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I love getting questions from customers seeking advice. Here's one that has to be among the top questions I get asked. Dear Sydney: Yikes! What does 'Hollow to Hem' means when shopping for a plus size dress for special occasions? A: The best way to understand "hollow to hem" is to think of it as a guide to how long the dress will be when you put it on your body. It's really very simple. Hollow to hem is the length from the depression or indentation at the base of the front of your neck to the edge of the hem on the skirt of the dress.
[caption id="attachment_4950" align="aligncenter" width="374"]Image showing what Hollow to Hem Measurement means
Hollow to Hem Measurement
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You will often hear "hollow to hem" as a key measurement for dresses that are custom made, especially wedding gowns. But I always take that key measurement into account when I design all the special occasion dresses for Sydney's Closet. That's because so many customers want to know if the dress will be too long or too short when they put it on their body. As a general rule, here's the standard hollow- to hem- measurement I use when I design special occasion dresses for Sydney's Closet :
  • 61 inches for long formal dresses for Prom, Evening and Bridal
  • 58 inches for ankle length dresses
  • 47 inches for tea length dresses
  • 42 inches for cocktail dresses to bottom of the knee
  • 40 inches for cocktail dresses to the middle of the knee
  • 38 inches for short party dress above the knee
Keep in mind that the length of the dress varies depending on your height, the length of your torso and of course, how high a heel you wear or if you wear any heel at all! It's always best to let a professional seamstress take your hollow-to-hem measurement. It's too tricky to try to take that measurement on your own. Remember to wear the undergarments and shoes you plan to wear with the dress when you get measured. I've got more helpful fit and flatter tips for you to make shopping easier!  

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