When Your Bridesmaid Dress Doesn’t Fit (3 Tips to Fitting In)

The bridesmaid dress that nearly killed me!

Okay, so recently I had a bit of a panic attack. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding last week for a college friend of mine. Imagine my horror when just 3 days before the wedding, the dress did. not. fit.

Let me rewind and start at the beginning. The bridesmaid dresses for the wedding were cute; black strapless trumpet-style. My friend, the bride, ordered the dresses 6-months in advance (yeah, they were those kind of dresses, not off the rack) and we picked them up once they arrived. When my dress came in the first thing that I noticed that it was too big. The bust of the dress left my girls a little -ahem- unsupported, and there was extra fabric at the hips.

So what did I do?

I took the dress to a seamstress (a week before the wedding) and had it taken in. The seamstress seemed totally competent- she even used chalk to outline where she’d take the dress in. So I left feeling like I was in good hands.

Well by now you know that my positive feelings were totally misplaced; as I pulled the dress over my hips, I felt the fabric tug and realized that this dress had been taken in WAY too much! Picture me, sucking in my gut, squeezing my thighs together and holding the zipper closed over the bathroom sink while my fiance tried (as delicately as a man’s hands could) to zip me up! The zipper made it over my hips to my waist when I finally gave up for lack of oxygen & blood circulation.

It was at that point that I had a breakdown.

What was I going to do?!? The wedding was on Saturday, so I stayed up late that Tuesday night Googling “bridesmaid dress won’t fit” and “letting out a bridesmaid dress”. I found all kinds of scary diet suggestions- laxatives, cabbage diet, paprika- you name it!! Well here’s what I learned you should do when it comes to fitting into a bridesmaid dress:

1. Don’t wait until the last minute.

One of the reasons I was SO stressed out about my bridesmaid dress is because  it was a disaster just days before the wedding. Once you get your hands on your bridesmaid dress- TRY IT ON. If it’s too loose/tight and you have a lot of lead time then you have wiggle room (pun intended!) to figure out what to do to get it to fit (proper diet/exercise, changing the size entirely, tailoring, etc). Don’t put yourself in a bad spot like I did- try your bridesmaid dress on early!

2. Take the dress to a (competent) tailor.

If you’re in a situation where your dress is too big or too small, take it to a competent tailor. If it’s too big, have it taken in, but be sure to tell the tailor NOT to cut the fabric so that adjustments can be made if need be. If the dress is too small ask the tailor what can be done. A lot of times dresses will have a few inches stashed away in the seams that can be let out. Also, if your tailor is really good, they can add fabric (either from other parts of the dress or fabric they have on hand) to give you a little more room. Finally, if it won’t be too noticeable, ask your tailor if s/he can add stretchy/spandex material or even a lace-up closure so that the dress can fit!

3. Invest in some (comfortable) cinching undergarments.

If you don’t know about Spanx, then you better ask somebody! These little undergarments can be a girl’s best friend when she needs to squeeze into a dress last minute. I own a few pairs for those times when I need a little “extra help” and swear by them. The key to Spanx and other cinching undergarments is to get the right size. You want these undergarments to be snug, but not so snug that they create rolls underneath your dress or so tight that you can’t breathe.

You’ll be happy to know that in the end, I was able to get the tailor to let out my dress again; I was lucky because she hadn’t cut the fabric when she took it in. But I was just lucky! So learn from my mistakes so that you don’t have a heart attack before walking down the aisle. 😉 -CFC

Have you ever had or seen any bridesmaid fitting dress mishaps?

What happens when you reach your diet/workout goals?


About ChicFitChef

My "deserted island" checklist: a BCBG dress, a healthy & diabetic-friendly meal and a few workout DVDs. ;-)
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5 Responses to When Your Bridesmaid Dress Doesn’t Fit (3 Tips to Fitting In)

  1. My one suggestion if the bust is too tight is to “v” out the back. You can cut a slight v or bell-curve shape and reposition the zipper and ta-da! Fits like a charm!

  2. Pingback: 6 Steps to Looking Great on Your Wedding Day (From a Former Bride) | ChicFitChef™

  3. VSIB says:

    Oh yeah! Good Idea about cutting a “v” out of the back. My dress is too tight at the bust –the darn thing will only zip up half-way! I will try your suggesstion –the wedding is in two days!! OMG!

    Thanks !!

  4. Anon says:

    My bridesmaids dress almost zips up at the side (my boobs are too big) It fits everywhere else. It has a fake lace up back and a zip at the side. Does anyone know what to do to fix it so it zips up the whole way?

  5. Olivia says:

    After reading your story, I’m currently going through the EXACT SAME PROBLEM as I type this. My college roommate is getting married in 6 days, I just received my bridesmaid dress, and I can’t zip it up all the way (and it’s so close!!) and it won’t budge. As you did, I got man hands to try and zip me up along with many other friends to try and no luck. Now I’ve been freaking out the entire day until I read your story. I’ve never had anything tailored before so I’m not too familiar with how it works but best believe I’m on the way to the nearest seamstress. Thank you for this!

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