If you are going to purchase a dress on the Internet or from a mail order catalogue, you should know what size you need. Before ordering that new dress, take some time to measure yourself with a cloth tape measure.

Wear a comfortable fitting bra when you measure your bra size. Wrap the tape measure under your bust and record the number. Add 5 inches to that number to determine your bra size.

Measure your chest at the fullest point of your bust line. The tape measure should be kept horizontal and your arms should be down. Subtract your bra size from your bust line size to determine your cup size.

Wrap the tape measure around your waistline to determine your waist size. Your waistline is the thinnest point on your waist, just above your hip bones. If you are not sure where your waistline is, feel for it while swinging one of your legs forward and back.

Take your hip measurement at the fullest point of your hips. The tape measure should fall over your backside when measuring your hips. This area is approximately 7 to 9 inches below your waist, depending on your height.

Relax your arm down by your side to measure your sleeve length. Place the tape measure at the back of your neck and measure down the back of your arm to the bend of your wrist.


  • If you do not have a cloth tape measure, use a piece of string to take the measurements. Mark the string and then measure it with a straight ruler.

  • The length of the dress that you purchase is not as important since length can be altered through hemming. Most dresses are sold in regular and petite lengths. Petite is typically considered anyone under 5 feet 3 inches.