Amanda
Super May 2018

Dress came in and it's too small... help!

Amanda, on December 5, 2017 at 9:11 AM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 15
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I bought my dress back in April. It is an Essense of Australia gown. While I was there, the sales associate that was working with me was great. When I decided it was "the one," she advised I was between a size 14 and 16 and that the shop recommends that brides order up in this case. I did not disagree.

She brought the seamstress over who took my measurements. The seamstress suggested I order a custom length, as I will be wearing flat shoes, to help with the cost of hemming (she said I would save approximately $300 doing it this way), so of course I agreed.

Well, my dress came in and I went on Sunday with my mom, my FMIL and my two MOH's to see it for the first time. I put the dress on in the dressing room and when the sales associate came in (a woman I have never dealt with before), she pulled on the zipper and said "oh something must have changed. Did you gain weight?" Cont. in comments...

ETA: grammar

15 Comments

Latest activity by Brooke, on November 17, 2020 at 5:13 PM
  • Amanda
    Super May 2018
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    I replied that if I did, it was no more than 5 lbs, but I ordered up, so I'm not sure what the problem is. She asked me to take the dress off and not come out of the dressing room with it on as she would be back shortly to take my measurements again. While she was gone and I was undressing, my mom came in furious and asked me to come out of the dressing room with the gown on as she wanted to see the issue herself. I put it back on and came out to show everyone. I was so devastated I felt like I didn’t even look at myself in the mirror the whole time.

    When the sales associate came back to take my measurements again, I went back in the dressing room. As she is measuring me, I asked her what the solution to this problem was. Her response was that it is a custom length gown and if the seamstress can’t take it out, it’s still my dress regardless. Normally I would flip out, but I just needed to get out of there ASAP. I advised I refused to pay the balance on the gown until I hear from the seamstress and we left.

    When I got home, I looked up the sizing chart for Essense. It’s not directly from the manufacturer (I tried contacting them but they refused to forward their sizing chart) – there’s a couple of bridal salons that have it listed on Google, but they are all the same so I think it’s safe to say it’s correct. I matched my measurements noted on my receipt and the size recommended by the shop and even with my initial measurements, the waist would have been too small and it wouldn’t have fit regardless if I gained weight or not.

    I am waiting to hear back from the shop today and part of me wants to demand a new dress in the proper size (which should have been an 18 and my new measurements would fit into this size as well). I am not sure how to bring up my concerns in a firm but respectful way. Based on the way I was treated on Sunday (weight gain blame), I have a feeling they’re going to tell me it’s not their error. I don’t feel as though the seamstress will be able to take out the waist almost 4 ½ inches (we’ll see) but I don’t want to pay for alterations to take out a dress in which I was recommended a size too small. I also don’t want them reconstructing this dress in any way (i.e. corset back), but time is a little bit of a problem. I would prefer a new dress in the proper size, but I just don’t know how to find a mutually agreed upon solution when I’m expecting them to place the blame on me.

    Anyone have any words that may help get my point across with a positive solution? Any help is appreciated!

    ETA: grammar

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  • firstoneat56
    Master August 2017
    firstoneat56 ·
    • Flag

    Were your measurements the same as when they ordered the dress? If so, then you have a very good case for them to order a new dress.

    Are you able to see the sales associate that first helped you back in April?

    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Devoted June 2018
    Sarah ·
    • Flag

    So the dress needs an extra 4.5 inches in the waist? That's a pretty big difference. Obviously, I have to take what you say here for the truth. If it is their fault, yes, you firmly but kindly insist on them providing you a new dress in the correct size. If they refuse, well, you'll have to get it taken out as much as possible and find a way to fit into it. The good news is, you've got a lot of time!

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Super May 2018
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    No, my measurements are not the same. I am about 2 inches bigger now based on the 5 lb weight gain. However, my original measurements still are too big for the size they recommended me on the day I bought it, so if I had not gained any weight, it still would not have fit.

    It just seems to be an oversight on their part when it came to matching my measurements to the size chart. Had they recommended the size 18 to begin with, none of this would be an issue, even with my new measurements.

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Expert May 2018
    Emily ·
    • Flag

    I definitely would discuss this with the shop you purchased the gown from... for something like this, not measuring correctly makes more than a world of difference.

    i would see if they could go lengths to find what options you have. this is so horrible. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this, someone just seemed to be incompetent with measuring...

    i would also ask to be remeasured and to see the size chart. when i bought my dress, they took my measurements and SHOWED me the size chart from the designer, as they should have with you, so that you could make an informed decision on which dress size to buy. from there i would definitely ask what they could do to help you, since it is kind of their fault for not properly measuring/recommending sizing to you.

    if the chart you found is right, then i would definitely take it up with them. because that's a problem with the consultant(s) not knowing how to size people, and that is definitely a serious issue.

    in terms of possibly having to deal with a dress that is too small... body shapers, light diet and maybe some seamstress magic? i know from experience that taking out almost 5 inches in a dress is nearly impossible. maximum seam allowances are usually around or under 2 inches, so the most i could see you getting something like this expanded is by 3 inches... i would talk to the seamstress if the salon cant fix your (their) problem.

    • Reply
  • K
    Beginner May 2019
    Kirsten ·
    • Flag

    So sorry you are going through this! They should be willing to show you the size chart, which will definitively resolve the issue - they either ordered correctly or they didn't! The answer to that question is what will inform the available recourse.

    • Reply
  • Morgan
    Savvy August 2018
    Morgan ·
    • Flag

    Well I bought an Essence of Australia 2 months ago for my dress and now after reading the comments I hope my dress isn't too small!!! You should take the EOA sizing chart to them and show them they told you the wrong size. This is your big day, they should work with you and do everything they can to make that dress fit.

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Super May 2018
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    Yes, I had to sign paperwork in which the measurements were noted and the recommended dress size by the shop and that I went with their recommendation. I never saw the size chart. Personally, I don't feel like I should have to double-check the work of a sales associate that is getting a commission off my dress. If I have to match it to the size chart myself, why even have retailers selling your designs?

    I have a copy of this ready for when they call. However, I tried getting the size chart directly from Essense and they wouldn't forward it to me, so I'm basing all of this off of 2 Essense size charts I found on Google (they were both the same). I just don't want the shop manipulating the size chart in any way so they are not liable.

    It is a reputable dress shop in the area in which I know a lot of brides have purchased their gowns from, but based on my experience on Sunday, I'm not very optimistic that they will do the right thing. Fingers crossed. I will keep everyone updated!

    • Reply
  • BoudreauToBe
    Master July 2018
    BoudreauToBe ·
    • Flag

    Something similar happened to me. The sample I tried on was 1-2 sizes bigger than the dress that I measured for. I thought it was a sheath/trumpet style, but when my size came in I realized it is supposed to fit like a mermaid. For an Italian girl with a big ass and big thighs, this is not the right kind of dress. There is a little room to let it out but I am trying to lose a little weight to fit into it. The top is way too big on me, so they probably couldn't even order a size up because it will completely change the top of the dress.

    The bottom line is that they measured you wrong and they should have to pay to put a rush on a dress for you. That is absurd! Speak to the manager or the owner and take your dress elsewhere for alterations.

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Super May 2018
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    Thank you @Mrs. Fall Bride! Measurements are the same on that page as I found elsewhere and most importantly, for my dress in particular.

    My measurements were close to the size ordered, but it still would have been too small AND the sales associate said they always encourage to order up, which would have made my recommended size an 18, not a 16.

    Here's to hoping they do the right thing!

    • Reply
  • Kate
    Dedicated December 2017
    Kate ·
    • Flag

    Make sure the same person measures you as when you ordered the dress, because they do not all measure the same. You said you've gained maybe 5lbs but increased by 2 inches. That doesn't jive at all and it sounds like the woman was trying to measure you larger. 10lb weight gain is on average a little over an inch, so 2 inches would be close to 20lb weight gain. I can see them trying to blame that on you.

    My first two fittings the woman measured me 2 inches larger on the waist than when I had bought the dress, but I had not gained any weight. Luckily the dress was slightly too big on my waist, but then they took it in too much. The same woman measured me at the second fitting when it was too small, so I knew they couldn't blame me. Then for my third fitting I had another girl and she measured my back at 2 inches smaller, like when I ordered the dress. If I had gotten that girl for the first fitting and then the 2 inch larger girl for the fitting when my dress was too small they could've tried to tell me it was my fault. So clearly two different attendants can measure 2 inches different.

    • Reply
  • RustyTheDog
    Dedicated December 2017
    RustyTheDog ·
    • Flag

    Were you over in all the measurements for the size 16 dress? My hips were over by an inch, but all the other measurements were under, so they ordered the smaller size for me based on hips, but larger based on all other places since even then it would have to be taken in by several inches in those places (boobs, waist, arms, shoulders). On the ticket it is marked as "larger size ordered than measurements" (even though again, it is SMALLER, not LARGER than my hip measurement). If I had gained 2 inches around my hips that would no longer be possible for me to be let out the dress that much, even though they marked the dress as "larger" than my size since in most measurements it was. If they did that with your dress you may not have much recourse. How much over was your original waist measurement to the size 16 dress? If it was an inch or less and other measurements were under the size, then they could have ordered that since it would still be larger in most areas and the letting out an inch or less in one area shouldn't have been a problem. With another 2 inches it would be a problem though.

    Good luck!

    • Reply
  • A
    Just Said Yes August 2018
    Aprial ·
    • Flag

    You can turn it into a corset back instead of a zipper

    • Reply
  • Caitlin
    Savvy September 2021
    Caitlin ·
    • Flag
    I’m going through the same issue. I ordered my dress 7 months ago, paid in full and it just arrived. It took 2 people to button the dress but the store owner kept insisting it fit. I went to my moms and there was no way she could get me in the dress. I haven’t gained a pound! I’m very nervous and upset about the whole situation. I’m going to see their seamstress this week.
    • Reply
  • Brooke
    Just Said Yes June 2021
    Brooke ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I’m having the same exact problem! The salon owner ordered me the size I tried on which fit perfect. She measured me and said my measurements were fine for it, but never showed me them. I got my dress and it didn’t zip. I went to the alterations lady and she said it would need to be taken out 3 inches. I feel like they measured me wrong and I don’t know what to do. I called and left so many voicemails today and they have yet to respond. I’m hoping they take responsibility because I don’t want to have to turn the back into a corset lace up. I’m so stressed.
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