The Measure of You

Quite simply, being measured for your wedding dress is more complicated than you think. It’s not as easy as just popping a tape measure around yourself and thinking the dress will be a perfect fit.  For a start, do you know which exact measurements the retailer or designer needs?  And then where are you measuring? Nape, hollow, bust point?  You may not have even realised that there are options! 

The most common measurements for a wedding gown that will be requested are:

  • Bust – measure the fullest part of your bust in a bra
  • Under-bust – this is where your bra line follows
  • Waist – your natural waistline, below your ribs and just above your belly button
  • Hip – I would always measure the widest part of the hip if in any doubt (unless they specify a number of inches below the waist measurement)

If you’re visiting a wedding dress store, they’re going to remove this headache by doing the measuring for you.  Phew!  The store assistants will then compare those measurements to the size charts and make informed decisions, using their experience of the dresses and designers too.

But let’s say you are ordering online: do you measure ‘with ease’ or without? Are they going to add ease when they cut the dress? Where exactly do they want that hip measurement taken: upper hip, lower hip? And what if your thighs are bigger than your hips?! Under bust, over bust, bust point to bust point?  You’ll be fit to bust by the end of it! 

I have measured brides buying internet dresses before and then been shocked by what they’ve brought back to me for alterations – the dresses didn’t represent the measurements I had taken at all!  As a professional seamstress, I know how to help, adding the measurements to drawings and the like, but even so, there is always a degree of inaccuracy involved that may mean your dress will need altering even if you think it’s ‘made to measure’.

My advice would be to 

  • Find out exactly what measurements you need to supply 
  • Ask whether you will need to add ‘ease’ or not. 
  • Be relaxed with the tape measure – if you still do not know for sure about ‘ease’, don’t pull the tape measure too tight! 
  • Measure yourself in the style of bra you wish to wear under your wedding dress and 
  • Be honest!  Do not be tempted to take any inches off as it won’t fit when it arrives.

Oh, and I know this sounds silly, we might talk in inches but do check whether they’re asking for inches or centimetres (cm)!

The easiest and least risky option is to have your measurements taken by a professional like me.  I know wedding dresses inside out (literally); I understand the craft and so can help you work out where you need ‘ease’ and where you don’t and if you think your body shape might change over the time leading up to your wedding, I can help to work out how that will affect the measurements.

So give me a call on 07976286044 or drop me an email and let’s discuss your beautiful wedding dress!