This is a true story that disturbs me. A beautiful young woman, a friend, is getting married. Like most brides-to-be, finding a dreamy dress is an exhilarating part of her plan.
This friend, let’s call her Jen, is a gorgeous, curvy woman with long dark hair and dark brown eyes. She’s smart, funny as hell, and talented – tops in her creative field. She’s about a dress size 12, or roughly the average American woman’s size.
|Anything here for a gorgeous size 12????|
She’s a true hourglass, with a small waist and larger bust/hips. This woman rocks vintage 50’s – 60’s dresses and hair like you wouldn’t believe. She’s got an eye for color and shape and lives to accessorize. Sometimes we go on for an hour about shoes and belts.
Being fashion-minded, she wants a special dress for her wedding day. Nothing too “little princess” (she’s about 30), but not too casual. A vintage feel, with gorgeous lace, maybe tea length, then accessorized to make it even more personal.
|Something like this would be wonderful.|
So she’s been looking online, and naturally, hitting up the bridal salons. Now begins the outrage. Bridal shops carry sample dresses to try on, in a range of sizes. Remember, bridal “sizes” are one-two sizes smaller than your usual dress. So if you wear a size 6, like me, you’d be trying on 8’s and 10’s at the Emporium des Brides.
Jen found that most salons carry sample sizes only up to size 12 (equal to about an 8/10). No way her curvy figure was fitting into an 8/10. Neverheless, the (very nice) bridal salon staff tugged and squeezed and yanked a few dresses over her head. They had to stop at the shoulders. “My head was covered with heavy satin and lace. I couldn’t move,” she told me. Then this fabulous woman said, “I felt like a monster.” My beautiful Jen!
|This isn’t Jen, but this is similar to her size/shape. Fabulous. source|
She and I understand that smaller salons cannot afford to carry lots of sample dresses, too costly. But they do know that the average American woman is about 5’4′ and weighs 164 pounds? And that she wants to feel beautiful and authentic as she shops for her gown? And not just told to “hold it up against yourself to get an idea”.
I’m far from an expert in retail practices, and I am fortunate to be an easy-fit. But can’t we do a little better, bridal business?? You already have unbelievable mark-ups on a garment that’s worn one time. Get a little smarter, more understanding, something! And take better care of the Jens in this world. Oh, she’s buying her dress from a designer via Etsy, and the designer is thrilled to be working with such a fashion-forward customer.
Have any of you had similar experiences? Share, please, if you care to; I love to hear from you.