Measuring Guide - Betty in Vintage Land

Measuring gown with ribbon

Sizes are not an easy matter when it comes to vintage clothing.

First of all, most of the times, there is no connection between the size written on the label (assuming there is one) and the reality.

The written size can be 48, for example, and the garment will be smaller than 38.

I've seen it many times already.

Also, in vintage, not like in other sorts of clothing, one garment can possibly fit many sizes. For example - a vintage dress with an elastic waist can look great on size 38 and 44 as well. This I also saw many times happening in my store.

Also –in the past, it was very common to ask the local tailor to sew exclusively and specially clothing for the entire family. So many times, in those clothes, there can be few sizes in the same cloth. One dress can has a bust size 38 and a hip at size 42, depends on which body the woman who made the order had.

After said that, it is very important to know the measurements of the cloth before ordering it.

Here is a short guide to demonstrate how we do it.

We mark general measure - S / M / L / XL on every item we have here in our shop. Size S represents Sizes 34-36, M represents 38-40, size L is 42-44, and XL is all above it. Because we may be wrong in our assessment, we also provide an accurate measurement with a measuring tape, in centimeters and inches.

This is the exchange table we work with:

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Measuring Bust

We measure bust from armpit to armpit, and double the score for your convenient.
We measure the garment while it loose, and rate the elasticity of the fabric for each cloth on a scale of 1-5:
when 1 indicates a very strict fabric, and 5 indicates a very elastic fabric. 
Sometimes, for example - with an elastic waist dress, we will mention the range of elasticity, in cm and inches.

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If you want to measure your bust – please do it as in the photo, without pressing the measure tape to your body
Measuring breast with a measuring tape

Waist measurement (high)

We measure waist at the narrowest point of the garment waist – as in this photo.
Measuring waist with a tape measure
Please do the same on your body. Again – make sure the measure tape is not too tight.
Measuring waist with a tape measure


We measure the widest part on garment's hip and double the score.

Measuring Basin dress with a measuring tape

You should do the same on your side, of course.

Measuring the extent of basin with a measuring tape


We measure the length while the shirt / dress is hanging or lying flat. We measure from shoulder seam to the hem, in straight line. You can measure yourself in the same way and get an idea of the length.
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Body length measurement with a tape measure

Trousers measuring

When it comes to pants, there are 4 critic parameters:
Front rise
And Length


We measure waist at the highest point of the trousers and then double the score.
Please note elasticity scale, as it can effect positively on matching.

Measurement of waist girth with a tape measure Shorts
Measurement of waist girth with a tape measure Shorts


We measure hips the same way we measure it on dresses – double the width of the widest part.

Measuring the extent of hip pants with a tape measure

Front Rise

We measure rise as the length between the highest middle point of the pants, most of the time it will be the button of the pants, and the central crotch seam.
Measuring RISE seamless crotch pants with a tape measure

Trousers Length

We measure the length between the highest point of the pants to the bottom part, on one sleeve, in straight line.
Trousers length measurement with a tape measure

If you still need any information of you have any question or a doubt – please don't hesitate contact us. We promise a quick answer with a smile.