on real women with curves.
Another positive shift in the industry is the recognition that not all plus size brides have the same body type. Just like all brides, plus size brides come in different shapes and sizes. Today, designers are creating dresses to suit different body types, such as A-line, ballgown, and mermaid dresses.
Despite the progress made in the industry, there is still much work to be done to improve the selection of plus size wedding dresses available. Many designers only offer a limited selection of dresses in larger sizes, and they may not always provide the same quality of materials and craftsmanship as smaller-sized dresses. However, as the fashion industry continues to recognize the importance of inclusivity, the hope is that these issues will become a thing of the past.
Why the Definition of Plus Size Matters
The definition of plus size is a controversial topic in the fashion industry, particularly in bridal wear. The media’s portrayal of what is considered plus size often differs from the industry standard, leading to confusion and frustration among brides-to-be. This lack of consistency can make it difficult for plus size brides to find the perfect wedding dress, ultimately affecting their self-esteem and confidence on their big day.
Furthermore, the stigma surrounding plus size in our society has perpetuated the idea that being above a certain size is undesirable. This is not only harmful to individuals but also limits the options available to them. By redefining what is considered plus size, the fashion industry can promote inclusivity and diversity, creating a more positive experience for brides of all sizes.
Finally, it’s important to recognize that the body positivity movement has gained traction in recent years, promoting self-love and acceptance of all body types. By aligning with this movement, the fashion industry can demonstrate its commitment to inclusivity and help end the harmful stigma surrounding plus size bodies.
Why the Fashion Industry Needs to Rethink Plus Size
Inclusivity: The fashion industry’s limited definition of plus size leaves out a significant number of people who wear sizes above a certain range. It is crucial to recognize and represent all body types to promote inclusivity.
Mental Health: The lack of options for plus size clothing can contribute to negative body image and self-esteem issues. The fashion industry must prioritize mental health and well-being by expanding their size range and showcasing diverse body types.
Market Demand: The plus size clothing market is growing rapidly and is projected to continue to do so. By ignoring this demand, the fashion industry is missing out on a significant business opportunity.
Cultural Impact: The fashion industry holds immense cultural influence, and its representation of body types can shape societal norms and attitudes towards body image. By promoting diversity and inclusivity in size representation, the fashion industry can have a positive impact on cultural attitudes towards body positivity.
Representation: Plus size individuals are consistently underrepresented in fashion media and advertising. By expanding size ranges and featuring diverse body types, the fashion industry can provide representation and visibility to a group of people who have been historically excluded.
The Negative Effects of Limited Sizing Options
Exclusion: Women who don’t fit into the limited size options are excluded from mainstream fashion, which can lead to feelings of isolation and negative body image.
Missed Business Opportunities: Retailers who don’t offer a range of sizes are missing out on potential business from customers who would otherwise purchase from them.
Reinforced Stigma: Limited sizing options reinforce the negative stigma surrounding plus-size bodies, making it harder for women to feel accepted and confident in their own skin.
Where to Shop for Plus Size Wedding Dresses
Shopping for a wedding dress can be an overwhelming experience for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for plus-size brides who may have limited options in traditional bridal boutiques. However, there are a growing number of retailers and designers who offer a wide range of beautiful plus-size wedding dresses. Here are some of the best places to start your search:
David’s Bridal: As one of the most popular wedding dress retailers in the US, David’s Bridal offers an extensive collection of plus-size wedding dresses in a range of styles and price points.
Kleinfeld Bridal: Known for their selection of designer gowns, Kleinfeld Bridal carries a range of plus-size dresses from top bridal designers like Maggie Sottero and Allure Bridals.
Torrid: This trendy clothing retailer offers a small but beautiful collection of plus-size wedding dresses that are perfect for brides who want a more modern look.
BHLDN: With a focus on bohemian and vintage-inspired styles, BHLDN offers a small but lovely collection of plus-size wedding dresses, including several styles that can be ordered up to size 26.
ASOS: While not a bridal-specific retailer, ASOS offers a range of stylish and affordable plus-size wedding dresses that are perfect for brides on a budget.
Online Bridal Boutiques That Offer Plus Size Dresses
If you’re looking for the convenience of shopping online, many bridal boutiques offer a range of plus size wedding dresses:
- David’s Bridal: One of the largest bridal retailers in the world, David’s Bridal offers an extensive selection of plus size wedding dresses in a range of styles and silhouettes.
- ASOS Curve Bridal: ASOS is known for its trendy and affordable fashion, and its Curve Bridal line is no exception. They offer a range of wedding dresses in sizes 16-30.
- Kiyonna: Specializing in plus size fashion, Kiyonna offers a beautiful selection of bridal gowns that are designed to flatter and enhance curves.
- ModCloth: Known for its vintage-inspired clothing, ModCloth offers a range of unique and stylish wedding dresses in sizes XS-4X.
- BHLDN: Anthropologie’s wedding brand, BHLDN, offers a curated selection of wedding dresses in a range of sizes, including plus sizes.
Shopping at an online bridal boutique can be a great option for those who don’t have access to a physical store that carries plus size wedding dresses or for those who prefer the convenience of shopping from home.
Brick-and-Mortar Stores with a Selection of Plus Size Wedding Dresses
If you prefer to try on wedding dresses in person, there are many bridal stores that carry a selection of plus size dresses. However, it’s important to note that not all bridal stores carry extended sizes, so it’s best to call ahead and check their selection. Here are some stores to consider:
- David’s Bridal: With locations across the United States and an online store, David’s Bridal is a popular choice for plus size brides. They offer sizes up to 30W and have a range of styles and designers to choose from.
- Kleinfeld Bridal: Located in New York City, Kleinfeld Bridal is known for its extensive collection of designer wedding dresses, including a selection of plus size options. They offer sizes up to 28W.
- The Curvy Bride: Located in New Jersey, The Curvy Bride specializes in plus size bridal gowns and offers sizes up to 44W. They also offer private appointments for a personalized shopping experience.
- Bridal Salons by JLM Couture: With locations across the United States, Bridal Salons by JLM Couture offer a range of designer wedding dresses, including a selection of plus size options. They offer sizes up to 30W.
- Alta Moda Bridal: Located in Utah, Alta Moda Bridal offers a range of designer wedding dresses, including a selection of plus size options. They offer sizes up to 28W.
Remember, these are just a few options – there are many other bridal stores that offer plus size wedding dresses. Don’t be afraid to do some research and make appointments to try on dresses at multiple locations to find the perfect gown for your big day!
Custom Dressmakers Specializing in Plus Size Dresses
Custom dressmakers can be a great option for plus-size brides who want a dress that is tailored to their unique body shape and size. Many dressmakers specialize in plus-size wedding dresses and have experience working with a range of body types.
When choosing a dressmaker, make sure to do your research and read reviews from previous clients. Look for a dressmaker who has experience creating dresses that are similar in style to what you are looking for and who has a good reputation for quality and customer service.
Be prepared to pay more for a custom dress than you would for an off-the-rack dress, as the process is more involved and requires more time and skill. However, the end result is a dress that is uniquely tailored to your body and style, and that will fit you perfectly on your special day.
Some popular custom dressmakers that specialize in plus-size wedding dresses include LaceMarry, Curvy Custom Bride, and Sydney’s Closet. These dressmakers offer a range of styles and customization options to help you create the dress of your dreams.
Remember that the most important thing is to find a dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident on your wedding day, regardless of where you purchase it from. With a little bit of research and patience, you can find the perfect dress that flatters your curves and makes you feel like a queen.
Plus Size Wedding Dress Shopping Tips
Shopping for a wedding dress can be overwhelming, but it can be especially challenging for plus size brides. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
Know your body shape: Understanding your body shape can help you find the most flattering style for you.
Research: Do your research and look for stores or designers that specialize in plus size wedding dresses.
Be open-minded: Try on different styles to see what works best for you, even if it’s not what you initially had in mind.
What to Look for in a Flattering Plus Size Wedding Dress
When shopping for a plus size wedding dress, it’s important to look for styles that flatter your body type. Empire waist dresses, which have a high waistline just below the bust, can help elongate the torso and create a slimming effect. A A-line dress, which flares out from the waist, can also be a good option as it can create a more balanced silhouette. Additionally, dresses with V-necklines can help elongate the neck and draw the eye upward, while avoiding dresses with too much volume or ruffles around the waist or hips can prevent the appearance of added bulk.
It’s also important to pay attention to the fabric and structure of the dress. Look for fabrics that have some stretch to them, as this can help the dress fit comfortably and move with your body. A dress with built-in support, such as a corset or boning, can also provide added structure and create a more flattering shape. Finally, don’t forget to consider the length of the dress – a dress that hits at the right spot on the legs can help create a more proportional look.
When trying on dresses, be sure to bring undergarments and shoes that you plan to wear on your wedding day. This will help you get a better sense of how the dress will look and fit on your big day. Don’t be afraid to try on a variety of styles and silhouettes – the most important thing is to find a dress that makes you feel confident and beautiful.
Common Fit Issues and How to Address Them
Tightness in the Arms: If you find that the sleeves are too tight, consider a dress with a cap sleeve, off-the-shoulder or illusion neckline, or consider having the sleeves altered.
Bulging at the Bra Line: Look for dresses with built-in bras or corsets for added support. A dress with a higher back or a full-coverage bra can also help smooth out any bulges.
Too Tight or Loose in the Hips: For a flattering fit, choose a dress that skims over your hips rather than clinging to them. A-line or ball gown styles are ideal for creating a flattering silhouette. Alterations can also help achieve a better fit.
How to Stay Body Positive While Shopping for Wedding Dresses
Shopping for a wedding dress can be a stressful experience, especially if you are a plus size bride. It’s important to remember that every body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Here are some tips to stay body positive while shopping for your dream wedding dress:
- Focus on your favorite features: Instead of worrying about your perceived flaws, focus on the features you love about your body. Choose a dress that highlights those features.
- Set realistic expectations: Don’t expect to look like a model or a celebrity on your wedding day. Remember that most dresses are made for a narrow range of body types, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t find the perfect dress right away.
- Bring supportive friends or family members: Bring along people who love and support you and who will uplift and encourage you throughout the process. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you need, whether it’s a compliment or just a listening ear.
Remember, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident on your wedding day. Don’t let the pressure to conform to certain beauty standards get in the way of enjoying your special day.
Body Positive Inspiration for Plus Size Brides
If you’re a plus-size bride, it’s important to remember that your body is beautiful just the way it is. Here are some tips to help you feel confident and inspired on your wedding day.
Embrace Your Curves – Don’t try to hide your curves. Instead, show them off with a dress that hugs your body in all the right places. Your curves are part of what makes you unique and beautiful.
Look for Role Models – Follow body positive influencers and celebrities who embrace their curves and inspire self-love. Seeing someone who looks like you and loves their body can help you feel more confident and beautiful.
Find Support – Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who will uplift you and remind you how beautiful you are. You deserve to be surrounded by people who celebrate you and your love.
Focus on What Matters – Remember that your wedding day is about celebrating your love and commitment to your partner. Don’t let negative self-talk or societal pressure take away from the joy of the day.
Celebrity Plus Size Brides Who Embraced Their Curves
|Celebrity||Wedding Dress Designer||Wedding Date|
|Ashley Graham||Christian Siriano||August 14, 2010|
|Tess Holliday||Wai-Ching||October 5, 2019|
|Jillian Michaels||designed by herself||July 18, 2016|
|Dascha Polanco||Irina Shabayeva||December 14, 2019|
|Barbie Ferreira||Jonathan Simkhai||September 4, 2022|
These celebrity plus size brides prove that all brides, regardless of their size, can look and feel stunning on their big day. With designers who specialize in plus size wedding dresses, and custom dressmakers who can create a one-of-a-kind gown, there are more options available than ever before. By finding the right fit and embracing their curves, these brides showed that confidence is the ultimate accessory.
Real Wedding Photos Featuring Plus Size Brides
If you’re a plus size bride, it can be challenging to find wedding dress inspiration that reflects your body type. Thankfully, many real brides have shared their photos online to help you envision how different dresses can look on a range of sizes.
When looking at real wedding photos, pay attention to the details that make each bride look and feel confident. These details may include flattering necklines, waist-defining silhouettes, or unique accessories that add personal flair.
Additionally, be sure to look for photos of brides with similar body types to yours. This can give you a better idea of how different styles and cuts may work for you and help you feel more confident when shopping for your own dress.
Creating Custom Plus Size Wedding Dresses
If you’ve been struggling to find the perfect wedding dress for your big day, don’t worry! Custom wedding dresses can be a great option, especially if you’re a plus size bride. With a custom dress, you can be sure that it will fit your body perfectly and accentuate your best features.
When creating a custom wedding dress, it’s important to choose a skilled and experienced dressmaker who specializes in plus size dresses. They will be able to work with you to design a dress that fits your unique style and body type.
Another advantage of having a custom dress made is that you can choose your own fabric and details. This means you can create a dress that is truly one-of-a-kind and reflects your personality.
While a custom dress can take more time and effort than buying one off the rack, it can be well worth it in the end. You’ll have a dress that is made just for you, and that you’ll feel comfortable and confident in on your wedding day.
The Benefits of Going Custom for Plus Size Brides
Perfect fit: One of the most significant benefits of going for a custom-made wedding dress is the perfect fit. When you order a dress tailored to your unique measurements, you can be sure it will fit you like a glove.
Design options: Going custom means you have complete control over the design of your dress. You can work with a designer to create a gown that reflects your personal style and vision, rather than settling for something off-the-rack.
Comfort: Plus size brides often face challenges finding a dress that is both flattering and comfortable. By going custom, you can choose fabrics and construction techniques that ensure your dress is both comfortable and beautiful.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the typical size ranges for plus size wedding dresses?
Plus size wedding dresses typically start at size 16 or 18, depending on the designer, and can range up to size 32 or 3However, it’s important to note that sizing can vary between designers and retailers, so it’s always best to check size charts before making a purchase.
How can a bride determine her size for a plus size wedding dress?
The best way to determine your size for a plus size wedding dress is to get measured by a professional. Many bridal salons and retailers offer measuring services, or you can visit a tailor or seamstress to get accurate measurements. It’s important to measure your bust, waist, and hips, as well as your arm and shoulder width, to ensure a proper fit.
Are alterations necessary for plus size wedding dresses?
While many plus size wedding dresses are designed with curves in mind, alterations may still be necessary to achieve the perfect fit. Common alterations include hemming the length, taking in or letting out the waist or hips, and adjusting the straps or neckline. A skilled tailor or seamstress can make these adjustments to ensure the dress fits comfortably and flatters your body.
Are there any specific styles that are best for plus size brides?
There are many styles of wedding dresses that can flatter a plus size figure, including A-line, ballgown, and empire waist dresses. It’s important to choose a style that accentuates your curves and makes you feel confident and beautiful. Additionally, dresses with ruching, lace or beading can be especially flattering on a plus size figure.
Can plus size brides wear fitted or mermaid style wedding dresses?
Yes, plus size brides can certainly wear fitted or mermaid style wedding dresses if they feel comfortable and confident in them. However, it’s important to find a dress with supportive undergarments and a structured design that flatters your curves. A skilled tailor or seamstress can also make alterations to ensure the dress fits comfortably and accentuates your best features.