Women’s Dress Measurements

Imagine a very meaningful wedding you will be attending with your boyfriend. Not only is the wedding between two of your closest friends, you will also be meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time.

This wedding is certainly the event of the year among everyone you know. Everyone who is anyone will be there, so of course you have chosen the perfect dress online that matches your boyfriend’s suit and tie.

One day before the wedding you get an email that your dress has arrived. After you get home from work, you see a cardboard box waiting for you on your door step.

Excited, you rush inside and cut open the tape that holds it together, only to find that the dress is at least two sizes too small. All of the stores are already closed and you will have no time before the wedding the next day to shop to find something.

This nightmare has happened again and again to women who do not know how to properly choose or shop for the proper women’s dress measurements.

If you would like to avoid an incident like the one described above, read this guide to help you understand women’s dress measurements.

Measure yourself

The first step to choosing the proper dress size is measuring yourself so that you know exactly what you will need.

The most common measurements needed, from top to bottom, are shoulder, bust, waist, hip and inside leg length.

Asking a friend to help you measure yourself will result in the most accurate measurements because you will not be bending or holding any items to measure yourself.

To measure your shoulders, you should use a tape measure and begin at the center of your shoulder, just where your arm begins and it curves downward. Measure across your neck, all the way to the top of your next arm.

Be sure not to measure any of your arm. You arm ends at the exact point where your shoulder begins to slope downward.

For your bust measurement, you should measure around the largest part of your bust while your arms are naturally resting downward. This is extremely important because if you measure at a smaller part of your bust, an item of clothing could be too tight around your bust.

Your waist measurement should be around the smallest portion of your waist, while your hip measurement is the exact opposite. You should measure your hips at the largest section of your body between your waist and where your legs begin.

For your inside leg length, begin measuring at the groin area where your legs begin and measure to just before the floor.

Consider clothing measurements

Typically any online shop will include some basic measurements that are used to design all of their clothes. Unfortunately because all body shapes are not the same, some parts of you may fit in an article of clothing but other parts will not.

These types of measurement tables can also be problematic because not all articles of clothing will fit perfectly into these guidelines. Here are some tips to consider to ensure that every item will fit you.

You should choose a size based on the largest part of your body. For instance, if a dress will fit you everywhere except your breast size, which needs a larger size, you should certainly move up a size. You want to be sure that the dress can fit!

This method can be problematic, however, if the disparity is very large. For instance, if your breast size requires that you jump up three sizes and the dress will be three sizes too large everywhere else, you may need to consider a different option.

Many websites offer advice and measurements that depend on each specific article of clothing. This can be very helpful if you occasionally fall between two different sizes.

Remember that not all brands use the same measurement guidelines. A size 6 at one store may be a size 10 or a size 2 at another.

You should read the sizing measurement guidelines as well as customer reviews, if available, to know if the brands you are shopping for are true to size.


Not all body shapes are the same. With so many variances in the shapes of women’s bodies, it is preposterous to think that everyone can fit into a size 2 through 22.

To avoid a disastrous shopping mistake, you should make sure that you know the measurements of your own body at the time you are shopping. If you have put on or lost an inch or two, it can make a big difference in the size that you need.

Women’s dress measurements can be highly subjective depending on the brand. You should check what the company says that it uses as an overall style guideline as well as individual articles of clothing.

One final bit of advice is that no matter what your size is, you should feel beautiful in your clothing. Do not let a number define who you are, but let choosing the right one to fit you give you the confidence you need to look your best.


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