There are several reasons why most prom shoppers wear different sizes in prom gowns. Let’s start with the simplest and work our way down the list!
Firstly and most importantly, there is not one standardized size chart from all prom designers. Therefore, you might be a size 4 in a Scala prom gown and a size 2 in a Mignon prom gown. This can be frustrating when trying on prom gowns. Understand that you will range between 3 sizes: your usual size, 1 size below that, and 1 size above that. Since there is no way to avoid this fit challenge, you'll need to try on different sizes until you find the best fit.
Another reason prom gowns fit differently is because of the fabric used to make the prom gown. Some fabrics have a natural stretch due to the nature of the fabric. For example, knits naturally are not stiff and conform to the body, hugging comfortably to create a “perfect” fit. Fabrics that are blended with spandex can create the same effect. In fact, Spandex is added to many fabrics used to make prom gowns, including taffeta, satin, polyester and cotton. When trying on prom gowns with some “fit flexibility," you can typically fit into a prom gown 1 to 2 sizes below your usual size.
Finally, most of us aren’t perfectly proportioned bodies with model heights, but that's simply how most prom manufacturers size charts are created. If your bust measurement falls into a size 10 while your waist and hips fall into a size 6, you'll need to wear the size 10 to fit the bust area and have the waist and hips taken in. Conversely, if your hip measurement is a size 6 and your bust measurement is a size 2, then in most cases the 6 would be the correct size. To make things easier, have yourself measured by a professional to help determine the best size dress for your body. They will take into consideration fabric, prom gown design, and your measurements when helping you choose a size.
Finding a prom gown that does not require any alterations is very rare, but not impossible. Focus on it finding a dress that fits your body the way you want it to. Don't get discouraged if a dress doesn't come in your exact size. It's easy to have adjustments made by a reputable seamstress, and this will ensure that the dress is the perfect fit. After all, you want your prom gown to fit you like a glove (I mean dress)!