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Find your perfect fit! How we measure our vintage clothing items

Updated: Jan 15

It’s hard to commit to a vintage clothing item when you can’t see it in person. This fit guide will take you through finding your measurements and help ensure that your vintage garment will work for you. I’ll show you my measuring process and share some tips to help you find the best fit.

Vintage clothing can be difficult to size, which is why I recommend comparing the measurements provided in the listing to your current measurements or the measurements of a well loved garment. Many vintage items are missing their labels, some have numbered sizes that don't translate to modern sizes, and sometimes items are hand made or tailored. Vintage juniors and petite clothing with numbered sizes or missing tags can be difficult to size until fully measured. In general, I don’t trust label sizes unless I know the brand well and can ensure the item hasn’t been altered. 

Before we get to measurements, there are a few important things you should consider about your vintage garment. 

What’s your desired fit? How do you like your clothing to sit on your body? Some vintage items may have a higher rise, longer sleeve or looser/tighter fit than a modern clothing item. To avoid disappointment, be sure to compare your measurements to those provided in the listing and if you have any questions feel free to reach out!


Tailor it! Many vintage lovers choose to get their favorite items tailored. Professional tailors can hem, tuck and sometimes even extend the fit range of a garment by letting out seams. Check out your local tailors and see how they can help you get a fabulous fit on your item. If you need information about seam allowance, just send me a message.

Garment Care I try not to launder my older vintage garments unless they absolutely need it to prevent inevitable wear. Many vintage items are made of fabrics that require more care than modern clothing, like wool and silk, and some vintage fabrics just can’t handle a modern laundry cycle. While many garments ask for dry cleaning, I recommend hand washing delicates or items you’re unsure about. Check back soon for a post on hand washing garments.

How We Measure

It's super easy and will help you determine if a vintage garment will work with your desired fit. A few notes about our measurements:

  • Clothing items are measured flat - bust/chest, waist and hip measurements are doubled in our listings

  • All items are measured in inches

  • Items with stretch or elastic waists will list at rest and max stretch measurements

  • Listings include approximate S/M/L/XL sizes - please compare your measurements to listing measurements

Click through images to see how we measure dresses, tops and pants

Chest / Bust - Measured from about 1 - 1.5 inches below the armpit seam of the garment, usually the widest part of the chest/bust

If there are darts, or a deep v-neck, measuring the bust can be a bit more difficult because the fabric doesn’t lay flat. To get an idea of maximum bust width, start from about 1 - 1.5 inches below the armpit, or the widest part of the bust, and measure to the first bust dart. As you continue to measure, ensure the fabric is pulled flat and measure to the next dart. Pull the fabric flat and measure to the side seam of the garment. The dress pictured measures 36" across but can accommodate a 38" max bust

Waist - Measured from the smallest part of the waist for dresses. Measured at the relaxed waist for pants and items with defined waists. For items with stretch or elastic waists, max stretch is included in the listing. 

Max stretch may be listed a few inches smaller than actual max stretch of the fabric or elastic. I use discretion with this measurement based on what I feel will be the most comfortable max stretch for the garment.

Hip - Measured from the widest part of the hip if the garment is fitted. Measured across the hip, about equal to the center seam of the crotch for pants

Length - Measured from the shoulder to the hem of the garment, or from top of waist to hem for pants

Sleeve - Measured from shoulder seam or to base of the sleeve cuff

Shoulder - Measured from seam to seam across the shoulders

Inseam -  Measured with the pant leg straight from center of the crotch to hem of the pant

Rise - Measured from the center seam of the crotch to the top of the waist band

I will also provide measurements such as sleeve width, leg width, collar length and sweep if the garment calls for it. If you need additional measurements that aren't provided in the listing just send me a message!

Find your measurements!

Let’s find your measurements! Finding your desired fit is easy, and there are 2 fairly reliable ways to do it; measure yourself or measure your favorite garment. 

Click through images to see our measurement guide

Chest / Bust - Wrap your tape measure around the largest part of your chest/bust, with the tape measure as level as possible. Don’t pull the measuring tape too tight and leave enough room that you can comfortably breathe

Waist - Wrap the measuring tape around the smallest part of your waist, or where you desire the waist to fit

Hip - Wrap the measuring tape around the center of your hips, this should fall a inch or two above the center of your crotch, or where your hips are the widest (make sure the tape measure is around your bum, not above or below)

Length - Measure from shoulder to waist for tops/jackets/sweaters. For dresses measure from the shoulder to desired hem length. For pants measure from waist to ankle

Sleeve - Find the center of your shoulder and measure to desired length on wrist

Shoulder - Measure shoulder blade to shoulder blade

Inseam -  Measure from the center of your crotch to your desired hem length

Rise - Measure from center of crotch to desired rise on waist

Measure your favorite garment!

Love the fit of a garment you already have? When I shop for vintage clothing, I often use similar items from my wardrobe to judge the fit of an item I’m considering. Decade, fabric and silhouette can be helpful when judging how a vintage item will fit, so grab your favorite item and give it a measure!

Thanks so much for checking out the fit guide! I'm always happy to provide additional measurements, or investigate an item for you - feel free to send me a message

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