How to Determine Your Clothing Size (with Images)

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How to Determine Your Clothing Size (with Images)
How to Determine Your Clothing Size (with Images)

Who hasn't gone through the pain of walking into a store to buy a dress and having to try on one after the other without finding one that fits right? Lucky for you, this problem has a solution. Although size varies from store to store and brand to brand, if you have your measurements written down, you will be able to find the right outfit for your body.


Part 1 of 3: Taking your measurements

Determine your dress size Step 1
Determine your dress size Step 1

Step 1. Measure your bust

You have to measure the fullest part of it to get the right number. Use a haberdashery measuring tape to place under your arms when measuring your bust.

Keep the tape measure close to your body, but not too tight – you want the exact measurement, not a smaller number

Step 2. Measure your waist

Tilt your body to one side and find the natural curve of your waist. At the height of this curve, pass the tape measure, leaving a little slack.

Another way to measure your natural waistline is to measure it 5 cm above your navel. This is usually the thinnest part of the waist

Step 3. Measure your hips

Stand with your feet together. Wrap the tape around the fullest part of the hips and butt. This fuller part is usually between your groin and navel. Leave a little slack with the tape so you don't get a measure that is too tight.

Step 4. Here in Brazil, we usually find dress measurements given in letters:

PP, P, M, G and GG. To find out which letter comes closer to the two measurements, use the measurements taken in the previous steps (dummy, bust, waist and hip):

  • This table is on Fabíola Molina's website. It is a finding, as most sites only provide information on how to convert the right measure here in Brazil to the American or European measure. Another site worth visiting is Moldes Modelitu's. In it, the measurements are very detailed.
  • If you are in doubt between two sizes, always stick with the largest, especially if you are buying on the internet.
  • Avoid the size calculators that some stores offer. The calculation varies widely from store to store.

Part 2 of 3: Determining Your Dress Size According to the Store

Step 1. When shopping online, always check the site's size guide

Most of them come with a table showing the numbering or sizing system. And these numbers can vary widely from store to store. Always use the measurements you have taken of the bust, waist and hips to find the size closest to ideal.

If you always buy online and already have your favorite stores, try to be faithful to them so as not to suffer with the variation in sizes

Step 2. Always check the size according to the store and the brand

The problem is that each store chain has a different numbering. To complicate matters further, each brand has different measurements. That's why taking your measurements is so important to getting your bearings through this mess.

Count on the sellers. They are used to the difficulty of finding the right size. Take your measurements written down and ask one of them for help

Part 3 of 3: Choosing the right dress for your body type

Step 1. Straight body

If you have narrow hips, a small bust and butt, there are dresses that can enhance your silhouette. For example, the straight cut basics or those that don't show too much at the waist.

  • Other outfits that fit well are those marked just below the chest or pencil skirts. They help to give more curves.
  • For a more seductive effect, bet on dresses that leave the shoulders bare.

Step 2. Pear-shaped body

If you have wide hips, big butt and small chest, bet on low-cut dresses or strapless to draw attention to your upper body.

Dresses marked just below the bust, pencil or full skirts look great on you

Step 3. Guitar-shaped body

If you have a lot of butt and chest with a small waist, bet on dresses that highlight the waist and enhance your feminine silhouette even more.

Cache-coeur, knitting, and belted dresses are good bets

Step 4. Apple-shaped body

If your natural waist starts just below your ribs, bet on dresses that are marked below your bust. They draw attention to the upper body.

  • Another smart tip is to choose a dress with details around the neckline.
  • Swirl skirts or pencils can give the impression that your body is more guitar-like.

Step 5. Big Bust

If your chest is larger than your hips, shift your attention to your bottom.

  • V-necklines and halter tops help to sharpen the silhouette and fit very well on those with a large bust.
  • Pencil and round skirts help balance measurements.


If you have difficulty taking measurements yourself, ask a friend for help


  • To take more accurate measurements, NEVER do this with a chest full of air or a tummy tucked in.
  • When buying clothes, always check the size on the label. It may be different from the size that comes on the store hanger.

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