Local bridal shop aims to be a perfect fit for all dress sizes

DUNLAP (Heart of Illinois ABC) – A Dunlap woman is making sure every bride can find a dress no matter what size they are. She quit her job to open a shop to fill a void.

Rachel O’Kane found herself searching for her own wedding dress, feeling embarrassed and discouraged as she had to squeeze a few sizes down to try on a dress.

“We had a difficult time finding a shop that would cater to my needs and when we finally found a shop it was kind of like a pledge then and there, I knew I wanted to do this,” said O’Kane.

Fast forward eight years, she opened ‘Down the Aisle Bridal Shop.’ She left her corporate retail job of 20 years to make sure no one had to re-live what she went through.

“It’s a rather defeating feeling. You’re so excited you want to go try on bridal gowns, but you’re concerned there’s not going to be one that will fit you,” said O’Kane.

She says there was a void to fill in the area.

“Here in Central Illinois there’s a handful of bridal shops that are still open so I really felt like the market could hold another bridal shop and one that was specific to size inclusivity and have private appointments,” said O’Kane.

O’Kane says bridal shops usually carry sizes that range from 0 to 14, but she has dresses up to size 44.

“Which is great because it gives everyone an option for their bridal shopping needs,” said O’Kane.

Although, she does not want to be the only shop that caters to every size.

“I would challenge other bridal shops to make sure they are also expanding their collection of plus size, curvy size dresses because there’s certainly a demand for it,” said O’Kane.

While she opened in February, O’Kane says she is excited to expand her building and bring in more designers.

“I’m really excited to help a new season of brides,” said O’Kane.