How to Take Your Own Measurements


Curious what size wedding dress you’ll need or are you planning to order a dress online and need to choose a size? It’s possible to take your own measurements. Here’s how.

Pick Your Tape Measure Wisely

Fabric or cloth tape measures are the way to go. Skip metal ones because they bend, leading to inaccurate measurements. Once you have the right tape measure, make sure to pull it fairly tight so that it doesn’t loosen, but not too tightly. You should be able to slide your thumb between you and the tape.

Wear Proper Undergarments

Your best move is to wear undergarments you plan to wear on your wedding day or ones that are very similar. Same goes for shoes. If you’re still looking for the perfect pair, put on ones you already have with the heel height you plan to wear.

Ready, Set, Measure

Dress sizes are determined based on bust, waist and hip measurements. To accurately measure these, get a friend to help, and consider the following.

Bust: You’re going for something other than your bra size here. You want to measure the fullest part of your bust. Place your heels together and let your arms fall down at your side. Then lay the tape across the widest part of your back and fullest part of your bust while keeping your thumb behind the tape.

Waist: This is typically an inch or two above your belly button, and considered your natural waistline. Before you begin measuring, take a deep breathe in and out. Keep your belly natural, not sucked in. Then stand straight and bend to your side to find your natural waist. With your heels together, place the tape around your waist and keep your thumb behind the tape.

Hips: As with the other measurements, stand straight with your heels together and arms at your side. Then pull the tape across the widest part of your hips while keeping your thumb behind the tape.

Hollow to Hem: Most appropriate for women shorter or taller than 5’8,” this measurement helps determine a specific length for your dress by measuring from the base of the neck (hollow of the neck) to the bottom of the hem. Stand straight and face forward with your arms at your sides. Then place the tape measure ¼” below the hollow of your neck and measure to the waist following the shape of your body. Measure from the waist to where you want the finished hem to fall following the shape of the slip. Place the measuring tape ¼” below the hollow of the neck and measure to the approximate finished hem. If this measurement does not equal the total of the previous two measurements, repeat all three measurements until the measurements agree.

Sleeve: If you’re going for the sleeve look, you’ll want to take measurements for this too. Place the tape in your armpit. Measure your straight arm and stop at your wrist.

Tall Girl Problems

If you’re taller than 5’8” with the heels you plan to wear with your dress, you’ll want to consider an extra length dress, which usually adds between 1 and 6 inches of material, depending on the designer of your dress.

Choose Your Size

Now that you have your measurements, compare them to the dress designer’s size chart. Most likely, your measurements won’t all match up with the same sized dress so it’s best to pick the size of the largest part of the measurements and then alter down.


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