The Bride and I fell in love with this purple dress almost right away, so picking out the dress turned out to be pretty simple, it's the aftermath that was horrendous. The store measured me out and told me which size to purchase and I listened to their suggestion, thinking they knew best. I was very careful not to gain or lose any weight in the meantime, five months from ordering to delivery, as I've heard all sorts of horror stories about dresses not fitting.
A few weeks before the wedding date, just before the dress was due to arrive, the store called my friend and told her the dress wouldn't arrive in time for the wedding despite them telling us we ordered with plenty of time. Apparently five months in advance wasn't enough time? I'm not sure what my friend said to the store to get the dress to arrive in time, but miraculously, it arrived, about a week or so before the wedding. Off to the store I went, at this point the weekend before the wedding, to pick it up. When I tried it on at the store it was too small. Like really too small, at least 2-3 sizes too small. The lady at the store used all her might to do up the zipper she told me it was a "perfect fit" and it would loosen up as I wore it. I had no choice, breathing would have to be a luxury, there was no way to get another new dress in a week.
At home that evening, I tried on the dress again. I have no idea what kind of superhuman strength the lady at the store had, but I couldn't get the zipper up this time, Michael couldn't get the zipper up, I was screwed. I figured I'd take it into an alteration shop the next morning and see if there was anything that could be done and worse came to worse I could just wear a shrug so you couldn't see that the zipper didn't close all the way.
The alteration place I took it to managed to save the dress, but it was a close call. The regular staff said the job was too complicated for them, but called over this little old gentleman to take a look at the dress. Tearing into the dress to see how much seam allowance there was, he explained that the most he could let it out was about an inch in total, one half inch on each side. I figured it was better than nothing and he set to work, telling me it would be ready in a week. I begged him to get it ready sooner as I needed the dress in 5 days at this point. Thankfully he said he would make it work.
I had a dress! There are a lot of double sided tape involved, and a small hole on the side of the dress because there was so little fabric to work with, but I was clothed in the same dress as the rest of the wedding party with breathing was being slightly difficult. In the end, I paid well over $350 for a dress and alterations that never actually fit but at least the dress made it through my friends lovely wedding.
Dress #2, Blue
From my experiences the year before, I thought I knew what to do to avoid getting a dress that was too small, and for the most part I succeeded. Blue took a long time to find and after many shopping trips we succeeded. I write this post I now realize that Blue it's pretty much the same dress as purple, just a longer version.
There were 3 lovely ladies who needed a dress for this wedding, and while the dresses didn't have to be the same, they did need to have a similar look, all the same colour and length. Have you ever tried to find a similar dress to fit three very differently shaped lovely ladies? It's tough. We persevered and eventually found some amazing dresses, that we all liked and looked good in. I wanted to make sure that I didn't get a dress that was too small this time, so in an effort to get something the correctly fit me, I explained the previous situation I had experienced regarding the sizing. The lady at the store was very understanding (it was a different shop from the last place as I had refused to shop there again) and they recommended that we order a dress size based off my largest measurement because making something smaller is much easier then making it bigger. She explained to me that when dresses are being fabricated in large batches, as is usually the case for bridesmaid dresses, when the fabric is cut, all the fabric is piled on top of each other and it's like a cookie cutter pressed and cuts all the fabric at once. Because of the way the fabric is cut, the dresses on the top will actually be a different size then the dresses on the bottom, but they will all be labelled with the same size, even though they can be up to two size differences between them. Have I mentioned before how I hate shopping for clothing?