For brides looking for accessible, size-inclusive styles for both themselves and their bridal party, David's Bridal is often a name that comes to mind. Customers can find pieces in sizes 0-30W with pricing that's often more affordable than other bridal destinations. And, unlike other wedding dress brands, David's Bridal will now offer the same price for gowns of the same style, regardless of the size, thanks its new price parity program.
Going into 2020, David's Bridal is more committed than ever to innovation in the bridal industry, and price parity is where it starts. For David's Bridal, price parity means eliminating the markup often seen when a gown moves from traditional straight sizes (usually gowns size 14 or below) to plus sizing. Now, all gowns — including bridesmaids' dresses — will retail for the same price regardless of size.
According to Bridal Guide, plus gowns are often more expensive than straight sized options because manufacturers charge more for fabric, beading, and lace. The phenomenon is sometimes referred to as the fat tax — the increased cost of being plus size. But the wedding industry isn't alone in participating.
Major retailers known for their plus selections like Old Navy and Forever 21 have also been seen as participating with increased pricing on identical items in plus and straight sizing. (Old Navy tells Bustle that they are working to decrease the differences in pricing between their collections and in October of this year, the brand launched 30 Say Yes concept stores which offer all sizes and styles at equal costs. Forever21 has not returned Bustle's request for comment.) David's Bridal is working to change these up-charges.
Bustle spoke with David's Bridal CEO Jim Marcum about the decision to equalize shopping prices. Marcum explains the brand wants to be a leader in inclusivity and innovation in the bridal industry, and much of that relies on listening to customers.
"We've immersed ourselves in our customer. What is our customer telling us? What does our customer feel? What does our customer think about us? Price parity was an issue that came rising up to the top. It's an emotional issue," Marcum says. "As we are doing everything we can to bring the consumer back to the center of everything we do, we felt this was an incredibly important issue that we take on."
Currently, the brand offers bridal gown and bridesmaid dress options in sizes 0-30W with a multitude of brands on its racks. According to Marcum, though, many of the designs that feature inclusive sizing are proprietary to David's meaning that they curate every part of the design and creation process. No body is left out as the brand drives its own size inclusive message throughout its creations.
Marcum explains David's commitment to designing for all bodies saying, "We have our own design center. We curate. We create. We inspire. We bring all these things to life through our own designers and design teams and our partners. We're producing these gowns and creating them ourselves. What we offer on such a national scale, whether it's through our store base or online, it's really unparalleled. We control it. We drive it. We believe it. We create it. We bring it to market."
David's Bridal's move to create equal pricing across sizing is another step forward for size inclusion within the bridal industry. Marcum and the brand hope the change will inspire others to do the same.