Friday, August 3, 2012
Measuring Vintage Clothes from Online Shops
As I've been adding new things to our online shop this past week, it occurred to me that measuring vintage clothing is pretty complicated and having a good idea of what might fit you based on a bunch of numbers in an Etsy listing could be frustrating. I've been buying vintage clothing for over 15 years and somethings are really obvious to me that might not be obvious to the typical online buyer. So I decided to take a few photos this morning when I was measuring a dress to put online and show you exactly what the measurements are and why they're important. This should be applicable to most other online vintage sellers out there too.
First things first, you're going to need a flexible measuring tape. They sell these at everywhere from grocery stores to fabric shops and they never cost more than $2.
I always recommend finding a similar item in your personal closet that you know fits, taking the same measurements and then comparing the measurements to those in the listing. Here's how you take those measurements.
First up is the 'Waist'. Usually there is a seam at the waist or, in the case of this dress, belt loops, that will tip you off that this is where the proper waist should be. Lay the item flat and hold your measuring tape at the side seam. Measure all the way across making sure the item isn't bunched or folded in a way that will give you an incorrect measurement.
This measurement is 'Shoulder to Waist' and this is important for a couple reasons. Say the dress is an empire waist and this measurement is only 12 inches. You'll want to make sure you're measuring your 'waist' 12 inches from your shoulder and not, say, 16 inches (which is a typical length for shoulder to waist).
This measurement is 'Waist to Bottom of Dress' and it's to give you an idea of the length. You can add this number and the 'shoulder to waist' number together for a total length of the dress.
'Armpit to Armpit' is how I measure the bust. It's an easy way to measure a dress or top and it's also easy for you to measure yourself under your armpits and over the bust to figure out if the item will fit.
This is the 'Hip' or 'Skirt' measurement. A lot of times I will but 'free' here meaning the item has a full skirt. In this case, the dress is a little more form fitting so I have to measure around where the booty will be so you can make sure it's not too snug.
And finally, the 'Arm Hole' or if it's a long sleeved item, 'Arm at Bicep'. Sometimes vintage dresses have very little arm openings. I always suggest measuring this especially if the dress is short sleeved. You don't want the sleeve to be cutting into your arm.
These are my basic measurements I use for all our listings in the Wanderlust Etsy shop. Sometimes other measurements are necessary, like a neck or wrist measurement, but I tend to use my discretion on those based on the type of dress. Always be sure to look closely at the dress and confirm that all the necessary measurements are given in the listing.
And now you're ready to purchase a vintage dress online! Some of my favorite online vintage shops (beside Wanderlust Couture of course) are: Dear Golden, Union Made Bride and Nod to Mod. Happy Shopping!
Posted by Wanderlust at 2:18 PM