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How to Measure Yourself for a Bridesmaid Dress

Lovely - Free-Spirited Modern Dresses

Being a bridesmaid comes with no shortage of responsibilities—one of which is getting your bridesmaid dress measurements. Whether you're shopping online for bridesmaid dresses or trying them on in-store, knowing your measurements before you buy a bridesmaid dress is an absolute must.

Don't have the time or budget to get professionally measured? Don't sweat it. Read on to learn how to measure for a bridesmaid dress so you can look and feel fab on the bride's big day.

What You'll Need

Fortunately, you don't need many tools to take proper measurements for a bridesmaid dress. The one tool that you absolutely must have is a soft tape measure, which you can get at your local craft store.

It's also a good idea to have a pencil and a notebook handy. That way, you can jot down your measurements and use them to refer to the size chart for the specific dress you're looking to purchase.

Got everything you need? You're almost ready to start measuring.

Want to look and feel flawless in your bridesmaid dress? Learn how to measure a bridesmaid dress accurately at home with this helpful guide by The Dessy Group. Photo by @photo_dh. Dresses: Dessy 3012.
#DessyRealWeddings - Bridesmaids: Dessy 3012; Photographer: @photo_dh

Helpful Tips Before You Measure

Taking your own measurements doesn't need to be a daunting task. That being said, we've heard more than a few horror stories of how incorrect measurements have led to frustrating dress shopping experiences for bridesmaids.

To save you from future dress problems and ensure a stress-free dress shopping experience, here are a few important tips to help you measure with the utmost accuracy:

  • Consider your undergarments. What undergarments do you plan to wear with your bridesmaid dress? Be sure to wear them while you measure yourself to get the most accurate measurements possible.
  • Don't forget your shoes. On a similar note, remember to bring shoes that are the same height as the shoes you plan to wear on the bride's big day. If you're wearing a long bridesmaid dress, you'll want to factor in your heel height before you get the dress tailored.
  • Give yourself some breathing room. The tape measure should be snug against your body without being too tight. If you can't squeeze a fingertip underneath the tape measure, you're pulling it too tight.
  • Breathe normally. Avoid sucking in or holding your breath. The goal of getting your measurements is not to achieve the lowest number you possibly can. It's to end up with a comfortable and flattering bridesmaid dress that makes you feel amazing.
  • When in doubt, size up. Not sure if your hips are 40” or 41”? Jot down 41” if you're not confident in your measuring abilities. Remember: It's a lot easier to take a bridesmaid dress in than it is to let one out!

How to Measure Yourself for a Bridesmaid Dress

What to Measure (and How)

To find your perfect fit, you'll need to take four measurements: Your bust, waist, hips and high point. In case you haven't heard of that last one, the high point is simply a measurement of the length of the dress from its highest point to its hemline.

Ready to get accurate measurements for your bridesmaid dress? Here's what you need to measure and how to do it properly:

Bust: Note, this is not the same thing as your bra size! Take the tape measure around your back and under your armpits before meeting at the fullest part of your bust. Remember to wear the same bra (if any) you'll be wearing with the dress. Record the measurement from the very end of your tape measure.

Waist: Your natural waistline is the narrowest part of your torso. To find this point, bend slightly to the side and make note of the natural crease in your waistline. Wrap the tape measure around this crease, which should be roughly two inches above your belly button.

Hips: To measure your hips, stand naturally with your feet together. Wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your hips and backside. Make sure that tape measure is level all the way around by looking in a full-length mirror while you measure.

High Point Bust: The high point bust is used to measure strapless bridesmaid dresses. To get this measurement, measure from the top of your bustline to the floor. 

High Point Shoulder: The high point shoulder measurement is used for dresses with a shoulder. To get this measurement, measure from the top of your shoulder to the floor.

If you're on the taller side (generally 5'7” and above) and plan on rocking heels, we strongly recommend getting extra length for your dress. Note: Most of Dessy's bridesmaid dresses are available in extra length, unless otherwise stated in the description!

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

Take the Stress Out of Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

Whether you're wearing a short bridesmaid dress or a stunning, floor-length number, getting the right dress measurements is key to achieving a flawless fit. After all, you deserve to look and feel good when you stand by the bride on her day.

Have additional questions about sizing or fit? Get in touch with a Dessy stylist and we'll be happy to assist.