Do David’s Bridal Dresses Run Small? (Read This First!)

Plus 3 essential tips on finding the size that works best for you.

One of the most stressful parts of finding your dream wedding dress is choosing the best size to fit your figure.

If your wedding dress salon of choice is David’s Bridal, you aren’t alone in wondering what size you should buy.

But do David’s Bridal dresses run small much like most other wedding gowns?

Yes – David’s Bridal dresses do tend to run a bit small. While David’s Bridal does base its measurements off of real women rather than models, like all formal wear, it will fit a bit differently than traditional street clothes.

That said, David’s Bridal size charts are some of the more realistic in the bridal industry and aren’t far off standard retail sizing. In most cases, brides don’t need to go up more than one dress size.

So What Size Wedding Dress Should I Get?

When choosing your wedding dress there is one cardinal sizing rule: err on the side of too big. A gown that is too large for your waist, hips or bust is far easier for a seamstress to alter than one that is too snug.

Remember, you’ll be wearing your wedding dress for several hours. You’ll be sitting, standing, walking and dancing, so you’ll want your dress to be as comfortable as possible.

David’s Bridal Size Guides

David’s Bridal offers regular sizes and plus sizes as well as petite and tall, so be sure to choose the right chart when determining the best size for your body.

Regular sizing

The regular size chart is designed for women who are above 5’4 in height and can wear anywhere from a size 0 up to a 14.

Size024  6  8  10    12    14
Bust323334353637 ½3941
Waist25 ½26 ½27 ½28 ½29 ½3132 ½34 ¾
Low Hip35 ½36 ½37 ½38 ½39 ½4142 ½44 ½
Length60-6160-6160-6160-6160-6160-6160-6160-61
David’s Bridal Size Chart

Plus sizing

The plus size chart is designed for women who wear at least a size 16. With a variety of dresses fitting brides up to size 30, the plus size chart accommodates the curves of fuller figured women.

Size16W18W20W22W24W26W28W30W
Bust43 ¼45 ½47 ¾50535659 ¼63
Waist37 ¼39 ¾42 ¼44 ¾4851 ¼54 ½58 ¾
Low Hip46 ¾4951 ¼53 ½56 ½59 ½62 ½66 ¾
Length60-6160-6160-6160-6160-6160-6160-6160-61
David’s Bridal Plus Size Chart

Petite sizing

Available in sizes 0-30W, petite dresses offer much more than shorter skirts and train lengths. They are made to fit smaller figures from neck to toes.

Petite dresses have a one-inch shorter bodice with a repositioned waist as well as a skirt that’s three inches shorter. The neckline and arm openings have also been adjusted to suit a shorter frame. From hollow to hem, petite dresses are 55 inches long.

Tall sizing

Available for lean and curvy brides alike, tall sizing is available in sizes 0-30W and offers a longer skirt for brides 5’9 and above. With a length of 63-64 inches, David Bridal’s tall wedding gowns can accommodate the longer legs of the tall bride.

How to Choose An Accurate Wedding Dress Size: 3 Tips

Ensuring you buy the right size for your body is key to getting a dress that will have you looking your best on your big day.

The top three things to keep in mind are:

1. Wear proper undergarments

If you want the most accurate fit possible, be sure to wear the undergarments you plan to wear under your gown, both for taking measurements and for dress shopping.

If you have yet to purchase your wedding undergarments, try to wear something similar. If you plan to wear a padded strapless bra, for instance, make sure you take your measurements in a similar bra. If you plan to wear Spanx or another shaping garment, then you should also don them for taking your waist and hip measurements as well as for trying on dresses.

2. Wear shoes with a similar heel height

If you’re planning to wear high heels with your gown, then you need to wear them for taking your hollow-to-hem measurement as well. Used to determine the dress length you’ll need, this measurement is crucial for brides who are above or below average height.

If you plan to hit the salons to try dresses on, it’s a good idea to bring your heels with you so you can get an accurate picture of how the dress would look on your wedding day.

3. Take accurate measurements

Knowing your measurements is important whether you plan to shop online or in person. If you’re ordering online, you’ll be able to use your measurements against the bridal sizing charts to determine which size will work best for you.

Even if you plan to shop in-store, knowing your measurements can help your bridal consultant to pull the right sizes for you.

How To Take Measurements for a Wedding Dress

To take accurate measurements, choose a flexible measuring tape that is easy to wrap around your body. 

Although this process is best done with the help of a friend or family member, if you choose to do it on your own, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep the tape snug
  • It shouldn’t be so tight that it digs into you
  • Keep it level all the way around your body

Now that you know how to get accurate measurements, be sure to measure these four areas:

Your bust

Wrap the measuring tape around your back and under your arms at the center of your bust. This will be the fullest part of your chest. 

Your waist

To find your natural waist, stand up straight and then bend to the side. The indent created by this move is your natural waist. Next, take the tape and wrap it around the slimmest part of your natural waist.

Your hips

Stand up straight, feet together, and wrap the measuring tape around the largest part of your hips. For most women, this will be across the fullest part of the butt and then straight across the front of the pelvis.

The length

It’s always a good idea to have your hollow-to-hem measurement, especially if you don’t fall in the 5’4 to 5’8 range. If you are below average height, you may need a petite size while brides 5’9 and above may need a tall size to accommodate their height. 

To measure hollow-to-hem, ask a friend to run the measuring tape from the center of your collarbone to the floor. Make sure you wear shoes with a similar heel height to those you plan to wear for your walk down the aisle.

How To Pick The Perfect Wedding Dress Size (on David’s Bridal)

Once you have your measurements, head online to the David’s Bridal site and find a dress that you like.

Below the numeric sizes available, you’ll see a clickable ‘Fit & Sizing Guide’ link. Clicking on that will bring up the size chart for that particular dress.

Let’s say, for example, you’re a size 6 in street clothes and are looking at a regular-sized dress size chart. In this case, a size 6 gown would fit measurements of 35-28½-38½. 

Rather than assuming you’d wear a size 6 wedding gown, use your measurements to determine the best size for you.

If your measurements are 36-28-39, for instance, you would need to go up to a size 8. The key is to fit the largest part of your body, whether that is your hips, waist or bust. 

The Most Important Measurement Based on Dress Silhouette

Every wedding dress silhouette puts an emphasis on different parts of the body and can play a role in choosing the right dress size.

Ball gowns

The ball gown wedding dress boasts a dramatic full skirt and is often known as a princess gown. The full skirt of this dress style is very forgiving through the hips, making this measurement less important than your bust and waist. 

So, if your measurements are 35-28-40, you’d likely be able to purchase a size 6 gown. If your measurements were 36-28-38, however, you’d need to go up to the size 8 to accommodate your bust.

A-Line

Flattering for every body type, this style of dress is fitted through the bodice and flares gently out into an A-shaped skirt. Much like ball gowns, the flowing skirt of an a-line gown is forgiving through the hips, although with a bit less leeway than a traditional princess dress

Using the size 6 as an example, if your hips were half an inch to an inch larger than the size chart, but your bust and hip measurements matched up, you could likely get away with the size 6. Any more than an inch larger, however, and you’d need to go up to an 8.

Mermaid

This sexy silhouette is form fitting throughout the torso and flares out dramatically at the knee down to the floor. 

The snug fit of this gown style is less forgiving and makes all of your measurements crucial. If you wear a size 12 in street clothes, you will likely need to size up to a 14 for your bridal gown.

Empire

This classic style has a fitted bodice and a waistline that hits just above the natural waist. The skirt flows to the floor from the high waistline, making it a bit more forgiving through the hips. 

Similar to an a-line dress, you can probably get away with having your hips be up to an inch larger than the size chart as long as your bust and waist match up.

Sheath or Slip

These slim-fitting styles use the bride’s body for their shape making the bust and hip measurements crucial for a good fit. While the waist is slightly less important, there is probably only a half inch of leeway available before you’d need to go up to the next size.

Can a Wedding Dress Be Let Out?

Yes, but you run the risk of being in a gown that’s not as comfortable as it could be. Even if your seamstress has enough fabric to work with that comfort isn’t an issue, letting a dress out is a far more challenging alteration and that will translate into a much higher bill.

So, when in doubt, always size up. Your seamstress can always work with a dress that’s a bit too big.

Do David's Bridal Dresses Run Small?
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