by Ailsa Munro Dressmaker, Cornwall
It seems like it’s fairly common knowledge that wedding dresses “run small” compared to high street shops.
If shopping for the most important dress of your life wasn’t stressful enough, a lot of brides are then also faced with the horror of being squeezed into too small samples, pinned at the back with your bra showing, and having to show your bridesmaids and Mum while trying to imagine what it’ll look like in the right size.
As a dress designer, I wanted to explain why this is so common, and what you can do to avoid getting overwhelmed by it.
Sizes are just numbers
First of all- it’s important to remember that sizes are just numbers. They help the industry codify bodies, which come in all shapes and sizes and heights and proportions, into roughly 6 standard sizes. The system is imperfect, not least because it appeals to the side of our brain that wants to put things in boxes and say “okay so if I’m a size X I must look like Y“, or worse “I can only be happy if I’m a size X” This brings about what is often referred to as “vanity sizing”, where high street shops make their sizes fit a slightly bigger body in order to make them feel good and therefore buy the product. See more...