Are you a mid-size bride, or consider yourself to be in the medium size range? If this is you, and you're shopping for a wedding dress in a middle size than today's advice is just for you! We're sharing the best, most flattering wedding dress styles and silhouettes look best on mid-size brides.
One of the most common questions we hear at our bridal boutique in Los Angeles is what style wedding dress will look best on a bride. It can be overwhelming to start shopping for your wedding dress with so many options available to try on. You might not know what style or silhouette looks best on your body - or even what style wedding dress you are most drawn to or interested in trying on. Wedding dresses are very different from your everyday clothing so one of the starting points when working with a bridal stylist will be to figure out what silhouettes you like best. Whether that be a big ball gown style dress or a more fitted mermaid style dress, your bridal consultant can help you narrow down what works best for your particular body.
Brides should know that they most likely will not fit perfectly into the sample sizes available at bridal stores. The inventory that bridal stores order for brides to try on are usually purchased in a mid range size so that a variety of body types will be able to try on various dresses. The alterations process is where your wedding dress will be customized to fit your particular body. Today we are going to share our best tips for wedding dress shopping as a midsize bride.
VIDEO: Wedding Dress Shopping Tips & Flattering Dress Styles for MidSize Brides
If you are a midsize bride and are wondering where to begin when it comes to wedding dress shopping, we have all the expert advice you need to be prepared to shop for and find your dream wedding dress. Don't miss our wedding dress shopping tips and flattering dress styles for midsize brides so you can make the most of your wedding dress shopping appointments.
Sample Dress Sizes
Before we dive into what wedding dresses will work best for midsize brides, let’s make sure you have an understanding of wedding dress sample sized. Bridal stores have to purchase their own inventory of wedding dresses. Most stores will have one size of each dress in their inventory due to the cost of wedding dresses. It would not be feasible for a bridal store to purchase every wedding dress they carry in every size. They are going to choose a size more in the middle of the size chart so that a variety of brides can try on the sample dresses.
Wedding dress shopping is not like going to the department store where you can try on the same pair of jeans or the same blouse in a few different sizes to see which one fits you best. Ordering sample dresses in a middle size allows the designers to get the stock dresses made a little bit quicker so that they are not doing custom sizes for each store ordering a particular design. Bridal stores have to wait on their inventory just as long as brides ordering their wedding dresses, but the process is streamlined a bit if the designer is creating multiple dresses on the same pattern at once.
What this means for brides who are on either end of the size spectrum is that the sample dresses may be either too big or too small for you. This can be particularly challenging for petite brides and plus size brides. If you are a petite bride, you may end up swimming in fabric and not able to properly envision what a certain dress looks like on your body. If you are a plus size bride, you may be limited on what dresses you can try on, particularly if the store you are shopping does not have a large selection of plus size inventory.
If you can keep an open mind about the wedding dress sample sizes going into your dress shopping appointment, it may help take away some of the nerves. At Lovella, we have seen it all over the years and love helping our brides of all shapes and sizes find their dream wedding dresses. For brides who fall in the midsize range, you may not fit into all the sample sizes but the plus size dresses may be too big for you so you might be wondering what silhouette or style will work best for you. Bridal stylists have a lot of tricks up their sleeve to get brides into the dresses. And remember that if you love a dress when it does not fit perfectly, imagine how much more you will love your dress after alterations when it fits you like a glove.
In our years of bridal styling experience, it is fairly easy for midsize brides to fit into ball gown sample dresses. If you are looking for a more fitted option, it’s usually the hip measurement that can be a complication for getting the sample dresses up and over the hips. In this case, we may pull some plus size options and clamp you into the dress like we would for a petite bride in a sample size dress. Remember that your dress will be ordered for you based on your hip, waist and bust measurements and then alterations will make any needed adjustments.
Sample size wedding dresses are going to be a bridal size 10 or 12 in most scenarios. This is not a regular clothing size 10 and 12 and brides should know that each designer’s 10 and 12 are slightly different. Bridal sizing can get a little complicated, but don’t be alarmed when you see bridal sizing. Each designer has their own size chart based on bust, waist and hip measurements.
As long as you are shopping at a reputable bridal store, your stylist will ensure you are ordering the correct size dress based on your measurements. You can always call to ask a bridal store what sizes they carry in their inventory before scheduling an appointment. At Lovella, we pride ourselves on carrying a large variety of inventory and in a range of sizes, up to a bridal 32. Don’t be afraid to ask to try on a plus size dress if a sample size doesn’t work for you. A plus size dress that is clamped on you might be able to give you a better sense of a certain silhouette. So while you might not be able to try on an exact design, you could try on a similar plus size dress and determine if that shape is right for you or not.
Your wedding dress will be ordered based on your body measurements and then tailored to fit you perfectly. Midsize brides may have a larger bust or larger hips that make it harder to fit the sample sizes, but your gown will be ordered based off the larger measurements and then the waist of your dress can be taken in, for example. You may find that you need to order what is considered plus size to accommodate your bust and then your hip and waist will be taken in during alterations. Just remember that the sample sizes don’t fit anyone perfectly and alterations will make everything fit perfectly. Don’t let the bridal sizing mess with your head - focus on what dress makes you feel beautiful and confident no matter the size number.
Wedding Dress Silhouettes
One of the most common questions we get from brides is what style wedding dress will look best on their body type. Obviously every bride wants to look their best on wedding day, but there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to bridal fashion. We don’t think there is a certain dress that is best for pear shaped brides or petite brides or whatever your shape is. We want to remove those labels and focus on what dress makes you feel the most beautiful and confident. Any body size is beautiful and you will need to try on the various silhouettes to see what you are most drawn to and like best on your body.
If you are not sure what style wedding dress you might like, a good starting point is to figure out if you want to show off your body shape or hide it a bit. Do you want a more princess look in a ball gown or a-line dress or do you want to be more form fitted and show off your curves? That can be a great jumping off point in your bridal appointments and you can narrow down styles from there. We do like to encourage brides to try on a variety of silhouettes, even if they have an idea of what they might want to wear. You never know what you might end up loving. We have seen brides who swear they only want to wear a ball gown and then end up loving a form fitted mermaid style dress.
A good bridal stylist will start your appointment with a variety of different shape dresses along with different designs. You want to be able to quickly identify what shapes and what designs stand out to you. So as you are trying on these different shape dresses, you can also start to identify if you like a more plain design or if you prefer beading or lace. Once you have started to narrow down what design and shape you like best, you can move on to finding your dream dress. Once you figure out what shape you feel the most beautiful in, your stylist can start pulling different dresses in that silhouette to then determine the design you love. You will be able to try on a variety of dresses in the same shape to then decide on the details like embellishments and fabric options.
More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice
We hope you have found this advice helpful when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress as a mid-size bride. For even more helpful advice when it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress and finding your bridal style, be sure to check out our past posts:
- What Wedding Dress Style & Shape Should You Wear For Your Body Type
- How To Determine What Style Wedding Dress You Want When Trying On Dresses For The First Time
- How To Overcome The Most Common Bridal Insecurities
- Tips For Wedding Dress Shopping as a Petite Bride
- What To Expect When Shopping For Plus Size Wedding Dresses
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.