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The Back Fat Dress - How does this happen? Contained within are photographic proof of some of the dresses that our friends, the brides, have made us wear so that they could look dresaes. At first, this site started from my own personal experiences but now ugly dresses for bridesmaids, weddings, and proms have come from all over. This site has truly become the ugly dress archive.
Courtesy Natasha Jahangir By Sarah Chiwaya May 30, Seven years ago, shopping for my wedding dress was a fraught experience for me.
If someone told me I could have fun with fashion without worrying about archaic rules while wedding dress shopping, I would have never believed them. Instead, I was very serious about the process from the beginning, because it seemed like that was the only way I could ever wdding successful. I started with research.
Just learning about the idiosyncrasies of wedding gown sizing was enough to sharply lower my expectations: I discovered that bridal sizes ran two to four sizes small, and that most salons would only have samples in a bridal size 10 or below. Even salons that carried plus options stuck to that sample size for the majority of styles, with only a few plus size samples in a bridal size I understood that I wouldn't be stepping into a perfectly fitted dream dress at my appointments.
I accepted that extensive clipping and pinning would be necessary to help me get an idea dfesses how the dress would look on me. I tried to take all these limitations with a grain of salt and keep some enthusiasm about the process. The woman who checked us in gave me a very unsubtle look up and down and apparently decided I was worthy of only the dregs of their team, swapping out my initial consultant right in front of me with no reason given.
My new consultant was rude from the outset, sneering at my healthy budget and promptly leading my group to a windowless upstairs room, speeding past all the gorgeous flowy styles that brought me to the store in the first place. With every step, the sinking feeling in my stomach got worse.
But I was determined to make the best of it. I smiled at my friends and tried to keep things cheerful as I described the aesthetic I was looking for to my consultant.
You have so many beautiful styles like that in your main range, and I'm excited to try them on! As she stomped away without bothering to finish my consultation, I called "just nothing shiny or taffeta please! My friends and I exchanged incredulous looks at her behavior, and my maid of honor motioned a "do you want to go? I shook my head and sat down in the fitting room to collect myself, trying to paste a smile on before the woman came back with the dresses.
I've worked retail before and know how hard it can be, so I always try to give sales associates the benefit of the doubt. I felt my smile becoming more of a grimace as I looked at the embodiment of my "do not want" list being thrust at weeding. I know what I'm doing, and what works on your size.
Just try this on. She yanked the dress onto my body with far more force than was necessary, sighing dramatically the whole time.
When she terrihle me out to the pedestal and giant mirrors, my friends said nice things, but we all knew it wasn't the dress. I left empty-handed after trying another ugly style, and the consultant sneered at me as if she expected nothing less. What a start. When we got outside, my friends started cracking jokes to cheer me up, and I decided that after starting off so badly, things could only get better.
I had no idea how wrong I was.
Though none of my other consultants were as overtly aggressive, their attitudes were anything but pleasant. As I was confronted at each appointment with bridal weight loss expectations and thinly veiled disgust at my size, the body shaming started to be an expected part of the process. Without realizing it, I stopped protesting as much when my clearly defined preferences were ignored, and let myself get herded into ugly stiff taffeta when all I wanted was an ethereal flowy gown.
Much has changed since then, though, both within the industry and personally. As a brand consultantI work behind the scenes to make sure plus size customers get the same type of shopping experience as their thinner counterparts; and as a plus size fashion bloggermy InTheFittingRoom Instagram series aims to demystify the dressing room experience and help my readers find the fit and style that works for them, all while helping them navigate the mental and emotional minefield terrible wedding dresses clothing shopping can be.
Confident, body positive Sarah of would have handled almost every step of my wedding dress shopping experience differently. To start, I wouldn't have weddnig around long enough to get fat-shamed in the first place: I would have been out at the first of budget sneering that so often preceded it.
If I made it into a dress at any of those places and they terible fixed their lips to tell me I should change my body to fit a dress, or if they refused to pull a dress for me because it wouldn't "work" on my body type, I would have called them out on their discriminatory weddnig not to mention atrocious customer service. I certainly wouldn't let myself be pressured into dresses I hated just because they fit.
But having the self-assurance to stand up for myself in the face of body shaming is not something that happened overnight.
This happier version of me took a lot of emotional work and critical thinking to get to, and I am still a work in progress, but I can honestly say that every bit of effort has been worth it. If drewses are feeling apprehensive about wedding dress shopping, it is definitely time to start weddihg your own journey towards body positivity and self-love no matter your size. And luckily, there are some concrete steps that you can take to get moving.
Are people of different sizes and shapes represented equally or at all?
If the answer is no, it is time to change what media you are consuming. Vote With Your Money And Your Voice In any other area of fashion, spending thousands of dollars on one dress is squarely within the luxury market, one known for its solicitous and attentive customer service. If you are up for it, call out the bridal salons directly. I recommend doing it on social, as terrihle pressure is more likely to achieve.
I created the PlusSizePlease movement five years ago for moments just like this as a way for me and, now, for terrjble plus size people, too to call brands out when they needed to expand their size range. Hint: The answer is almost never you. Fortunately, there more gorgeous plus size options available now than ever, so never feel like you have to settle for being treated like a second class customer.
As I tell my consulting clients, companies that continue to ignore the most populous market do so at their own peril.
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