Tips From The Prom Pros

  • How to measure dress size accurately
  • Courtney Strysko
  • how to measurelifehackprom planningPromparedness and lifehacks

How to measure dress size accurately

In order to get a great fit, you need great measurements. We always recommend having a professional take your measurements but if that’s not an option, these tips will help you out.


  • Start with a soft flexible tape measure. Don’t have one? A piece of string or ribbon and a ruler will work. (Use the string to measure then measure the string with the ruler)
  • Get some help. It’s hard to get good measurements by yourself.  
  • For the most accurate measurements, don’t measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress.
  • The measuring tape shouldn’t be pulled too tight or too loose, and should always be parallel to the floor.

    At a minimum, you'll need these most common measurements

     Bust size: This is not your bra size. Measure around your chest, at the fullest point of the bust (not under the bust). This one is really hard to get right on your own since you should measure with your arms down by your sides.

     Waist size: You need to measure your natural waist not down where you wear your pants. This is the thinnest part of your torso. While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. The crease that forms is where your natural waist is located; measure there. Don't be tempted to suck it in, just relax.

     Hip size: Standing with your feet together, measure around the fullest part of the hips. Have whoever is measuring you look at you from the side and wrap the tape around the biggest part of your rear end. Really make sure the tape is parallel to the floor.  

      Find the right size chart

      Compare your bust, waist, and hip measurements to the designer’s size chart for the dress you want. These vary from designer to designer and sometimes from dress to dress, so make sure you check the chart on that dresses page

      We recommend you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. With one exception, see below.

      For example, if your measurements are as follows: 

      Your bust fits a size 12

      Your waist fits a size 10

      Your hips fits a size 8

       We would advise you to order a size 12, and get the dress altered to custom fit your body. Ordering the size that fits your largest measurement will ensure that your dress has the most flattering fit possible.  The only exception would be if your hips are the larger size but the dress has a full, loose skirt. In that case only, ignore the hip measurement.

       Remember you can always have a dress taken in, but very rarely can it be let out.


      Don't let vanity rule your size choice!

      Formal dresses are typically sized differently than retail clothing, so it’s not uncommon to find yourself needing one or more sizes larger than your normal dress size. Order the size you need not the size you want to be. The size tags don't show on the outside of the dress, nobody will know what size you're wearing but you. 


        • Courtney Strysko
        • how to measurelifehackprom planningPromparedness and lifehacks

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