How to Measure a Dress? (With Pictures)

You can measure a dress to find its size and length by laying it on a flat surface and using a measuring tape. Dress sizes are different at most stores. You can also measure your body to figure out which sizes work best for you. It's easy to take these measurements and well worth your time.
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Last updated on November 5, 2022

When buying dresses online, it is important to take accurate measurements to ensure a better fit.

Measuring a dress to find its size and length is a simple process. Just lay the garment on a flat surface and use a measuring tape. Keep in mind that dress sizes can vary by store, so it’s important to consult the size chart for the specific brand or retailer. To ensure the best fit, take body measurements and compare them to the size chart. The easy steps below will help you choose the perfect size for your dress.

Steps to Measure a Dress

How to Measure a Dress? Kiwi Sizing - Improve conversion and lower returns.

Chest or bust measurement for dress

Place the tape close under the armhole and measure from side seam to side seam.

When measuring the chest or bust size of a dress, it is important to place the measuring tape close to the armhole of the garment.

This will ensure that the measurement is taken at the widest part of the chest or bust, providing an accurate representation of the size of the dress in this area.

It is also important to measure from side seam to side seam across the front of the dress, as this will give a full picture of the size of the dress at the chest or bust. Avoid pulling the tape too tightly or too loosely, as this can affect the accuracy of the measurement.

You may also need to measure your torso length if you want a perfect fitting dress.

Waist measurement

This is the narrowest part at the waist. It’s usually just above the navel area, and it is the point at which the waist is the smallest. Place the tape from side to side directly at the waistline.

Once this point has been identified, place the measuring tape from side to side across the waistline of the dress. Make sure that the tape is parallel to the ground and not pulled too tightly or too loosely. This will ensure that the measurement is accurate and reflective of the true size of the dress at the waist.

Hip measurement

Place the tape approximately 7–9 inches below the natural waistline and measure from side to side at the hip line.

To measure hip size accurately, you will need to wrap a tape measure snugly but comfortably around the hips and take note of the circumference in inches or centimeters. Also, make sure that you are measuring across the fullest part of your hips for an accurate measurement.

Flare measurement

Flare is the bottom wide length of your dress. Flare measurement is the width of the dress at its widest point, usually around the hem.

To measure your flare, start by laying your garment flat and measuring from side seam to side seam across the bottom of the skirt or dress. This will give you an accurate assessment of how wide it is at that particular point. Make sure to keep your tape level when measuring in order for this number to be the most accurate.

Strap-to-hem measurement

The strap-to-hem measurement is taken from the top of the shoulder/strap, down along the body, and ending at the bottom of your dress or skirt.

This measurement will give you an accurate indication of how long your garment is overall. To measure this accurately, start by draping a measuring tape over one shoulder and running it down to where your desired length should end. Ensure that when taking this measurement, there are no wrinkles in either fabric or tape as they could cause inaccurate measurements.

Waist-to-hem measurement

The waist-to-hem measurement is the length from the top of your dress’ waistband down to its bottom hemline.

To measure this, start at the natural waistline and place a tape measure along the side seam of your garment, measuring straight down until you reach the end of your skirt’s or dress’ hem. This will give you an accurate reading of how long it is from one point on your garment to another.


Also check: How to measure a Skirt?

Steps to Measure Your Body for Perfect Fitting Dresses

  • Measure your chest: Stand up straight with your arms hanging down in a relaxed, natural pose. Measure around the fullest part of your chest. Tight up under the armpits and over the shoulder blades.
  • Measure your waist: Stand up straight in a relaxed, normal position. Run the tape around the narrowest part of your natural waist. This is usually where the belly button is.
  • Measure your hips: Stand with your feet together. Measure around the fullest part of your hips and rear. This is typically midway between your crotch and your belly button.

Tips for Taking Measurements

  • For dress measuring, take all measurements lying flat on a clean floor or table because hanging clothes can stretch as you measure.
  • For body measuring, keep the measuring tape snug but not too tight. If you do it too tight then you’ll get the wrong measurements and your dress won’t fit properly.
  • Measure twice to ensure the most accurate measurement.
  • Record measurement to the nearest ¼ inch. Remember that lying flat measurements are generally doubled (e.g., a lying flat waist of 13.5″ can be understood as a 27″ waist) so a ¼ inch could make a difference.
  • Always choose the larger size if your measurements come between two sizes, especially when you’re ordering online.
  • Each country has its own sizing standards. No worries, you can choose the size based on your measurements and find the corresponding sizes on different size charts.


What is the bust size in dress measurement?

Bust size in dress measurement refers to the circumference around your chest at its fullest point.

How to measure your bust?

To measure your bust, wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of your chest and make sure it sits straight across both back shoulders. Take this number and compare it with standard sizing charts to determine what size you should buy.

What dress size are 40-inch hips?

A 40-inch hip measurement typically corresponds with a US women’s dress size between 16–18 depending on other body measurements (e.g., waist, height).

Dress sizing chart for women

Size Shoulder (CM)Upper Arm Girth (CM)Bust(CM)Waist (CM)Hip (CM)
Dress size chart for women

Get your perfect-fitting dress, every time

Whether you’re shopping online or in a store, it’s important to take accurate measurements of both yourself and the garment you are looking for. Taking body measurements helps to ensure that you choose the right size dress.

If you’re a Shopify brand that sells clothes, try Kiwi’s AI size recommender. It asks a few simple questions to customers and uses AI to recommend the best sizes for them. We also recommend that you can create a size chart with unit conversion to make your customers pick the unit they are most comfortable thinking about to make a purchase decision.

This can help you reduce returns due to incorrect sizing, increase customer satisfaction, and maximize sales.


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