How to Measure the Size for a Wedding Gown


Prior to 1840, American brides wore gowns of various colors. When Queen Victoria married that year in a white wedding gown, the traditions changed and a white wedding dress was seen as representative of the purity of the bride. Regardless of the gown's shade, a gown that does not properly fit the bride may have slipping straps and other uncomfortable problems.Enlist a friend or a seamstress to take your measurements to ensure the proper dress size.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Dress in your undergarments and leave your arms at your sides. A friend should take a tape measure and wind it around your back and across the fullest portion of your breasts. This is your "Bust" measurement. Repeat the process again to ensure accuracy and record the measurements.

  • Move the measuring tape to the smallest section of your waist, which is typically a few inches above your belly button. The tape should be pulled so that it rests firmly across your skin. Measure the waist again for accuracy and write the results down.

  • Place the measuring tape about the hipbone and allow it to encircle the fullest part of your butt. Avoid tensing muscles as you take the measurement. After you have taken the hip measurement twice, record it.

  • Visit the bridal gown vendor and ask to see a size chart. This must be done whenever you try on bridal gowns, as size charts can differ between different bridal gown manufacturers. Give the vendor your hip, waist and bust measurements to determine the appropriate gown size.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not pull the measuring tape too tightly or too loosely against your skin. This may cause gown sizing problems when you visit the store.
  • A bridal gown will typically be one to two sizes larger than the attire that a bride wears in her day-to-day life.
  • The largest measurement from your hip, waist and bust measurements will usually be most important in determining your gown size.
  • The bust, hip and waist measurement are always necessary for fitting a bridal gown. However, you may need to take additional body measurements in order to ensure that the gown's hemline does not fall too low. Ask a seamstress at the bridal shop for assistance, if necessary.

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  • Photo Credit wedding gown image by sparkia from
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