Offbeat dress advice for plus-sized brides

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This is the Twilight dress, custom made by Uptight Clothing in the UK. Thanks toPlumage for the heads-up on this one!

Um. Yeah, so I have only one question.Ok — it's more a comment and plea for resources to be added than anything else.

There aren't a lot of resources out there for plus size brides, let alone plus size offbeat brides.


I haven't spent a lot of time talking about dresses for plus size brides because my advice to y'all is the same as my advice to everyone: HAVE YOUR DRESS CUSTOM MADE.

I don't care if you're a size 2 or a size 18, apple body, pear body, or cucumber body — a custom dress made to your exact measurements is going to fit you better than anything you could buy off the rack and will cost less than 90% of the dresses you'll find at any bridal salon.

Remember Angela's red wedding dress? Custom made.

What about Bree's stunning pin-up style dress? Custom made.

Honestly, I don't know why anyone even bothers with the demoralizing hell of bridal shops.

Regardless of your size or shape, you'll get the best fitting dress if you have it made for you.

My best advice? Start looking for a good local dressmaker. And if you're looking for plus-size inspiration, click here!

And if you're looking to buy a plus-size dress in-store, READ THIS POST ASAP!:

Comments on Offbeat dress advice for plus-sized brides

  1. Just chiming in to agree with Ariel…custom often means CHEAPER. Which just blows my mind. My tea length 50s style dress that made me was around $600. The same kind of dresses at Stephanie James Couture were in the $2,000 range. And the WT fabrics were very high quality and a friend of mine who used to have her own clothing line said the worksmanship was impeccable. By the way, Whirling Turban dresses start at $200 if you use one her standard patterns.

    • Hi!! I am thinking of having a custom made dress based on stephanie james “bianca.” Which one did you wear? Should I go with whirling turban?? What about trying on? Thanks for any input, I’m new to all this!! Please email your reply to [email protected]


  2. A good tip for finding a seamstress is calling the costume department of your local theatre. Costume ladies are kickass stichers and love creative challenges. Also, be wary of buying really cheap fabric. Most of the time, cheap fabric makes a dress look cheap. Remember, the quality of your dress is in the details.

  3. I found next to nothing when I went looking for a simple wedding dress for my size 18 body. I lucked out and found a bridemaid designer, Jenny Yoo, who will make any of her dress styles in white or off-white (if you even require that tradition) up to a size 22. I was okay with not trying too much on – you’d have the same issue with a custom dress. Just plan on have it altered a bit. I could not be happier with the dress I ended up with.

    FYI: the word simple translates to sheath dress for the majority of bridal shops I visited. My body is not a sheath body. Lesson for all.

  4. “I was under the impression that most people are here because of the non-traditional things they want at their wedding, not necessarily because of their budget.”

    True. But many people are on a budget nonetheless, and I know I’m not the only person whose first thought on hearing “custom-made” is “out of my reach”. Being offbeat may have more to do with your sensibilities than your cash flow, but to some people, it means not bankrupting yourself for one day of your life.

  5. Annabel, thankyouthankyouthankyou!!! I’m almost certain I’m going through whirlingturban. I was being haunted by the idea of having to make my own dress because I felt custom made would equal even more expense, but after seeing the figures on that site, I’m confident they can make my dress and keep me from going overbudget. I’m so thankful for this post, I never would’ve even had the confidence to think about a custom gown without it. Now, it’s such a load off to know that I can get someone to do what I want without breaking the bank!

  6. Hi Im a plus size bride myself and had so much problems finding a dress. I went to Davids bridal and did find a few dresses I liked but they were too much white(and pretty costly might I add)which I wasnt looking for all white gown I wanted something more untraditional by adding color to a white gown. Sadly I still cant find anything close to what I had in mind and dont want to spend alot of money on something that I will wear one time. So I guess since I am a good sewer I might have to make my own gown dispite the old saying that if you make your own gown its bad luck. I am also thankful for finding this website and a great place to get creative ideas too. Keep up the great work Ariel!!

  7. As a plus size bride about to get married the second time, I can relate to the frustration. The first time I went to a bridal shop, not knowing any better and the nice woman took a size 8 and stretched it across my ample bosoms and instructed me to picture it on me. I was appalled. That wedding I wound up a David’s bridal and was thrilled to have something to try on. I wound up buying one there, in ivory and did the big long train and 20 pounds of it gathered on my ass at the reception. I felt like a princes.
    THIS time, I am having my dress custom made and going more offbeat. But I’ve got an ‘in’, my mom is an incredible seamstress and she is making my dress. It’s royal blue and really a fancy-ish sundress. Still, it’s taken her many hours to adjust the pattern to just what I want and my own unique body. Even on my very tight budget this time, I know that it would still be less expensive if I was paying someone and not getting it as a great fift!

  8. For ready-made gowns and dresses in plus sizes, Zaftique is worth a look. Lots of styles in lots of colors, moderate prices, very plus-size friendly. I needed a New Year’s Eve gown (for the first & only time) and was quite pleased with the fit & feel of the one I selected.

  9. Thanks for the info guys! I always thought that custom made=$$$$. I’m going to look into some of these links…oh and the Torrid dresses are garbage. You can tell from the pictures that they have cheap fabric and not much detail, like a lot of their regular clothes.

  10. try checking out darius cordell designs. i have ordered my dress for my november 2008 wedding from them and although i havn’t received it yet, i do know that they will make any of thier dresses in any color and you can even mix up thier designs (different top and different bottoms etc.)

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