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Women’s Dress Size Chart: How To Measure Yourself For A Wedding Dress

Whether you're trying to find your dress size in inches or know what size a 34 inch waist converts to, here's the measurements you need to know

A bride being fitted and measured for a wedding dress looking over her shoulder at the shop assistant who is pinning the dress at her waist
Getty Images

A bride being fitted and measured for a wedding dress looking over her shoulder at the shop assistant who is pinning the dress at her waist
Getty Images

With huge variation between shops, it can be tricky to know exactly what your dress size is or what that translates to in inches. It’s even more confusing with wedding dresses as they often comes up slightly smaller than regular women’s clothing, owing to the thicker, more luxurious fabric they're made from.

"We find as stylists that bridal sizing is an absolute minefield, even more so than high street clothing," says Neve Gibson of wedding dress boutique Dotty Bridal. "From one designer to the next, your sizing can fluctuate from a UK 12 to a UK 18."

With this in mind, we’ve put together a handy dress size chart for wedding dresses and bridal separates for you. If you have bridesmaid dress fittings, these are the sizings you’ll need too.

Before you go dress shopping, it can be helpful to measure yourself so you can go prepared with your dress size and what that converts to in waist, bust and hip measurements. There’s a visual guide below showing you exactly how and where to measure yourself.

Whether you’re a bride-to-be going dress shopping, ordering a wedding dress online or wanting to compare their measurements to a dress designer’s size chart, it’s useful to know your correct dress size, plus, it could reduce the need for expensive alterations!

Scroll down to discover how to measure yourself and to find our size chart. This tells you your waist, bust and hip size depending on your measurements, as well as your UK dress size. At the bottom, you’ll find out how to use this information to make sure you get the right size wedding dress.

So if you want to know what a size 12, size 14 or a size 16 waist is in inches and so on, you’ve come to the right place!

How To Measure Your Waist, Bust and Hips

Here’s the important bit – how to actually measure yourself for your wedding dress. 

There are three key points: your bust, waist and hips. You should measure against your body, not through clothes, to get the most accurate measurements. Use a flexible tape measure and make sure it’s not too tight or too loose.


Bust (1): Measure around the fullest part of your bust, ensuring the tape measure is straight across your back.

Waist (2): Measure around the smallest part of your waist. To find this, bend to one side like a teapot and where the crease forms is your natural waist.

Hips (3): With your feet together, measure around the fullest part of your hips, usually 20cm down from the natural waistline.

Hitched’s Women’s Dress Size Guide

These are the most common measurements for a woman whose height is 5’6″ (168cm) and go from a UK size 4 to a size 26. 

However, these measurements should only be used as a guide because – as we know – fit varies depending on cut, fabric, style and brand.

Size Bust Waist Hips
4 31″ 24″ 33″
78cm 60cm 83.5cm
6 32″ 25″ 34″
80.5cm 62.5cm 86cm
8 33″ 26″ 35″
83cm 65cm 88.5cm
10 35″ 28″ 37″
88cm 70cm 93.5cm
12 37″ 28″ 39″
93cm 75cm 98.5cm
14 39″ 31″ 41″
98cm 80cm 103.5cm
16 41″ 33″ 43″
103cm 85cm 108.5cm
18 44″ 36″ 46″
110.5cm 92.5cm 116.5cm
20 46″ 39″ 49″
116cm 98cm 123.5cm
22 48″ 41″ 51″
123cm 105cm 130.5cm
24 51″ 44″ 54″
130cm 112cm 137.5cm
26 54″ 47″ 57″
137cm 119cm 144.5cm

You’ll find petite (normally for women under 5’3″) and tall (over 5’9″) ranges will differ proportionally to fit shorter or taller body shapes, so remember to take your height into account.

Do I Need to Measure Myself Before Wedding Dress Shopping?

Although your wedding dress shop is likely measure you, it can be helpful to have your own measurements to hand, as it can help when you call ahead to see if a boutique has a sample dress in stock in your accurate size. It's also useful if you're renting a wedding dress, ordering a wedding dress online and being able to tell a seamstress what you need altering.

Bear in mind that each wedding dress designer will have a standard inches-to-dress-size chart that is specific to them.

Using the chart above, you can easily compare your bust, waist and hip measurements to the size guide from your chosen bridalwear designer. Your dress size in normal clothing might be very different to your designer’s sizing. Just remember that’s no reflection on you. 

While it's helpful to measure yourself before wedding dress shopping, Neve Gibson tries to discourage her clients from doing so. "As a boutique we don't recommend for clients to measure themselves before heading to us for an appointment," she shares.

"We pride ourselves on making sure our clients feel their absolute best in their dress on their wedding day. As long as they feel happy, confident and the most elevated version of themselves, nothing else matters, especially not what the size tag inside their dress says.

"As professional and well trained stylists, we are there to do the measuring and recommending on sizing and all we ask is that our clients trust in us to ensure their dress size is right for them."

In a shopping mood? Check out Hitched's guide to wedding underwear, including what to wear under a wedding dress and where to buy it.