Michelle Phin Bridal Boutique

Michelle Phin Bridal Boutique

We talk to Michelle of Michelle Phin Bridal Boutique in Warrington about the wedding dress shopping for the curvy bride!

 

Why is it important for wedding shops to cater for curvier brides?

      

It is very important for bridal boutiques to cater for curvier brides because the bride to be needs to be able to try on a selection of different dress styles to see how they feel to wear. Over half of our samples are size 16 or above though we do have samples in all sizes from 6 - 28 available to try. This means that curvier brides can get a really good feel for how a particular dress style will look. In addition, mannequins generally come in size 10-12 so a lot of shops purchase sample dresses to look good on the mannequin but we also have mannequins in size 16 so that we can display our Callista collection.

The average dress size in England is also now a size 16 and it is thought that 45% of British women are size 16 or more so I feel it is really important to have a collection of dresses that our clients can actually try on

 

What response do you get in wedding shows when your models represent a spectrum of sizes in bridal dresses?

 

The response that we get in wedding shows when our models represent a spectrum of sizes in bridal dresses is very positive. We attended a wedding show in Warrington last autumn and Natalie was modelling the Callista collection. We had a lot of brides visit our stand and I particularly recall one mother of the bride seeking me out to say that she really liked our collection but wanted to tell me that she thought Natalie looked beautiful and that she was really pleased to see a curvy model. (This lady actually said 'the bonny girl looks beautiful' - Natalie had the Callista ballgown style dress below on and was greeting visitors at the entrance to the wedding show). This mum came up to the second floor to tell me this, Natalie told me that this made her feel really happy as initially she was self-conscious as she was wearing a size 18 and our other two models (Laura and Mel) were both wearing size 8/10. Photos above and below (also on our facebook page if you look in photos.)

 How can a woman shopping for a wedding dress feel if walking into a shop with only smaller sizes?

 

Shopping for a wedding dress is an emotional experience. We have had several brides to be that have come to us after having appointments elsewhere and I know from our conversations that these women can feel quite despondent if they have visited a shop that only has smaller size sample dresses. One bride to be reported that she had visited a shop and the assistant told her that 'they had nothing to fit her' as she walked through the door - she said she felt like crying. Others have been quite surprised when they realise that they can try on a selection of dresses with us and we have customers that have travelled many miles to do so. Some brides to be have also reported feeling quite intimidated or embarrassed when shopping for a wedding dress as assistance is always needed when trying them on so they are having to undress in front of someone they may not feel comfortable with. Trying on dresses that are too small can be very demotivating as it doesn't give the bride to be any impression at all of how a correctly fitted dress in the right size would look and feel.

 

What affect can this have on the entire wedding dress shopping experience?

 

The effect that this can have on the entire wedding dress shopping experience can be quite negative. If brides to be are not enjoying the experience they may even rush to buy a dress that isn't really what they wanted or they may think that their choice is limited. They may be apprehensive and have a sleepless night before the appointment and I feel that this can really disadvantage the bride to be as she may be so focussed on what the experience might be like that she forgets she is supposed to be enjoying herself! A previous negative experience can also really impact upon a client's confidence and judgement, quite often, a bride to be has a clear idea of what she wants to try but we have heard how some of our clients have been 'told' what style they should wear. We always encourage all of our clients to try different styles - knowing what you don't feel comfortable wearing is an important step towards finding your dress. Having a collection of dresses in realistic sizes allows our clients to experiment with different styles and enables them to get a real impression of how they look and fit.

 

Why do you say to clients that the dress is to fit you now the other way around?

 

I say to clients that the dress is to fit you rather than you need to fit the dress because I truly believe that you do not have to be a specific dress size to look beautiful. Also, designers may use different measurements in their size charts, so to me, a size is really just to ensure the person making the dress makes it to the correct measurement that the designer has stated, a Topshop size 16 is different to a Marks and Spencer size 16 and I have demonstrated this for you in the table below - I have put the measurements from 4 designers plus M & S for comparison and you can see that they are all different. So I feel we shouldn't get fixed on being a particular size, we should be the size/shape/weight etc. that we feel happy and healthy with. Natalie also describes that she, along with some of our clients have, in the past, felt under pressure to look a certain way or be a certain size, this can create unnecessary stress. Looking great is about how you feel, not what size a label has on it so if our clients are on a weight loss diet that is fine but I always remind them that their dress will have a great corset in the bodice that when correctly fitted can make them appear to be up to two sizes smaller than they might currently be. 

Most of us are a different size on the top and bottom too e.g. 16 top and 18/20 bottom so we always use measurements to ensure that the dress will fit and can be altered to fit by the seamstress, this is the reason why we may recommend a size that appears big in some areas - it is preferable to take in the seams rather than having a dress that may be tight and not have sufficient fabric in the seam to let out.

 

 

 

Size

Bust

Waist

Hips

16

42

33

44

16

43

35

45

16

40

32

42

16

41.5

31

44

16

40

33

43

 

Please tell us a bit about the Callista range that caters for the curvier bride.

Callista - 'Most beautiful' (www.callistabride.com) Although this collection starts at size 16, we do have brides that are not a size 16 but have purchased their dress from the collection and opted to have it altered to fit.

Natalie is our Callista model and I am guided by what she says about the experience of wearing these dresses but the Callista range is excellent and the awards and nominations they have received demonstrate that (www.callistabride.com) The designs are beautiful and varied so there is something for everyone, whether they want a ballgown style of dress or a more fitted style. The fabrics include satins, lace, tulle, organza and chiffon and are excellent quality so feel luxurious against the skin. When you go on to look inside the dress, you see how well structured the corset is and this is what makes the dresses really comfortable to wear. All of our Callista brides report that they feel really secure and supported by the wide inner strap and the boning in the bodice. Detachable shoulder straps are also available that are wide enough to cover bra straps should the bride to be want to wear a bra beneath the dress. Also the different design features of the dress can help to enhance or minimise particular areas, for example, an asymmetrical waist will draw the eye down, an empire line will flow from beneath the bust, shoulder straps can frame the face and a lace jacket can cover upper arms.  

Michelle Phin Bridal Boutique Ltd

1 Hatters Wedding And Lifestyle Centre
Horsemarket Street
Warrington
Cheshire
WA1 1XP

Telephone: 01925 444421

Mobile: 07876774304

michellephinbridalboutique.co.uk

 

 

 


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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