Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An open letter to Bridesmaid Dress Manufacturers

Dear Bridesmaid Dress Manufacturers and the Bridal Shops that Sell Them:

I understand, truly, I do, that the most cost-efficient way for you to sell dresses is to simply have sample sizes and force women to gamble their hard-earned wages on your lovely dresses.
However, I would suggest to you that perhaps you might consider sampling a few additional sizes of your most popular dresses.  You know, those ones that look pretty good on just about everyone?  Would it be so difficult for you to carry a few dresses from each line in a 6, a 10, and a 14?  Or even consider having a "sample size" line in which you have one dress in every size it comes in, for the bridesmaids to try on, so they know what size they are, leading to a decrease in the cost of alterations?  Yes, I know the stores like to gouge us on the alterations, but maybe this way they could gouge us a little less?

If you can't do this, please add a feature to your websites, in which, in addition to seeing the dress in different colors, I could see what the dress might look like on a different sized person.  For example, what might this dress look like on somebody who is busty?  Who has big hips?  Who has broad shoulders?  What about a woman who is completely flat chested?

You make lovely dresses.  They really do look good on a wide range of women, and many of them are extremely flattering.  So please make it as easy as possible for bridesmaids to understand that they will look good in the dress, and save them the 4 months of worry until it comes in in their size.

Wedding for Two


  1. Great Post!!! Don't know how efficient your ideas are money size for the businesses but I definitely understand your pain.

  2. Oh man! I meant to say "money wise". LOLOL

  3. Ugh, I totally feel you. My bridemaids are completely different in terms of their body types. One is really really petite (like she wears a size 0 petite) and another is on the other end of the spectrum trying to lose weight. We got our dresses from J. Crew, which worked out really well because the dresses deliver immediately and it's easy to exchange for a new size it the one you originally ordered didn't work. They have a wonderful return/exchange policy which is convenient for bmaid dress shopping!

  4. I couldn't agree more! And WHY are they so expensive in the first place? The bridesmaid dresses offered at bridal salons aren't any nice than a special occasion dress at a department store but they cost twice as much or more. Ugh!

  5. Could not agree with you more. My siser/maid of honor had to order her dress without every trying it on because the only sample in our city was a size 4. Although she tried on a dress very similar, we were both still worried until it actually arrived. Honestly, it's way too much stress to deal with when the manufacturers could easily solve the problem.

  6. @Budget Brides - there is a bridal shop in Baltimore city that carries all of their dresses in a size 6 and a 12 or 14 - it was awesome! Myself (12) and my sister's tiny size 0 bridsemaids could try on dresses that sorta fit and it was great!
    I think it would be very feasible to carry at least the 2-3 most popular or most flattering dresses in the store in different sizes.
    @Ghenet - we went with Ann Taylor for my sister's wedding for the same reason and the return policy was great (I used it). Because we wanted long dresses in a particular color, we had to go actual bridesmaid dress shopping. The dresses we bought were about $200, which is comparable to the J.Crew dresses (and about $200 cheaper than the long J.Crew dresses).