Bridal Fashion

The Clamp Champ

Trying on a wedding gown is an emotional event.  For many it is the first time, some are surrounded by friends and family, others are feeling the joy of what trying on a wedding dress actually represents.  Here are a few tips to think about to ensure you see the real picture of what the dress will look like on your day.


Do not always believe that tight is the best.  When trying on sample gowns in a store, there are limited sizes.  To give an idea of what the dress will look like on your body, many sales associates use large and intimidating clamps to pull in the extra inches of the dress.  Many associates make the dress very tight.  Of course, many brides believe tighter is better, however, when alterations come around, they want it as tight as the day they were in the store. 


Brides everywhere, I am here to tell you that is impossible.  To have a dress physically that tight, you would not be able to sit down all night long.  When shopping ask the sales associate to keep the clamps only moderately tight, not only to give you a snug feel, but also to show you what the fit will truly look like.


The silhouette is something else to be aware of when being clamped into the dress.  Most samples are large to accommodate many body types, and many sales associates just clamp the bodice (bust and stomach area) so the dress will not slip down.  This is fine if you want a traditional full skirt or A-line silhouette; however, this is not appropriate for a mermaid or trumpet skirt. 


When being clamped make sure you tell the sales associate to clamp a mermaid silhouette all the way down to where the flare will start.  If this is not done, the dress will look more like an A-line and not give you a clear picture of the silhouette.  Essentially, you will then purchase a dress you think looks one way and then when it arrives in your size, it will look completely different.  And remember, ALL SALES ARE FINAL!


Now you know how to fit a gown with clamps.  When your dress finally arrives, and you bring an entourage with you to see it, keep in mind, you have not yet begun alterations.  If you ask a sales associate to clamp you in so everyone can see the fit, make sure they use something to protect your dress.  If being clamped in, ensure that the sales associate is placing something between the clamp and your dress.  It can be anything like pieces of fabric or even paper towel, but make sure it is something to protect the fabric of your new gown. 


This is especially important if there is beading where a clamp must be placed.  Beading is incredibly delicate and the clamps are incredibly abrasive, you do not want any beads breaking, falling off, or coming loose.


These are ideas to help you when trying on and receiving your own gown.  Make sure you enter the buying process educated.  If you know as much as or more than the person helping you, you will be ahead of the game and understand exactly what your purchase is.


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