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Bridal fashion sizing

Q. I am going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding this fall. She is letting us choose the style of the dress but she chose the color.  Cool, I thought.  The problem is that my size is not my size. Ok, I wear a 6 or 8 in all my pants, jeans, suits and dresses whether it’s Joe’s Jeans, Moschino, Gap, BCBG, or Cynthia Vincent, etc.  BUT the dress people at David’s Bridal told me my size is a 14! I’m flipping out.  I could never fit into a 14. I’m 137 pounds. So tell me, what is with these gown companies? 
-Schizophrenic Sizing 

A. Ouch! You’re not the first to have that “sticker shock” when reading the size label on the dresses or have the bridal salesperson looking at your body and suddenly claim a size horrifically larger than you’ve ever seen grace your curves. It seems cruel. BUT, don’t get hung up on the size of your dress.  Do you think you’re going to get a shake down at the wedding and someone’s going to scream out the size on the label? Most bridal designers offer their dresses in larger sizes with the assumption that the dresses for both bride and bridesmaid will be tailored to specifically fit her body shape, whether it be to hold and support larger breasts and a slim waist or fit a girl with a small bust, but with curvy hips and thighs.  So stop flipping out and know that you won’t get the pat down and be forced to divulge the size to your friends and, perhaps, beau.

Q. Help! I’m getting married in a tea length ivory dress (strapless and a-line skirt) and don’t know what shoes to wear with it. I was thinking of a metallic so I don’t have to match the ivory color, but what style?
-Shoe Unsure

A. While the actual wedding day is always joyous, wedding planning can be stressful. And matching colors can be a nightmare and a waste of precious shopping hours. A surefire successful choice is to choose metallic. It can be an ivory or off-white sandal with gold or pearls or all-over metallic in a strappy heel. You’ll look gorgeous - and surprise, surprise you’ll surely wear the heels again.

Here are two big day-worthy options, one closed toe and one strappy sandal:

3832-264627-D
Caparros Be-Bop
$59.95 at
zappos.com

3034-242321-D-1

Nina Aney-GS
$72.95 at
zappos.com

Q. I am going to a wedding Sept. 30th in Tennessee. I have a sleeveless black dress that I planned on wearing. I would like to wear a shawl as a cover for my shoulders. Are Pashminas past season, or would something else be more appropriate?
-Wrap Up

A. While other fashion editors may say Pashminas are passé, no doubt many of them still own them and travel with them. There are plenty of stylish wraps that will give a little coverage for the religious ceremony or just to keep your shoulders warm. If you already have a Pashmina that looks good with your chosen dress for the occasion, then by all means wear it, if not here are a few suggestions:

 5239202

Tissue-Weight Cashmere Wrap
(comes in many colors)
$99 at
nordstrom.com

 83905

Sean Collection Bead-Trim Silk Shawl
(also in black),
$40 at
nordstrom.com

0402646756110 275X275


Ilana Wolf Satin Ruffle Capelet,
$225 at
saks.com

Q. Love the site and the emails!  I am attending an evening wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this Labor Day weekend.  Can you suggest some stylish options for the ceremony?  It will be a formal ceremony, but on the beach…don’t want to be overdressed, but appropriate for the occasion! Thanks so much…you ROCK!
-Formal and Beachy 

A. Mariachi music!  Yeah!  Get ready to dance, dance, dance. You need a dress that is festive, colorful, and easy breezy.  Avoid black.  Go for color and even better, choose a patterned dress - it will express more personality.   It’s going to be hot, hot, hot, so choose a dress that moves easily and be prepared to go barefoot on the beach and carry your sandals.  Kick up some sand and be sure to dip your toes in the clear blue water.

Edressme 1906 5304986

Nicole Miller
Tiki Print Resort Dress
$300 at
edressme.com

 5162668-1

Nicole Miller Border Print Tie Front Gown
$355 at
nordstrom.com

Rampage

Charmeuse Smocked Scarf Print Dress
$56.10 at
rampage.com

Q. My mother is searching for a dress to wear to my brother’s August 5 outdoor wedding, taking place at 4 PM, at a B&B-type locale outside of Boston.  As I can’t shop with her, I was hoping for some style suggestions that I could share with her.  I’m assuming that it will be hot, but she told me that she does not like sleeveless dresses – I believe she is a little self-conscious, being a size 14-16, so am hoping to find something elegant yet flattering for this special occasion. (Also, she probably will not want to spend over $200, knowing her!). It’s a tall order, but I would appreciate any help you could provide!
-Dress Frustration

A. It’s her son’s wedding and surely your mom is fretting over what to wear that fits her body and looks great since plenty of attention will be given to her.  I’ve found options that all give arm coverage, range from long to knee length and formal to semi-formal with a few color choices as well. They range in price from around $150 to $300.  It’s an important day, so find the dress that looks and fits best, a few extra bucks will be worth it when you see the photos.

 5190434


Sean Collection Beaded Dress with Jacket
$278 at
nordstrom.com

 5175520

 

 

Sean Collection Three Piece Ensemble
$318 at
nordstrom.com

 

 

Edressme 1905 5279716-1

 

 

Plus Size Gold Lace Cocktail Dress
from Kiyonna
$178 at
edressme.com

 5150959

 

 

JS Boutique Beaded Mesh Dress
$158 at
nordstrom.com

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