How to Measure Yourself for a Dress

Ordering clothes online can be tricky.  Different brands are sometimes cut differently.  Knowing your measurements can make things a whole lot easier.

When measuring yourself for a dress you need to measure your bust, waist and hips.  Depending on the type of dress you are buying, you may need to measure the length, which is sometimes referred to as “hollow to hem”.

Bust:  When measuring you bust, make sure you’re wearing a comfortable bra that fits well.  Measure around the fullest part of your chest.    Make sure that the measuring tape goes under your arms.  Keep the measuring tape snug, but not so tight that your bust is popping out over the top.

Waist:  The crease that forms when you bend your body to one side is your natural waist.  That is where you should measure your waist size.  Keep the measuring tape a little loose.    You can also get your waist measurement by measuring the smallest part of your waistline.  This is usually about 2 inches above your belly button.

Hips:  Place your feet together, and measure at the fullest part of your hips.  You will want to keep the measuring tape a little loose for this measurement as well, so that your dress doesn’t end up being too small.

Length (Hollow to Hem):  Measure down the center of your collarbone to the bottom or hem of the dress.  It is a good idea to wear shoes that are a similar height to the shoes that you will be wearing with your dress.  This measurement usually applies to formal dresses.

More tips:

  • Always order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements.  For example:
  • If your bust fits a size 14, your waist fits a size 12, and your hips fit a size 10 – you would order a size 14.  You can have the dress altered to custom fit the rest of your body.  This will give you the most flattering fit.
  • Always look at the size chart, because size charts can be different from store to store.
  • If you fall between sizes, order the larger size.
  • Also note that sizes in different countries tend to run smaller than US sizes.  A Chinese large might be a US small.

Standard American Sizes:

Size 2 is XS, Size 4 is S, Size 6 is M, Size 8 is L, Size 10 is XL, and Size 12 is XXL.  This is normal, but it can vary from store to store or brand to brand.

These are just a few basics to help you get the best dress for your body.  Happy shopping!

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