Finding The Perfect Fit: How To Measure Yourself

Finding The Perfect Fit: How To Measure Yourself

Tips on measuring yourself and finding your best fit online from a 20 year fashion industry vet.
How to measure yourself for plus size women| Dia & Co

Christine Yarde

Whether you wear plus sizes, inclusive sizes or consider yourself mid-size, finding great-fitting pieces online can be a little like playing Russian Roulette with your credit card. As a woman who wears a size 16W, I read the return policy before I even start shopping. So how can you ensure that you are buying the right size online or in-store for that matter? According to expert fit designer Luann Harry-Pantin, measuring yourself and honoring your own comfort is the key to success. We had to get more pearls of wisdom from this 20-year veteran of the clothing industry who has fit everything from men’s apparel to womens, kids and plus sizes. So we sat down with Luann to get her insider tips on how to shop for a great fit.

" According to expert fit designer Luann Harry-Pantin, measuring yourself and honoring your own comfort is the key to success"

Christine Yarde: Ok so first things first, how do you measure yourself correctly?


Luann Harry-Pantin: When measuring yourself, it is actually not difficult. All you need to do is actually put the measuring tape around your chest. If you’re off half an inch or so off it’s ok because it’s still better to have a range of what your measurements are. I would say measure around the chest, the waist and the hips to start.


CY: When measuring yourself, what are some ways that you can ensure that you’re getting the right measurement? 


LHP: Make sure that when using a measuring tape, you place the beginning of the measuring tape to the front, so that you can see that it started off with one inch.

Bring it all the way around and loosely let it sit against the beginning of the tape.

And then place your finger on where the tape overlaps to track that measurement.

CY: For me personally, I am bigger on the bottom than I am on the top and sometimes when I buy a dress I’ll see that based on my measurements I can wear a size 16 based on my bust and a 20 based on my hips. If someone sees that their measurements correlate to different sizes, what is the best advice for picking the right size?

LHP: I would say to go with the measurement of the widest part of your body. Also, focus on the fabric. If it consists of any kind of stretchy material and you want it fitted and it has the give, just make sure that your chest is good if it’s a dress. If it’s a bottom, I would say waist first, because it’s probably going to stretch out at the hip.


Also always keep in mind the measurements that you’re seeing on a particular chart are body measurements. Dresses and other garments are being made to accommodate whatever that body measurement is.


CY: Let’s talk about body measurements. Are they completely separate from fabric measurements?


LHP: Completely different! Say if you want to wear spandex shorts. Your waist might be 38, but the shorts might measure a 30. The shorts will stretch to fit your body measurements. The garment measurements are going to be based on what your body measures to make sure that it fits in the way that style is meant to.


CY: And, depending on the fabric that might also change the measurement of the garment itself because, like you said they might measure smaller because they know it’s going to stretch out as opposed to like a fabric, with no stretch in it might be a little bit bigger. To make sure that it could accommodate those body measurements.


LHP: Exactly so, anything that gives you stretch, anything that has elastic is always going to be smaller than what your body measurements are. The person that’s making that pattern knows that based on these body measurements, this is how it should be cut. 


CY: I know for me and many others, arms can be challenging to fit. I feel like brands just completely fudge up arms, especially when it comes to plus sizes. So if someone has bigger arms, right, and they want to buy a coat, what are some things that they should look for in the construction of the arms of the garment?


LHP: That’s kind of difficult and I’m going to tell you why. It comes back to the grading being different for plus size. So for somebody who has bigger arms, for comfort they should size up.


CY: If you could give your top four things that plus-sized women should know to make their shopping experiences easier, what would they be?


LHP: I would say, know your body measurements. Know the fit of the clothes that you like, whether it be tight or not. Know the fabrics that you like, or that you don’t like. And stick with brands like Dia & Co that you know are made to accommodate your body.


CY: As a fit expert, are there any secret tips you want to share?


LHP: I don’t have any secret tips, but  what I would say is stick to what makes you comfortable. 

For more styles made to fit your body, shop today.  


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