In my last post I talked about my positive experience ordering my daughter's wedding dress through Amazon.com. Today I want to share one of the things that contributed to this shopping experience. That is, properly measuring her body. Once we placed our order for the wedding dress, we immediately received an email from the dress manufacturer requesting measurements beyond bust, waist and hips, which are the three typical measurements used to determine a basic size to originally choose from.
I don't remember the exact form we were sent but the following two pictures are an example of the measurements the manufacturer will use to customize your order.
These are fairly self explanatory measurements although there are a couple of tips that will help you get the measurements just right.
Have someone help measure you. I know this seems like a no-brainer but it really can make a difference to get the right measurements.
Get some type of string or yarn and tie it around the fullest part of your bust like this
And you can do the same thing around your waits. This will help with other measurements that I will explain in a moment.
So let's get started following the instructions on the chart! Keep in mind as you do this that you want the tape measure to fit snuggley around each body part but not tight. If it's too tight you may end up with a tight fitting garment, but could have the opposite problem if you have it too loose, so get it to where it's not going to fall down or squish you.
The best way to do this is just like you did as a growing child; against the wall. Make sure your bare heels are flat on the floor and are pressed against the wall. Have your trusted assistant mark the wall behind you right at the very top of your head. Measure from the top of your head (or the mark on the wall) down to the floor.
*If you are going to be wearing heals with your outfit, this is a great time to put those on then re-measure your height in the same way you did in bare feet. This is ultra important if you're ordering a formal gown. Keep both of these measurements.
HOLLOW TO FLOOR-
Refer to the above stock photo for where this is located. Also this picture here shows where to place the measuring tape. Have your assistant measure to the floor while you stand up straight and hold the top end of the measuring tape.
The instructions on this are well presented but keep in mind that this is the fullest part of the bust and the measuring tape needs to be parallel to the floor.
This is not necessarily where you wear your pants. This is the smallest part of your mid-section which for some people is around their rib cage.
*This is another area where you could tie a piece of string or yarn as you will need to identify this area again in just a minute.
Again, this is the fullest part of your hips. You may need to move it up or down a bit until you find the fullest part. This picture was taken while we were trying to find the fullest hip. It's actually a bit lower on most people, including me, but everyone is built different. Don't be afraid to move the measuring tape around to get the most accurate measurement.
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER-
This is from one shoulder edge across the front to the other shoulder edge. This is a really important measurement. I have incredibly narrow shoulders and most shoulder seams go a bit past the edge of my shoulders so if I were to order a custom made gown I would really want this to fit me well or it would look frumpy on me. Not good!
SHOULDER TO BUST-
This is where the string around the bust comes in handy. This measurement is easily taken from the shoulder edge down to the string.
SHOULDER TO WAIST-
Again, this would be super easy to measure if you had tied something around the waist. I don't have a picture of that but it would be similar to the above picture, only down to the NATURAL waist. (Remember, this is the smallest part of your mid-section)
BUST POINT TO BUST POINT-
This is well described in the photo, but the purpose of this is to ensure that the darts which fit around the bust are placed in the proper location. The bra cups will be placed in the garment according to this measurement as well, so although this may seem a little uncomfortable to measure, it is very important.
Another self explanatory measurement, but also important.
IMPORTANT!--If your upper arm measurement is larger than your armhole measurement, make a note of that for your manufacturer. You want to make sure you can get your arm through the armhole!
TIP #3 Some bridal/formal gown shops may be willing to take measurements for you for a small fee if you need a trusted assistant for this. Call ahead first and ask if there is someone who would be willing to help you out!
Good luck with your online ordering!