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Boutique Hub / Size Matters

We all know that bridal sizing isn't like typical street wear sizing. While a bride might be a size 10-12 in jeans, she might in fact be a bridal size 14-16. So how do you overcome this in your boutique, manage a bride's expectations and sentiments, and make their experience amazing, whatever their size?

We asked some of our favourite boutiques to tell us how they deal with the sensitive issue of sizing.

What size range do you stock in the boutique?

Jo Maloney, A Bridal Story (JM): "We stock from a size 10 to a 22 but we are able to order all of our gowns up to a size 30/32."

Julie Sandys, Gatehouse Brides (JS): "We stock sizes 10-24 in our samples."

Rob Pearce, Creatiques (RP): "We stock sizes 10 to 28."

Do you find that sizes come up aligned with UK sizes?

JM: "We find that every designer we stock is different, some do come up smaller than UK High Street and some larger as they are US sizing. I've always found it frustrating in an industry where we help brides find the most important dress of their lives and feel special, some sizes do come up small and no matter how much you inform a bride to ignore the sizing and try not to discuss it with them, unfortunately, some girls get really hung up on it. I know Gaia Bridal have recently updated their size charts so that their latest collections are now more true to UK sizes, which I love."

JS: "It depends on the designer , but still find they are smaller against high street sizing."

RP: "Sizes come up small but it also depends on the designer – generally if a bride is a High Street UK 14 she could be a UK 18 in bridal."

Do you offer alterations?

JM: "We do offer alterations as I'm a bit of a control freak. I want to make sure that our brides leave the boutique feeling their absolute best and so that we both know that their dress will fit perfectly on the day. I think brides prefer this too as having to go and find a place to do alterations when they have already built a relationship with you & somewhere to store their dress, is just another stress to add to their long list, so we give them the choice."

JS: "Yes we currently have two seamstresses that work for us."

RP: "Yes we have an in-house alteration specialist."

Do you have a specific plus-size selection?

JM: "We don't have a specific plus size collection because when choosing the designers to work with, I always make sure that they offer a great size range and all of our current designers go up to a size 30 or 32 on all gowns. Because of this, brides are not limited to a certain section or designer in the boutique."

JS: "We like to be inclusive and don’t have a separate plus-size collection, we like all our brides to be happy with their shape and size so advise on each individual case and we prefer not to discuss sizing , it's all about how the dress fits and down to our team to ensure that we order the correct size for each bride."

RP: "No we do not carry a specific plus-size collection, however, we sometimes have a plus-size trunk show from our designers, so gowns start from a 22. We hold a lot of gowns with suitable construction for a curvy bride."

Do you have many samples in size 16 and above?

JM: "We have plenty of sample gowns in a size 16 plus as we are finding that a 14/16 is now our average size. We want every bride to be able to have lots of options when they visit us."

JS: "Yes , we have a good selection of dresses ranging from size 16 to 24."

RP: "I would say about 50% of our boutiques is from a 14 upwards."

Which of your labels offers a good selection for curvy brides?

JM: "All of our labels offer a great selection for curvy brides, for instance, our Gaia Bridal collection has gowns that give great structure and support and offer amazing, modern design. We also stock Van De Velde Mode who are all about empowering the female figure and we've recently taken on the Le Papillon by Modeca label. I'm really loving the structure and support that their gowns give without compromising on design."

JS: "Gaia Bridal and Ellis Bridal."

RP: "Maggie Sottero and Sincerity."

Many thanks to our industry experts: Jo from A Bridal Story, Liverpool, @abridalstorymerseyside Julie from Gatehouse Brides, Worcester, @gatehousebrides

Rob from Creatiques, Southsea, @creatiques

If you would like to discuss a subject or if you have any questions for our Boutique Hub experts, please get in touch by email, or DM us @weddingindustrynews


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