How to measure for your wedding dress

We can help in this area, but we cannot choose the size for you. Proper fit is subjective and individual, one person may like a dress tighter than another for example.

You will need to choose the size you feel most comfortable with, given your measurements. Remember, when choosing a size for a two-piece or separates, the waist and hip measurements need to be considered along with your bust, as tops are fitted through those areas as well. Remember also, every designer has its own size chart and normal dress size is not an indication here at all.

Remember also, gowns are not custom-made; therefore you need to order to fit the largest part of the body and take it in where it’s too large. If a dress is too small it could be a real problem; if it is too large a seamstress can usually alter it to fit. Sizes usually can not be changed once the order has been placed. The final choice for size is yours. The information below is intended to help you make the best choice.

How to Measure Bust

Measure at the widest part of the back, straight across the top of the bust, NOT under the bust line. The type of bra worn, or whether one is worn at all, can make a difference. Do NOT use your bra size (an a-cup is much different from a d-cup).

How to Measure Waist

Measure at your natural waistline. Holding stomach in would be a mistake, as would a skin-tight measurement. Leave a finger’s width under the tape so it can move.

How to Measure Hips

Measure at the largest part of the hip. The tips of your fingers should be the area to measure, when you rest your hands on your hips and put your thumbs at your natural waist. Only in the case of a straight skirt or when the hip is several sizes larger than the other measurements, will a hip measurement be necessary to determine size.

Extra Length

Most bridesmaid dresses offer extra length. Most factories suggest that you should consider ordering extra length if you are 5’8″ or taller with shoes on. Other factors are heel of shoe, hem height off floor, etc. Extra length is usually an additional 5″ of fabric added to the dress, and you will need to hem the dress to length desired in almost every case. Remember – if not sure, it’s better to have too much length and be able to shorten than to have a dress that’s too short and can’t be let out. Extra length charges will vary by designer; our size charts for each designer (at left) will give you more specific information and will list the cost for extra length.

Extra Size

Most designers charge for extra size on dresses size 18 and up. Extra size charges will vary by designer; our size charts for each designer, below will list the cost for extra size.

Ordering Separates

When ordering separates all 3 measurements must be considered.

Hollow to Hem (available on select wedding gowns only)

A hollow to hem measurement is available on select wedding gowns. If there is a specific style that you are wondering about we would need to check that style # in the information provided to us from the designer. A hollow to hem measurement should be taken while wearing any undergarments that you would wear the day of your wedding. This includes bra and crinoline (if any), as well as the correct shoe height. This special measurement is done when a gown is particularly tricky to shorten or when a bride prefers to order the gown in the correct length so that a hem is not necessary.


If there is a way the gown can be shortened by a seamstress, that would be preferable than the bride doing her own hollow to hem measurements. There are two reasons for this: 1. there is always a little leeway in the cutting process which is standard in the industry, and 2. sometimes it’s not exactly like the bride wanted due to how well the measurement was done for the bride in the first place.

If on the other hand, there is no way the gown can be shortened by a seamstress, then here is a 3 Step Instruction for a Perfect Hollow-to-Hem Measurement.

Step One

Once the bride has put on the exact slip, crinoline, shoes, brassiere and all undergarments she will wear the day of the wedding, place the measuring tape 1/4″ below the hollow of the neck and measure to the waist, following the shape of the body.

Step Two

With the bride standing straight up and looking forward, measure from the waist to the finished hem, following the shape of the crinoline (approximately 1″ from the floor).

Step Three

Place the measuring tape 1/4″ below the hollow of the neck and measure to the finished hem. If this measurement does not equal the sum of the previous two measurements, repeat all three measurements.


Submit Hollow-to-Hem measurements in 1″ increments only (55″, 56″, etc.). If the actual hollow to hem measurement is in between a whole inch, order the next largest increment (i.e. If the measurement is 55 1/2″, order a 56″ Hollow-to-Hem).

Please be aware that sizing is not an exact science and alterations by an experienced seamstress will almost always be necessary for a proper fit.

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