Are you normally a size 6, but faced with ordering a bridesmaid dress a few sizes larger? Don’t fret – it’s not that weekend you just spent splurging on junk food and wine. Many bridesmaid designers, along with bridal designers, have their own specific measurement charts. It’s not you!
When the conversation comes to your measurements and sizing, approach your sizing decision with this in mind. No one will see the tag showing the size, but they will definitely notice if your dress is popping at the seams. No matter what size you are – a dress is always more flattering when it fits properly.
At Twirl, we recommend being measured at our store, or being measured by a professional seamstress. If this isn’t possible, though, we can teach you. It’s not rocket science, but accuracy is important.
Start by purchasing a fabric measuring tape ($1 at most sewing stores, Walgreens, Target, etc.). You will want to wear tight-fitting clothing. It’s fine to keep your bra on, as long as it’s not your super padded, double-push-up water bra. It’s also best to have someone else measure you, and to take a few different measurements in each area to ensure accuracy. The tape should be snug, but not too tight.
Bust: Measure the fullest part around your bust. Cup size doesn’t usually come into play here – measuring for a dress is different than measuring for a bra.
Waist: Measure the smallest part around your waist – this is higher than where you wear your jeans. If looking in the mirror, it’s the “hourglass” point. You can also do a sidebend – the crease is the smallest part of your waist.
Hips: Measure the fullest part around your low hips (basically the biggest part of your bum). I know, I know – just do it. Everyone hates this part.
Hollow to Hem (if applicable): Measure from the ‘hole’ under your neck, between your collarbone. Don’t push too hard and choke yourself like I did the first time I tried this. Pull the tape tight to the top of your foot. Unless you’re a candidate for Cirque du Soleil, someone else will need to do this for you.
Now you’re a measuring expert! Just remember, bridesmaid and bridal dresses are usually “made to order” by size, not “custom made” according to your specific body measurements. This means, after all that measuring and choosing your size, alterations will still possibly be needed to fit your unique and beautiful body perfectly into your dress. It’s just the beast of the bridal world. I’ve had 10 bridesmaid dresses in my life, and only one didn’t have to be altered. In hindsight, though, I stepped on that dress all night.