Choosing Correct Fitting Skirts and Tops

Woman wearing a tight top and long skirt

When you’re wearing the right sized clothing you not only look good, but also feel good too.

With a minefield of different clothing options out there, how can you ensure you always choose the correct fitting skirts and tops?

You’d think it would be relatively easy to get the right fit with skirts and tops, especially as the UK has a supposedly standard clothing size scheme whereby manufacturers make clothes aimed at certain different sizes. These includes sizes such as:

  • 8
  • 10
  • 12
  • 14
  • 16
  • 18
  • 20

But although these sizes should help us get the right sized clothing, it doesn’t always work out quite that well. In the past, manufacturers used to stick to certain measurements for each size, but these days there seems to be a degree of flexibility.

So where you may find a size 16 skirt in one clothing range measuring 35” on the waist, it may measure either 36” or even 37” if you buy a similar item from another clothing store.

It’s the same problem with tops, which can differ considerably in their size.

When you add different types of fit and cut into the equation, there are even more variations in fit.

Tops can be long sleeved, short sleeved, fitted, loose, baggy, skinny fit, empire-style, sleeveless, halterneck etc and the materials they’re made of can be anything from loose and baggy, to fitted and stretchy.

It’s the same story with skirts, with common styles including:

  • Bias
  • A-line
  • Pencil
  • Full
  • Flared
  • Straight

Getting to Know Your Measurements

Knowing your unique measurements are one of the best ways of ensuring you wear clothes that fit correctly. So have a go at arming yourself with a tape measure and getting down to the nitty gritty of taking measurements!

If it’s not practical to take them all yourself, then enlist the help of a willing partner.

To get a skirt measurement, measure around your waist, at the point where your natural waistline is. Make sure you keep the tape measure taut to get an accurate measurement.

You can also get a hip measurement by standing with your feet together and putting the tape around the fullest part of your bottom, at the top of your leg. This should be about 8” below your natural waistline.

You may also want to measure length too, as skirts come in different lengths and, depending on your height and individual preferences, certain skirt lengths may suit you better.

You can take this measurement by measuring from the natural waistline to where you’d like a skirt hem to fall.

To get measurements for tops, measure around the fullest part of your bust and across your shoulder blades.

What you may well notice having gained these measurements is that you don’t necessarily fit into a perfect sized box, or meet the set size measurements for the whole of your body.

It’s perfectly normal to be, for example, a size 14 for skirts, but only a size 12 for tops.

What’s more, it’s sometimes tricky if you’ve got a small neck and narrow shoulders, but a larger bust or waist, as you may need a larger size to accommodate the latter issues, but they may be too big for your shoulders.

Having measurements does at least give you a much better idea of your actual size and what clothes sizes you need to buy and should make choosing correct fitting clothes a lot easier.

Shops will generally list the various lengths of skirts on the labels, or use systems such as short, medium and long.

If it’s unclear what lengths the short, medium and long refer to, ask a shop assistant, look in their catalogue if they have one or look on the shops website, as more details should be provided.

If it’s still not clear exactly what measurements the tops and skirts you’re interested in are, then don’t be afraid to measure them yourself.

It’s the best way of getting an accurate picture and could make the difference between something fitting perfectly and fitting incorrectly.

See Also
woman wearing a smart suit
A Guide to Women’s Suits
Bride and bridesmaids legs
The Right Fit for Your Legs