Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to get the Best Fit

palm sarang dress14
I want my dresses to fit you very well.   Part of the reason I chose to take a break is because I had reason to question how my garments were fitting my customers.  So part of what I've been doing over the break is evaluating the fit of my garments on various bodies. To make sure you receive a dress that fits properly, click the read more link and see the causes and solutions for fit issues.

ladybug romper measure guide

1. Make sure you take your measurements properly.

The first thing to always do is to double check your measurements.  A lot of people don't know how to take their measurements properly, which is certainly understandable.  Most clothing is sold by sizes with small numbers attached, so you don't need to know your measurements; you just try on things until they fit.  Clothing size charts are also often inaccurate, so please don't rely on those.  Also, your bust size is not your bra size.  Read my post on how to take measurements here

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2. No bra/improperly fitting bra

This is the number one reason I saw my dresses not fitting properly. Pretty much in every instance I've seen, this was the problem. My dresses are designed to be worn with a properly fitting bra. A bra that fits and is doing its job will keep your breasts located about halfway between your shoulder and your elbow. An improperly fitting bra or no bra at all can result in gaping around the neckline and weird wrinkles around the bodice, as seen in the photo above.  The photo above is from a photoshoot I did maybe 2-3 years ago.  I did not use the photos from it because the model did not do what was agreed upon, and I've had the lack of bra issue with a few of my models.   And while you might not think a bra can fix that, I confirmed during this break that it can and will fix that.  A bra that fits you right will help flatter you, making the dress look better on you and have a slimming effect.

But this is the bra size I measure to/I was fitted by someone!

-Often, stores just want to sell you a bra, any bra. Their bra fitters are often not really qualified, especially department stores. I'm also not a fan of Victoria's Secret and even Agent Provocoteur tried to sell me a bra that clearly did not fit.

-The bra size you measure to is just a starting point.  You may measure a certain size, but another size may fit better do to your breasts' shape or spacing.  It could also be the style of bra.

-Bra sizes vary by manufacturer. This means you might wear a different size bra across different brands.

-A lot of times, the bras are also just graded from a 34B or whatever they consider their median size to be. This means the 34B will have a true fit, but as you get farther away from that size, the fit gets more questionable.

-Bras are also not immune to the "vanity sizing" or just changing of sizing over time.

-Your breasts may also grow and/or shrink at a variety of times for a variety of reasons.   Many women go up and down a cup size during their monthly cycle.

-Lingerie models are often wearing bras that do not fit them properly, if you happen to be basing your idea of a bra fitting correctly on that.

-The bra can also just be poorly made or worn out.  A good bra is worth the cost as it will make all your clothes fit better, and you can wear it often.  It will also last longer.  Bras do stretch out over time.  Many places recommend replacing them every 6 months.  If you buy a good bra, it will last longer.  If you have your bra on it's tightest hook and it's not doing it's job, it's probably time to replace it.

But bras are so uncomfortable...

A properly fitting bra should not be uncomfortable.  You are probably not wearing the right size bra. Even for larger cup sizes, underwire isn't required, but look for bras with seams on the cups.

Read below and make sure your bra is fittng right.  If it is, you may just be extra sensitive.  I would check with a doctor to make sure you're healthy.  Also consider a chiropracter as you may just have a alot of inflammation going on or be out of alignment.

I still don't want to/can't wear a bra for whatever reason.

While I am clearly in favor of bras, I understand and respect your decision.   If you want to wear a dress fitted in the bodice, look for one with a built in bra or corset. I'm not currently offering that at this time. If you just want a dress, look for a looser, easier fit in the bodice or a stretchy fabric like jersey.

Does my bra fit?

- Check the cup. Do your breasts fit in the cups and fill them up? Make sure they're not overfilling the cup and spilling out. Underwires should not be digging into you anywhere. Also, make sure the cup is not flapping because your breasts are not filling them up all the way.  If your breasts are different cup sizes, fit the larger size and slip a chicken cutlet in with the smaller breast.

- Check the bridge. It's that area in the front that joins the cups, inbetween your breasts. It should sit flat against your chest.  It is permissable for it to not lie flat here when you are wearing a push up bra.

- Check the band. It should not be riding up or down in the back. The straps should be snug, but not tight; the band should be doing the work of keeping your breasts up. It should fit snuggly, but you should be able to get two fingers under it. When you first buy your bra, you should hook the bra on the last hook. That way, as you wear it and it stretches out, you can make the back smaller by hooking it on the smaller hooks.

- Check where your breasts are from the side. Is the fullest part about halfway between your shoulder and elbow? Are you comfortable? Good job! Your bra should be fitting you properly.

- If you have large breasts and/or want to go strapless, I recommend a longline bra. They stay up securely, distribute the weight to your torso, and provide a smooth foundation for the dress to lay on.

- Here's another article that talks about fitting bras and gives some video examples: http://www.007b.com/bra-fitting.php 

Snowflake Underbust Jsk18

3. Petticoat and/or Bloomers

Speaking of undergarments, if the skirt isn't as poofy on you as it is on me in photos, it could be because I'm wearing a petticoat.  I wear a petticoat and bloomers under all of my fuller skirted dresses.  Even without a petticoat, bloomers help effect the shape below the waist.  I'm currently not offering petticoats and bloomers, but I will be soon.

When looking for a petticoat, select one that's at least 2 inches shorter in length than the skirt of the dress, unless you want it to peek out.

Malco modes make good petticoats.  Here's one that's 18", a good length to get.  This one is is a cupcake shaped petticoat, which is good for under skirts and dresses that are gathered at the waist.  Feel free to ask me for a petticoat recommendation for any of my dresses.  I often layer mine, and might layer those two for ultra poof.

Bloomers can easily be found on etsy and ebay.  Again, I'd be happy to recommend some for you if you need and can probably whip up a custom pair for you.

Snowflake Underbust Jsk8

4. Adjust the Straps
Many of my items with straps have buttons on them to allow them to be adjustable. You can take the button off and resew it higher or lower on the strap to allow the bodice to sit higher or lower on your torso. 

5. If you're still not happy with the fit, note that I will do alterations for free.

You'll just have to pay to ship the dress back to me.  

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