Find a dress that fits

Learn to recognize the signs of a well-fitting garment.

Summer dresses are so comfortable and easy to wear when temperatures heat up. Choose a dress that flatters your figure and suits your budget. Then use the checklist below to get a perfect fit every time.

Neckline. When standing, the neckline should lie flat. Sit down to make sure it remains so. If you feel pressure on your throat or pulling down the back, the dress is too small. If there's a gap at the neckline, the dress is too big. 

Shoulders. Seams should lie flat down the middle of your shoulders. If there's any tugging on the shoulders when you sit, the dress is too small. If seams run wider than and droop off your shoulders, the dress is too big. If the shoulder straps are adjustable, adjust them according to your upper-body frame. 

Armholes. Stretch out your arms and sit down to make sure there isn't any digging or excess pressure on your underarms. Lift your arms to make sure that your bra isn't showing. The armholes should close around your arms without undue pressure or sagging.

Chest. Stand up straight to make sure there isn't pressure pushing down on your breasts or stretching the fabric from the back. Sit down and consider these two pressure areas again.

Back. There should be no pulling or sagging on your back. If the dress has a back zipper, make sure there's no excessive tension around it.

Bottom area. A dress should sit comfortably around your seat without pulling on the seams. It should be form fitting without clinging.

Side seams. Sit down to be sure the side seams don't pucker. They should lie flat and run straight to the hem. Be aware that bias-cut dresses tend to pucker.

Slits. Stand up straight to make sure that any slits lie flat and perpendicular to the floor, remaining closed after you move. Sit down to make sure the slit doesn't rise too high along your leg.

Hem. Look at the hem from the sides. It should hang straight all the way around.