Enter: Measurements! These numbers, with never-changing meaning, should be your friend. An inch is always an inch, thank goodness! They are the only unit of size that are not in constant flux from brand to brand, and decade to decade. Knowing your measurements can save time, money and the frustration of the "this doesn't fit!" moment. We all want that, right? That's why Novel Nellie only lists measurements to express size! Never return, exchange or fuss over an ill-fitting garment again (in any shop, just ask for garment measurements!)
Now that we've talked about why measurements matter, let's get practical!
The most tried and true way to find your garment measurements, is to find a dress (or romper, or jumpsuit) that fits you well, and measure that lying flat! This is better than measuring your actual body, because a garment is slightly bigger than our body measurements. To get an accurate hip measurement, you'll need to measure a dress that's
fitted at the hip, or even a pair of pants (i.e. not like the dress pictured below).
For bust, measure from armpit to armpit, for the waist, across the smallest part of the midsection, and for hips, across the widest part of the fitted garment. I usually measure length from the shoulder to the hem.