How To Measure Yourself

It can be difficult to know exactly what size you are in a wedding dress. There’s a big difference between regular dress shopping and wedding dresses and a difference between different designers.  As a general rule wedding dresses sizes also come up smaller.

However, before you purchase a dress, the best advice we can give is to measure yourself correctly and then compare your measurements to the designer size chart/sellers information. You’ll need to measure yourself so you can compare your waist, bust and hip measurements.

If a gown is new or has not been altered in the length it would normally fit a bride who is 5ft 7 inches.  However, you should ask your Seller to measure the length for you.   You should measure yourself (get someone to measure you) from your hollow in your neck to the ground without shoes (look straight ahead when doing this, do not look down) Remember then to factor in the heel height of your shoes.

It’s essential to know your correct dress size and it will give you a good indication if the dress will fit and reduce the need for expensive alterations.  There’s a visual guide below showing you exactly how and where to measure yourself.

How To Measure Your Waist, Bust and Hips

Here’s the important bit – how to actually measure yourself!

There are three key points: your bust, waist and hips. You should measure against your body and never through clothes, to get the most accurate measurements. Use a flexible tape measure and make sure it’s not too tight or too loose.

Bust (1): Measure around the fullest part of your bust, ensuring the tape measure is straight across your back. Do not wear a padded bra whist doing this unless you intend on wearing one with your dress. a normal well fitting, comfortable bra is best.

Waist (2): Measure around the smallest part of your waist. To find this, bend to one side like a teapot and where the crease forms is your natural waist. Do not hold yourself in, breath naturally.

Hips (3): With your feet together, measure around the fullest part of your hips, usually 20cm down from the natural waistline. Measure to include the fullest part of your bottom cheeks.

Compare your measurements to the size chart. Sellers information.

Ideally the measurements of the dress you love will be similar or just slightly larger than your measurements, that what you will b able to have the dress altered to fit you. As a general rule a dress can easily be altered by one size and is slightly more difficult at two sizes larger.  It is easier to take a dress down a size and often difficult to make it larger.

Any measurements that are below yours (waist/bust) will mean that the dress will not fit you unless the dress is a corset back or (bust) has a completely open back.

Dependant on the style of the dress, the hip size on a gown can differ slightly from your measurements.  If it’s a very slim fit style, then you need to stick to the size chart but if you’ve chosen a ball gown or A line you generally have more flexibility and these gowns will give you more room in the hip area.

The style and fabric of a gown can make a big difference to how a dress will fit.  If the dress has a corset back you may be able to go down/up a size as the corset will allow this, a zip fastening has no flexibility.

Bridal shops will have the designer size charts and will be able to advise you, private sellers could measure themselves to give you a better indication of how the dress fits them.