The Foolproof Way to Measure for a Bridesmaid Dress

Now that you and your girls have finally decided on the ideal bridesmaid dresses—which you know will look perfect standing next to you in your flawless dress come time to tie the knot—there’s only one thing coming between you, them, and that moment: the measuring and fitting. Although you and your bests are capable of measuring for a bridesmaid dress yourselves with these tips, experts recommend you see a professional seamstress in order to get everything just right. Read on to prepare yourselves and make everyone as comfortable as possible when it comes time to get your measure on.

How to measure for a bridesmaid dress (& not screw up).

First, go to your local craft or fabric store and purchase a tape measure. Make sure you purchase a soft, flexible tape for body measurements.


What you need to remember when measuring the bust is that it’s not the same as your bra size; it’s actually a measurement of the fullest part of your chest. If you do plan to wear a bra underneath your dress, it’s a good idea to try to wear that exact bra for the fitting so you don’t end up with a too-tight fit. Stand with your arms relaxed at your sides and run the measuring tape from the widest part of your back to the fullest part of your bust. Make sure it’s positioned correctly so that it forms the full circle.


Look for the natural waistline—the smallest part of your waist. To find your true waistline, stand up straight then bend at the waist to one side. You’ll see a crease where the natural waistline is situated. Usually, this measurement will be one to two inches above the belly button. In order to get the most accurate measurement, and for your dress to be comfortable all day/night long, it’s important that you don’t suck in your belly unnaturally or have the seamstress pull the measuring tape too tight against your skin. You want the dress to fit comfortably in every area; there’s no need to feel a discomfort over numbers. After all, they are just that—only numbers.


Stand relaxed and naturally with your feet together and have the seamstress run the tape over the widest part of your hips. The tape should sit across your hip bones.


For long sleeves, extend the tape from your armpit and measure your straight arm at your side. Stop when the tape gets to the wrist.

Hollow-to-Hem (Length)

For this measurement, try to wear the shoes you’re planning on donning for the actual wedding day, especially if the dresses are full-length. Start by placing the tape at the collarbone (hollow) and measure to where you want the hem to end. Keep in mind the fullness of the skirt: For a full skirt, the measurement requires that you angle the tape to reflect the fullness of the gown, which will ensure the correct length. This measurement is the one I recommend a professional do if you have time. You don’t want a dress that’s shorter than everyone else’s!

And the right size is?

If you’re ordering your dress from a bridal shop and your measurements come to reflect different-sized dresses, bridal experts recommend you order what would be the largest size, and get the dress altered down to custom fit your body. For example, if your bust fits a size 12, your waist fits a size 10, and your hips fit a size 8, order the 12. This way, you’ll achieve the most flattering shape for your body as possible, and it’s much easier for a seamstress to take fabric in vs. adding extra. Remember, just as in normal apparel, every designer’s collection varies in sizes. If you have your heart set on a particular designer, do your research. It’s not uncommon for you to wear sizes larger or smaller than you’re accustomed to, which is why it’s essential to measure these parts of your body—not to just “wing it”—for the best possible fit.

Still concerned? That’s what customer service teams are for! Feel free to shoot us an email  Our experts will help you better understand each designer’s size chart, as well as your measurements. We’ll make sure you pick the right style and fit!