How to Measure Yourself at Home

Your perfect wedding gown is not only dependent on look but also on feel—and feeling your best in your “Heck Yes!” dress hinges on accurate measurements.


Wedding planning is hard enough—why not buy your dress while on your couch and in your pjs!

So… what if you’re shopping on our Bridal Outlet with only your dog around?

When shopping in person at Ivory Rose, our professional stylists measure you for a gown—but the process can be easily replicated at home.


Get out your measuring tape, ladies! Class is in session.


Step #1 - Gather Your Materials


To measure yourself at home, you’ll need…

  • A soft, flexible measuring tape

  • A pen or pencil

  • A piece of paper

  • A full length mirror

  • Underwear

  • An unpadded bra


Step #2 - Get in Position


In your bra and underwear, stand in front of your full length mirror. Hold one end of the measuring tape in your left hand and wrap it around your back to hold in your other hand (it’s almost like threading a belt through the belt loops on your favorite pair of jeans… but without the belt loops).


Step #3 - Measure your Bust


Measuring your bust is the hardest part. Hold the end of the measuring tape that begins at the one inch mark in your left hand and hold it steadily at your left nipple. Making sure the measuring tape has no twists or kinks, pull it taut so that it lays straight across your back. Use the band of your bra for reference. Bring the measuring tape under your right arm and across your right nipple. Place the end in your right hand directly under the other end in your left hand. At this point, the measuring tape should wrap around your entire bust line. Don’t worry if it takes a few times to get situated… measuring tapes like to slide around on you!


Double check that everything is parallel in and in place: the edge of the measuring tape should line up with the bottom edge of your bra’s band. Then, facing the mirror, take a deep breath in… and out. Tighten the measuring tape to the size of your bust when you’ve let all the air out of your lungs. Don’t pull too tight, though. You still want it to feel comfortable!


Write down the measurement, then try two more times to be sure that your measurements are accurate and consistent.



Step #4 - Measure your Waist


The easiest way to shift from bust to waist measurement is to shimmy the measuring tape to your waistline. Your waistline is the smallest point of your torso, usually just under your ribcage. If unsure where your smallest point is, lean to one side (kind of like a side tree bend in your hot yoga class). Where your skin creases is the smallest point of your waist.


After locating your waistline and adjusting your measuring tape, double check that your measuring tape has no twists or kinks. Ensure that the tape's one inch mark is in your left hand and it’s other end in your right hand. Facing the mirror, take a deep breath in and out and tighten the measuring tape to the size of your waist when you’ve let all the air out of your lungs. Again, don’t pull too taut. We don’t want you to feel squeezed in your dress!


Again: write down the measurement, then try two more times to be sure that your measurements are accurate and consistent.


Step #5 - Measure your Hips


One more to go! Slide the measuring tape to your hips. Measure the widest part of your hips, which is usually mid-way down your butt. Make sure that your measuring tape has no twists or kinks, then, again, place the one inch mark in your left hand and the other end in your right hand. Line up the inch marks to deduce your measurement.


No need to breathe this time! Jot down the measurement, then try one or two more times just to be sure.



Step #6 - Browse Away


Now that you’ve taken your measurements, here comes the fun part—shopping! When perusing our online selection, hovering over the image of a dress reveals the tag size. This can give you a general idea of if the dress is within your size range. Remember, bridal sizing is awful (if we met a genie and got three wishes, changing bridal sizing would be on the top of our list, next to world peace—seriously). Expect a good fit to be 2 to 4 sizes higher than your normal street size.


Once you find a dress within that size range, click and read our sizing description. We’ll list the bust, waist, and hip measurements. Know that not all dress types will need to account for a hip measurement. If purchasing an a-line or a ballgown, hip measurement will not impact the sizing of your gown. A fitted gown, however, requires a hip measurement to be sure that everything will fit just right. Matching your measurements exactly to an unaltered dress is rare (like, probably one in a gazillion). A good rule of thumb is that dresses can always be taken in—but they can’t always be let out. Don’t order a dress if your measurements are more than half an inch higher than those of the dress. If your measurements are lower than those of the gown, know that the dress can safely be taken in 3 to 4 inches by a seamstress.


Looking for a great seamstress in the Fox Valley area?

Send us an email at info@ivoryrosebridalboutique.com and we’ll send over our list of tried-and-true experts.


Wedding planning is hard enough—why not buy your dress while on your couch and in your pjs!

Once you place your order, we’ll package up your dress and send it your way. Just like that, you’re one step close to your big day!