ASK THE EXPERT: Dressing Your ‘Maids

Bridal Garden manager Gillian Sleight gives advice for dressing bridesmaids of all shapes and sizes

Question: One of my bridesmaids is a size 22/24, and I do not want her to have to wear a different dress than the rest of my bridesmaids, who probably range from a 4 to a 12! Are there fashionable brands out there that come in a range of sizes, so they can all wear the same dress?

Answer: Whenever you find yourself in a bridesmaid-gown pickle, you could always go the custom-gown route — but Gillian Sleight, manager at the Bridal Garden in Marlton, says that with so many gown companies making larger sizes these days, it’s hardly necessary. Sleight has seen this situation quite often, and helps brides look though racks of designers — all of them fashionable, stylish, popular bridal designers — who currently carry an array of sizes that’ll fit any ‘maid, from a 00 or 2 up to sizes 24-28. Her list: Vera Wang, Alvina Valenta, Amsale, Bill Levkoff, Jim Hjelm, Lazaro, Saison Blanche, and Watters. Just remember to be thoughtful when choosing the actual style of their dress. “Pick with the larger girl in mind,” says Sleight, “because the smaller ones are more flexible.”