Video Tutorial: Sizing Yourself for a Bodice

A properly fitted bodice is snug enough to offer support, but not so restrictive as to inhibit movement or breath.  Bodices can be cinched fully closed, laced so that the edges of the bodice overlap, or laced so that there is some space in between each edge of the bodice.  Typically we like to keep the separation between bodice panels under two inches at each point of adjustability, for comfort.  

Bodices are very adjustable and fit a wide range of body types and sizes within each size of bodice.  This can make it difficult to choose a size for yourself online, without the ability to be fitted by our wonderfully helpful shop girls.  

We have developed a system to help walk you through measuring yourself and selecting a size, but if you’re confused or uncertain as to your size we highly recommend emailing and discussing sizing options with us first. 

Our bodices are sized based on your ribcage.  Your cup size (the size of your breasts) does not have much significance in sizing for our bodices. 

To measure your ribcage place the measuring tape around your body at the widest point of your ribcage, typically just beneath your bust. 

Measuring yourself for a bodice is not the same as measuring yourself for pattern making or for shopping for traditional clothing.  When measuring for traditional fit, you would rest with a neutral breath: neither inhaling to an expanded ribcage or exhaling to a contracted ribcage.  HOWEVER, when measuring for a bodice you want to be sure the garment has a range of adjustability to offer the proper amount of support. 

So, to measure your ribcage for a bodice follow these steps:

  1. Stand up straight.
  2. Exhale completely and contract your ribcage.
  3. Measure your chest around the widest part of your ribcage, just beneath your bust. Measuring where the underwire on your bra hits is a good reference point. When measuring pull the tape snug. You want it to be tight, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable.  
  4. Check the measurement and write this number down. 
  5. Look at our sizing chart. The colored blocks represent the full range of adjustability within each size. The light purple blocks are the measurements in which the bodice will fit, but it will be laced with overlapping boning.  The dark purple blocks represent the optimal size range for the bodice.  The red blocks represent the maximum size that the bodice can expand to. As you can see, there is a lot of overlap within each size.  Select the size in which your measurement falls within the dark purple blocks, or if your measurement does not fall in any of the dark purple blocks, select the size that your measurement is closest to the dark purple blocks.  If your measurement is smaller than the colored blocks the bodice will not fit snuggly no matter how tightly it is laced.  If your measurement is larger than the colored blocks the bodice will be expanded so much to fit that it will begin to be uncomfortable.  

When ordering your bodices online we ask that you tell us the measurement you noted, as well as the size you’ve selected. We do this to evaluate your size selection and hopefully catch incorrectly ordered bodices before they ship. We are a small company and cannot support the costs in production and shipping we have had to spend on incorrectly sized bodices in recent months. Thanks for your cooperation! 

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