With so many brands, labels and countries telling you their garment is 'size X' - how can you really be sure that item you saw online is going to fit? Now more than ever, when everyone is online shopping for absolutely everything, but especially clothing - you need to be sure you are spending your hard earned money on something that you are 99% sure will fit your very personal and individual frame.
The best way to do this is to take a seasonal fitting check-up of yourself. Make a commitment to shop sustainably and not just take a punt the piece will fit. Ask for the measurements so you know exactly whether or not a piece will be anywhere near what you need for your unique size.
With true vintage in particular, you need to know what your measurements are to see if you are within cooee. Oftentimes the maker was the wearer so of course, they may have adapted a piece to suit them. Equally there are often large seam allowances that can be used to adapt a piece you love to make it yours. These are things to consider and ask the vendor.
If you are in love with an item and want to alter it, you will need a skilled seamstress or tailor. If you know one and are a regular customer, your nice tailor or seamstress can do you the favour (or may already have!) of taking your measurements. Make sure you put the details somewhere safe and diarise to do it again at least annually.
To take your measurements yourself, you will need the following:
- A measuring tape. Can be borrowed from your nana, maybe your mum or a friend who sews.
- Something to document and note your results.
- Your undressed self in undies and a bra that actually fits properly* and does not have additional padding or wire.
- Do not wear shoes - go barefoot for accurate lengths.
A few things to note:
- Ensure the measuring tape is tight against your skin otherwise you will get an incorrect result.
- Your waist measurement should fit comfortably around your waist. Think about how snug you want skirts, dresses and trousers to be in that area. Leave about a finger width in-between so you can tuck your shirt in. Remember: You want to be able to move comfortably and sit down without cutting your body in half!
- Take measurements barefoot. When you find something you are thinking about purchasing such as a maxi style and want to wear heels or platforms, if you think it may hang on the floor, measure the heel or platform and add that to the dress / skirt or trousers’ total length.
- Stand straight, but be relaxed. If you are doing this with help and feel a bit uncomfortable, ask your helper to put the tip of their forefinger behind the measuring tape
Need a visual? We have one just for you below:
- Shoulder: Measure your shoulder to shoulder from the centre part of your upper arm. Get someone to help do the same on your back.
- Bust: Measure your bust from under your arm right over the top and to the centre under your arm.
- Waist: Measure around the smallest point under your ribs and above hips.
- Hips: Measure all the way around the widest part of you around your hips.
- Most online sellers will measure items laid flat so this should give you a pretty good indicator of your measurements and you can do most of it yourself!
- Optional: measure around your head for over the head garment fit. Measure from centre of neck to waist and from waist to ankle for incremental lengths.
- Muscular? Such as arms, thighs or calves? Just measure the circumference! We are all unique.
‘The Girls’ *
When did you last get fitted for a bra? Think of it as a treat to yourself. Take a friend who hasn't been either - make it an event! It’s really, really important for both your breast health and to showcase your clothes to their best advantage. Make an appointment now - you may be surprised at what they say your size is!
Don't know where to go? We suggest an established and seasoned assistant to get the best and kindest approach to a very personal excursion. When we take clients on personal shopping experiences and this service is needed, we go to Bendon Silverdale or Smith and Caughey’s in Auckland CBD. Both services are 'top notch' with a number of experienced staff. Not in Auckland? If you have already done this and we are preaching to the converted (pun intended) please do share with us in the comments where you went.
C'mon help 'the girls' out! Pun intended again!
Don't forget, we are able to measure any garment online for you at any time. We are unable to photograph the vast number of items AND measure every one we have available in the studio; you would never see anything new! BUT - we are always happy to measure the items you are considering and offer any assistance you may need. You can find your own printable guide here.
So go get measured up. Get a bra fitting if you haven't already and have a look at the beautiful things we have in store so far!