Finding the right size dress is hard. Finding the right size PROM dress can feel impossible. So do you know how to select your size?
A clothing size is a unit of measurement, and we like to think of measurements as something finite. After all, a cup of water is always measured as a cup, a foot of length is always 12 inches, and a circle always has 360 degrees, so it would stand to reason that a size 6 is universally the same size… right?
Wrong. Nope. Nuh Uh.
Sorry ladies, but sizing is one of those things left up for interpretation. Companies, designers, even at-home-crafters can call anything a size 2. I can make a dress and say its size purple if I wanted.
Prom is one of the most important nights in any young girl’s life, so don’t let the sizing of dresses ruin it! When buying your prom dress, it is always better to shop in person. Period. This is the best way to figure out how to select your size. The good thing about shopping in a real store is that you can physically try the dress on. If a 4 is too small, try something in a 6 or 8- easy.
Different designers are going to have different sizes that you fit into. Just because you wear a size 3 in jeans in one store, it doesn’t mean every pair of jeans labeled 3 will fit you, and it’s the same with dresses.
How To Select Your Size For Prom Dresses
If you walk into a prom dress store and have no idea where to start, think about your body. Are you bigger on top (inverted triangle) or bottom (pear shaped)? Choose one size larger than that size, and start looking. You cannot be afraid to try things on. The sizes are just numbers. They are just a way to organize dresses!
There are many reasons for size discrepancies, some small and some big. If you live in a country that uses the metric system, inches mean nothing to you and vice versa. The format of sizing is confusing too. Is it the actual circumference of the waist? Is it in inches? Is it being represented by a single number (i.e. 0, 2, 4 etc)? A US 0 is a UK 4 and a European 32.
One of the biggest influences in sizing globally is the difference of cultural norms for the “ideal size.” An “average” US size Large, if converted, is labeled as Extra Large, 2X or higher in other countries.
With more and more companies turning to e-commerce, sizing has gotten more complicated. A good company will have clear size charts and may have conversion charts too. I know from personal experience, if there is no size chart, or one that is unclear, I’m not buying. It is hard enough to find clothes that fit correctly when you’re shopping at the mall. There is nothing worse than ordering an item online, having it not fit, and then having to pay for shipping it back to return it. Save yourself the trouble.
So Sweet Boutique also sells Pageant Dresses for Girls.
In the designer gown world, children’s dresses are bit easier to shop for, but can still be tricky. Again, we always recommend coming into the store and trying the dress on the child, but we know that sometimes it isn’t possible. Not everyone lives near a specialty boutique, and the selection may not have what you want.
How To Select Your Size For Pageant Dresses
Again, designers should have size charts for easy reference. The main measurements that are noted for pageant dresses are chest, waist, and hollow-to-hem (for length). Knowing how to measure can save you time and money.
The chest is the circumference at the nipple line, and the waist at her natural waist (not where she wears her pants!). If you’re having trouble finding her waist, have her bend to one side- the waist is where the bend is. The length is taken by placing one end of the tape measure at the hollow of the child, or at the top of the shoulder where a strap would sit, and measuring down the front to the floor. Keep in mind that pageant dresses are meant to be full, so the dress you purchase may need petticoats added underneath for a fuller look! That means making sure the length is a little longer than her actual length measurement.
Like most designer gowns, girl’s pageant dresses are made with “long” shoulder/halter straps to accommodate children with longer torsos. Expect some kind of alterations. It’s always better to get a dress that is long enough and take in the sides, rather than try to make a short dress that fits at the waist longer…
Whether you’re looking for prom or pageant, If you’re lucky enough to find a dress in store that fits you perfectly, BUY IT!