I received a phone call yesterday from a very smart bride. She's petite. She doesn't own a wedding gown yet. She was concerned about dress shopping- knowing that nothing would fit right. She knew that there are some sales people out there who will "push a dress" -not knowing if it would be possible or affordable to have it altered.
I was able to give her the information that she needed in just a brief chat. It quite possibly saved her hundreds of dollars and as many tears. That inspired me to write this post. I want to address specifically the petite figure and of what the petite bride should be aware.
First off, let me say that I know many of the bridal shop owners in this area personally. You local brides are really lucky! The owners that I keep professional relationships with are honest and are in the industry because they love it. They truly try to analyze body types and do their best to match you with the best cut for your figure. Every bridal shop is not like that, but most around here are. (YAY!) Anyways, let's get on to three things you should be aware of...
The number one thing to be cautious of as a petite bride is to steer clear of halter tops that don't already fit you pretty well. The problem with halter tops is that they usually like to buddy around with a plunging back and a deep V neckline. Things look manageable when you're holding the dress up to yourself and gripping with both hands. But, when we start taking that puppy in, you often get the short-sheets syndrome. Lol -There's just not enough coverage fabric to go around! As you take in the sides, they have to be tapered down to flow into that plunging back so the side bust area gets more revealing. Also, that deep V begins to spread apart so that there's more cleavage shown in the front as well. (Ok, we're fanning mom now and giving her smelling salts!)
The second thing is to make sure that the waist is pretty much in the right place. It's ok if it's too big, but you'll have problems if the waist of the dress is hitting you two or more inches below your natural waist. That's gets into what we call drastic alterations. It can be done, but there will be some distortion or design changes.
Finally, hems usually aren't a problem. Most hem jobs are done the same way whether you are cutting off 2 inches or 5. The thing to look for here, is the shape of the skirt of the dress. If the mermaid curves are going to be in all the wrong places, or your A-line has to be taken up at the waist, obviously, we'll have some reshaping to do. The more reshaping that has to be done, the more time consuming it is, the more expensive it gets. (sorry ; / ) Petite girls generally have the cheapest hem bills when they sport a full tulle ball gown type skirt on their dress. (They also get to hide a pair of amazing platform heels under there!)
I know I just threw a bunch of info at you, so if you have more questions, gimme a call. :) 434.515.1436.