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Size Matters! Why You Should Know Your Measurements

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This summer, I went bra shopping -- like an adult. I went to a lingerie store, I got measured like a grown-up, and I found a bra that fit. Then, I bought it. And guys, my life changed for the better.

I hope this isn't over-share. I only mention it because after actually learning my measurements did I realize that clothes can actually fit better, and you don't necessarily need underwire to be coming out of your pilling, misshapen bra from high school. THERE IS A BETTER WAY. We don't have to live like this! Freedom. Just like they said in Braveheart. So here's how to tackle your measurements and begin living, as Oprah says, your best life.

Obviously this is what she was referring to. Clearly.

1. Bra size
I'm going to be honest: don't try this at home. I mean, you can, but why? Professionals won't make you undress in public (I got my bra measurements done wearing a light sundress), they know what they're doing, and they won't force you to buy anything. They also know what to look for, and can help guide you to a bra that fits. And I will be honest: a good-fitting bra makes all the difference. You stand up straighter, your clothes fit better, and you won't want to hurl your bra into the sea in a fit of defiance.

You might not also believe the size difference if you attempt to tackle those measurements solo. I, to be honest, went in thinking I was a B36, only to discover I was two letters past that and probably had been for years. Yes, it blew my mind. Yes, I re-evaluated everything I owned. Yes, I bought new bras, and now my dresses fit like they're supposed to. Miracles happen if you just believe.

2. Bust size
A-ha! Now here's a difference. Contrary to popular belief, "measurements" don't include your band size -- they include your bust size. So when you're on Etsy and see dress measurements, these include the widest part around your chest(if you just go with your band measurement, you'll find yourself in the type of predicament I was in when I ordered a bridesmaid dress and was horribly, horribly surprised.)

So take a tape measure, and wrap it around the largest part of your chest, and measure. Write that number down -- hello, bust size.

3. Waist size
Also a thing! (I didn't know this until I began ordering online.) In this case, these are not your hips, and this is not your stomach -- this is, if you're looking at yourself in the mirror, the narrowest part of your figure. The hourglass, if you will. So, like you did with your bust, wrap the tape around yourself, and write that number down. Behold: your waist size.

4. Hip size
The trifecta is almost complete! Though this one can be a little tricky. Hips can sometimes be mistaken for thighs or even the waist (which I say because I have done that), so make sure you're measuring the widest part of your hips, or your shape if you're looking at your figure head-on. If you're not sure, head to a tailor just to confirm, since wrong hip size and can make or break a lot of outfits.

And mission accomplished. You can order online, buy dresses with confidence, and sleep soundly knowing you can get underwear and clothes that fit. We did it, everyone. Together.

Written by Anne T. Donahue for 29Secrets.com

Related Articles:
- How to Find You Bra Size
- Size Ain't Nothing But a Number
- 5 Iconic Fashion Statements

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