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Many brides can get hung up on the number inside the dress, when really it shouldn’t be an issue at all. Want to know why? Most wedding dresses aren’t true to size. Yep, you heard that correctly, in fact, most wedding gowns run one to two sizes smaller than high-street labels. 
 
Let’s say you’re a standard size UK 12 for example. You may be shocked and/or offended if a bridal shop assistant hands you a size 16 wedding dress. But you shouldn’t be. Size is just a number and what’s important is how you look and feel in the dress, no matter what size is on the label – nobody will know anyway! This blog explains the history of wedding dress sizing, and why many wedding dress sizes run small today. 
 
The History of Wedding Dress Sizing 
 
Fashion is known for its evolution, it changes so fast that you can often recognise trends from a couple of decades ago, just slightly repackaged in another way. Although styles evolve, the wedding industry as a whole has somewhat stuck to its traditions. Most leaders in the wedding industry started off in Europe and their wedding dress size charts tend to run smaller than UK brands. 
 
When it comes to individual designers, each one uses its own different size chart based on its own patterns. That means wedding dresses almost never run true to standard sizing that most shoppers are familiar with. 
 
Some brides-to-be are often confused by the shopping experience, especially if they're browsing sample sales without the help of an expert. They may feel discouraged by the sizing but they shouldn't fret about achieving an ideal ‘number’. 
 
How to Measure for a Wedding Dress 
 
Try to get a hold of the designer’s sizing chart beforehand so you can take your measurements first and then select the size closest to your dimensions. If you’re torn between two sizes of the same dress, we recommend always going for the larger size. This is because it’s much easier to alter a big dress than it is to alter a dress that’s too snug. 
 
Trying On Wedding Dresses 
 
You may want to try on wedding dresses while wearing shapewear, but only do this if you plan to wear the exact same shapewear on the big day. You should also try it on with your chosen shoes if possible or at least a certain heel height that you’ll know you’ll stick to. 
Since bridal stylists and consultants work with different designer brands every day, they know all too well how each size chart works. Let them assist you and try to not get hung up on the sizes they hand you, just trust them and give them a go. 
 
Play it safe and order a size that fits your current body. Any dress can be taken in by a seamstress or tailor, typically up to two sizes without affecting the structure of the dress. If you buy a dress that’s too small in the hope to lose weight, bear in mind that most can only be let out by one full size, if that. 
 
So that’s the 101 on wedding dress sizes. We hope you enjoy picking out your perfect dress, no matter what size you end up with. 
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