Shopping with Sarah: Your Perfect Plus-size Gown

A Numbers Game

At one store, a size 14 fits perfectly. And at another, you're trading up to a size 18. What gives? Sizing is different everywhere, and streetwear sizes that you find at your favorite department store or boutique don't apply to bridal fashion. It's all a numbers game -- and a confusing one at that!

According to Sarah, a plus-size bride is one who wears a streetwear size 14 or higher. In the bridal industry, that's a size 16 or higher. As a rule of thumb, your bridal size will be about two sizes higher than your regular size. So, if you typically wear an 18, you'll be wearing a size 20 in bridal fashion.

But you're not limited to bridal gowns that are made specifically for plus-size women. Sarah assures us that most bridal gowns can be ordered in any size. However, the majority of samples that you'll find in a bridal boutique (Kleinfeld included) come in sizes 8, 10 and 12. You may fall in love with a dress that you can't try on.

If you've got to have that dress, it can be ordered in your size for you to purchase. The risk? It just might be a little hard to visualize what it will look like on you. Should you have the opportunity to shop at Kleinfeld, you'll find an extensive collection of plus-size gowns to try on that begin at size 16 and go up to size 24. Two bridal designers in particular who design for plus-size brides are Alita Graham and Pnina Tornai, so keep those names in mind as you're looking for gowns.

Next, Sarah levels with us about body-image issues.