Not too long ago, it was a real challenge for plus-size and curvy brides to find beautiful dresses in their size. Quality and fit were constantly questioned which made dress shopping even more challenging. As the fashion industry grows (even at a snail's pace) into a more inclusive landscape, bridal has been making its own transformation. More brands and retailers are offering an arrangement of styles and sizes for all women.
"To be honest, I’m not sure why more retailers haven't realized how under-serviced the plus-size market is", says Lori Conley, Senior Vice President of Product & Design for David’s Bridal. "Plus-size retail is a growing segment, yet a limited number of retailers have successfully introduced assortments geared towards servicing her. To do it right, it takes an investment of time and money, which may be daunting for many companies."
David's Bridal has been a go-to for brides of all sizes for years and the retailer continues to expand on available sizes. Conley continues, "Inclusivity is nothing new at David’s Bridal. We've always made sure that brides of any size and budget can shop our collections. To ensure that we can service a diverse range of curvy brides, we’ve extended our offering across all silhouettes and aesthetics, from traditional to boho and everywhere in between, all available in sizes 0-26."
More than ever we have women leading the discussion of inclusivity and it's been exciting to watch. And more than ever, women are letting their voices be heard. "The way we see it, the evolution in the industry, as a whole, is really led by consumers speaking up and demanding more of brands," says Denise Jin, Co-Founder of Floravere, a newly launched luxury bridal brand focusing on inclusivity. "While [some] traditional players may be slow to react to that feedback, direct-to-consumer brands like our’s have it ingrained in our DNA to put the customer first and adapt quickly to deliver the best product and experience possible for her."
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In the future, we're hoping to see even more change and for the discussion to focus more on fashion as opposed to size. "We love the shifting of the conversation toward body positivity vs. size, especially in the context of bridal because for a lot of women, there's already a lot of pressure to look a certain way or be a certain size for the wedding. At the end of the day, we believe your wedding should be a celebration of you exactly as you are," says Jin.
So let's talk a little about fashion, shall we? If you're headed down the aisle, look for pieces that are "clean and modern, [have] a hint of color, lacy or sheer details, something with a new neckline, or a light and airy ballgown", says Conley.
But no matter the trend, be sure to go for something that feels good on you, makes a statement, and of course, is within your budget. We've rounded up some amazing dresses, at all price points, from David's Bridal and Floravere, as well as other brands like Boohoo, Tadashi Shoji, and Adrianna Papell. There's something here for every bride. Happy Shopping!