The Ultimate Bridesmaid Dress Manual

Getting Measured
Courtney's being measured at her natural waist.
Courtney's being measured at her natural waist.
Image courtesy Bridals by Lori

When you're measured for a bridesmaid dress, you should wear undergarments similar to what you'll be wearing on the wedding day. No thickly padded bras, Krystle and Courtney advise! The consultant will measure across your bust, around your natural waist (not your belly button) and around the fullest part of your hips (that's code for "the biggest part of your butt," according to Krystle).

In special cases, a bridesmaids consultant will advise you to order a tall or plus-size gown. If you're taller than 5'10 -- or you're right at the cusp and will be wearing 2-inch heels on the wedding day -- you should order extra length on your gown. "The typical cost for extra length is around $20 or $30," Krystle says.

Plus-size dresses usually include size 16 and up. "For every size you go up, designers have a flat rate or they'll charge you a percentage," Courtney explains. She estimates the plus-size cost around $10 to $20 for each size above the designer's size chart cut-off. "It's a cost for extra fabric," Krystle says. "And sometimes, it's the cost of creating a new pattern for the dress."

"The smaller the size doesn't mean the better you look," Krystle emphasizes. "Would you rather be stuffed into a dress or have a bigger dress that you can take in?"

Next, Krystle and Courtney demystify alterations.

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