Taking Measurements for a Couture Gown

Most people think that all you need to know to find a piece of clothing that fits is your size — or at most, your bust, waist, and hip measurements. That’s not the case with couture, where extremely detailed measurements are taken to ensure the perfect fit. When I measure a bride for her wedding gown I will take as many as sixty measurements!

It’s not just about the measurements in inches (and quarter-inches), but the ratios between those measurements and the overall proportions of the bride’s body that I take into account when creating her gown. What is her posture? What are her best features? What features is she self-conscious of? Even, how will she look next to her husband? All of these observations help me to determine exactly where that style line needs to be on that particular body to be most flattering to her. Inevitably, from one person to the next, it’s an entirely different place.

When you create a couture gown for a woman it becomes possible for her to wear a style that she never thought she could because that style is reworked entirely to flatter her unique characteristics. Ninety percent of whether any given design looks good on any given figure is determined by the way it fits that body. It’s amazing how making every seam and detail intentional can so profoundly enhance a woman’s beauty.

(The photos I’m using to illustrate this post are actually pictures of me wearing some of my wedding gown samples; I draft all of the original patterns from my measurements and fit all of my original samples to my own body. After all, I’m always there when I need to fit something — especially when I’m pulling one of my crazy sewing all-nighters! But more about that in a future post…)

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