Finding the Measurements When they Aren’t Listed
You find a dress on an auction site overseas and you fall in love, but, the measurements aren’t listed. What to do?
First, check lolibrary! This is an important first step no matter what, because we need to know what the name of the piece is. Narrow down by Brand and Item type, then use tags to further narrow down the options.
You can use colors as well, but if you use colors, don’t just pick “red” for a red dress. Pick all the options of red (red x white, red x pink, etc). We are in the processes of figuring out how to simplify color search, but for now, that’s going to give you the best results.
If you can’t find it in lolibrary, hop on over to “What is that dress?” on Facebook and ask for help. You should mention that you are primarily looking for the measurements there as well. Sometimes, if the piece is very obscure, someone familiar with the brand might be able to say something like “well, that brand is consistent with their measurements and these 6 other pieces use that same cut”.
If you do find it on lolibrary, super! Sometimes this is enough, Lolibrary will list the brand’s given measurements when they are available. But sometimes those measurements aren’t available. Let’s assume they aren’t in this case.
For this example, I’m going to use Flower Cart Embroidery JSK II.
Note: I’m also going to assume that you don’t read Japanese. If you do read Japanese, you can of course skip using google translate.
Flower Cart Embroidery Jsk 2
130★229 花車刺しゅう ジャンパースカート2
Baby the Stars Shine Bright
First, let’s check Second Hand shops. Open google translate in a new window/tab. Copy the Japanese name from the lolibrary entry (in this case “花車刺しゅう ジャンパースカート2”) into Google translate.
Use the backspace key to delete the end of the item name character by character. The goal is to delete everything except the series name.
Next, let’s search WunderWelt using the Japanese series name we just isolated.
One thing to keep in mind is, if you do find the exact same thing for sale elsewhere, do some quick back of the envelope math on what your shopping service fees might be for the auction one and decide if the other listing is a better price, or better condition!
In this case, we only found a different cut/color. This can be useful if you love the series in general and/or if the price is good and you want to jump ship and get this copy instead… but it doesn’t help if we really wanted that JSK II.
Change the drop down above the search results to “Include Out of Stock”
Awesome! Now we have a list of past WunderWelt sales. This can help us get an idea if the dress we are looking at is a good price, and we can also look at the measurements of the various cuts, even if they aren’t the same color.
Close, but not quite. These are different versions of the JSK.
Next, hop on over to ClosetChild and do the same search.
Again, if you find the same item, check the condition and price and consider if it’s a better deal!
Here we only found a different cut, so that doesn’t help.
If the item was released in 2013 or earlier, next, let’s check EGL Comm Sales. Go to Google.com.
Use the English name from Lolibrary for this.Type the following into google:
English Name site:egl-comm-sales.livejournal.com
So for our example, I’m using:
Flower Cart Embroidery site:egl-comm-sales.livejournal.com
Click through the results and look for anyone selling the same dress.
Bingo! This looks promising…
Measurements: It has shirring in the back
bust max 96 cm
waist max 80 cm
Let’s say I didn’t actually find it though, what next? Well, now we are at the point where it starts to get less likely that we will find what we are looking for. We can search Lace Market, but a lot of Lace Market listings just link back to lolibrary or don’t have measurements. Let’s try though.
Go to: https://egl.circlly.com/
We are going to use the English name again, so I’m going to put Flower Cart Embroidery into the search:
No luck. Let’s try looking at past sales.
Click on “Advanced Search”
Then “+ Show Advanced Filters”
Next select “Both Active and Completed” and then click on “Search”.
So I got something like this:
And look, there are multiple copies of the dress we are looking for! The first one is very damaged, and the measurements aren’t listed, but the second one (not shown above) lists the measurements, yay!
But they are different from the ones we found above, what gives?
Remember how I mentioned some people just copy from lolibrary? Looks like that is what happened here. So these are the official measurements (which may or may not match the real garment)
Ok, so let’s say we got this far and we still didn’t find measurements. The next step is to do a more broad google search. We are going to do both English and Japanese.
So for English, we go to google and we search:
“Item Name” Bust
So for my example, I’m using:
“Flower Cart Embroidery” Bust
I typically swap over to the image tab and then click through to the pages/posts that match the search results and have a picture of the right cut:
And then we can repeat the same thing in Japanese if we don’t find it.
Search for: “Japanese Item Name” バスト
So I’m going to google, for the example:
“花車刺しゅう ” バスト
Note that it wants to correct my “spelling” to use 繍 for embroidery instead. I recommend looking at both the “brand” spelling and the suggested one.
If you see a sketch in the results like this:
Check it out, don’t skip it! A lot of times those are official brand blogs announcing the new item, and some of them will include the measurements either on the sketch or in the post.
So, you can see those are the same measurements that are in lolibrary, and they were based off of the sample the brand made while the dresses were in production. This should match the real dress, but the reality is that sometimes it doesn’t. But, measurements by individual sellers can also be wrong if they aren’t sure how to measure properly.
Because of this, if you are very concerned about the measurements being right, I do recommend shopping with a reputable second hand shop like WunderWelt or Closet Child.
Lastly, remember: we are human and we breathe. The listed measurements need to be 3-4cm larger than one’s body measurements for the garment to fit. So a dress with a max bust of 100cm fits a human with a max bust of 96-97cm. While some people will argue that one can wear things with measurements smaller than one’s measurements, this works by using the tension/pressure of the fabric to redistribute one’s body, which will put stress on the fabric and seams long term. This makes it more likely that the dress will tear, or the seams will fray, especially with lighter specialty fabrics.
I hope this helped. Do you have any extra tips or tricks for finding the measurements of a piece? Drop them in the comments below!