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It's our aim to get you into perfectly fitting lingerie first time around. It would make life a lot easier wouldn't it? Luckily most of our lingerie is made from stretchy powermesh which makes it easy to fit. If you are looking at an item which cinches your waist (like our Waist Cinchers or Waspies) you will need to grab a tape measure and check your waist measurement as it needs to fit perfectly to cinch your waist, but with everything else fit is pretty easy. If, after reading the notes below, you're still unsure, grab a tape measure and talk to us on 'live chat' (on the Contact Us page) so we can quickly resolve any queries before you place your order.  Don't worry if you don't have a tape measure, simply email Sarah  your name and address and she'll pop one in the post for you (sarah@whatkatiedid.com).  

how to measure for lingerie

'Highly recommend dropping the team an email for help with fit, the response was fast and the advice sound.' - Duckie

Please note, unless you are purchasing one of our Waist Cinchers or Waspies our garments will fit a couple of inches either side of the measurements below. For Waist Cinchers and Waspies you need to choose the size closest to your natural waist measurement: if you are between sizes please choose the smaller size.

Size 4   - Bust 33"/85cm, Waist 23"/58cm, Hips 33"/85cm

Size 6 - Bust 35"/87.5cm, Waist 25"/62.5cm, Hips 35"/87.5cm

Size 8 - Bust 37"/92.5cm, Waist 27"/67.5cm, Hips 37"/92.5cm

Size 10 - Bust 39"/97.5cm, Waist 29"/72.5cm, Hips 39"/97.5cm

Size 12 - Bust 41"/102.5cm, Waist 31"/77.5cm, Hips 41"/102.5cm

Size 14 - Bust 43"/107.5cm, Waist 33"/82.5cm, Hips 43"/107.5cm

Fitting notes and measurements are included in all garment descriptions where you need to pay special attention. Simply click the 'size and fit' tab at the bottom of each product.

Over the last few months What Katie Did have regraded their bras so you should select your usual bra size when shopping with us. 



If you have purchased a bra (either from us, or elsewhere) and the size isn't quite right, it's easy to work out what's gone wrong and how to find the right size for you. Bra cups are 'cross graded' which means the the same cup is used for several different sizes. If your band is too tight, but the cup fits perfectly, then you need to go up a band size and down a cup size (this will make the band 2" longer, but the cup the same as the first size).

For example:

28FF has the same cup as a 30E, 32DD, 34D, 36C and 38B

28FF has the same cup as a 30F, 32E, 34DD, 36D and 38C

28G has the same cup as a 30FF, 32F, 34E, 36DD and 38D

Our lingerie is sized either by bra or dress size.

Our lingerie is sized either by bra or dress size.

Shapewear is designed to smooth and shape the torso, concentrating on the waist and hips. It's important to get these measurements correct when determining your dress size.

To determine your waist size (1) measure the narrowest part of your torso firmly. Your natural waist might be a lot higher than you imagine and should be several inches smaller than your jean size. Measure your hips (2) at the widest point.

how to measure for vintage lingerie


Our Merry Widow and Body Briefers (Corselettes) are sized using bra sizes. As both garments cover the body, the body size also needs to be taken into account. The band sizes of these garments roughly fit:

Band size 32 = dress size 6, 34 = dress size 8, 36 = dress size 10 and 38 = dress size 12 (of course, these are What Katie Did dress sizes which might be a size smaller than what you're used to, see our fitting room page for the measurements of our dress sizes)

If you wear, for example, a 32D bra but are a dress size 10 you will need to adjust your Body Briefer (corselette)/Merry Widow size so it fits correctly on the body by selecting a 36B (if you go up a band size you need to go down a cup size: see our bra sizing page for more info)


Our panties contain powermesh and are stretchy so the waist measurement isn't quite as critical as it is on shapewear. If you're in between sizes go for the size which matches your hip measurement. In general if you are between sizes always go for the larger size in panties.

All of our garter belts contain powermesh so they will stretch to fit. They need to sit firmly on the waist so if you are between sizes always to for the the smaller size. how to put on a suspender belt

You need to take in to account both your waist and hip measurements when selecting a girdle. If you are wearing a girdle that finishes on your waist then it's best to choose the size closest to your waist measurement to avoid a muffin top. If you do have a large waist in comparision to your hips it might be better to go for a longline underbust girdle which will give you a smooth line from underbust to derriere.

Our underbust girdles contain spiral steel boning to ensure they don't roll down.

Girdles are designed to flatten your tummy and smooth your hips and derriere. Always step into your girdle.

Ideal under tight fitting pencil skirts.

how to put on a girdle

Designed to comfortably cinch your waist. Ensure that the reinforced shaping bands sit on the narrowest point of your waist for maximum sculpting.

Always choose the size closest to your waist measurement. It is possible to go down a size in our waist cinchers and waspies especially if you're used to wearing vintage style shapewear.

Waist Cinchers are great under full skirted 1950s style dresses with nipped in waists.

how to put on a waist cincher


Designed to smooth out unwanted lumps and bumps from waist to upper thighs shaping tummy, hips and derriere.

Always step into your corselette and try crossing your legs to make your hips slightly narrower when you pull it up.


Merry Widows

Designed to smooth your torso and nip in your waist for an hourglass figure.

how to put on a corselette

The corsets on our website show the 'reduced waist size'. This means that a size 24" corset will measure 24" internally around the waist when fully closed. To work out your corset size you need to deduct between 3-6 inches from your waist depending on the corset style, your body type (basically how squishy you are!) and how used to wearing corsets you are (the more you wear corsets, the more you can reduce).

It's not just about the waist though. You need to take in to account your underbust and hip measurements as well. All of our underbust corsets have the underbust and hip measurements as well as the length, and depth from waist to top, and waist to bottom. This will help you decide which corset is perfect for you. Grab your tape measure and take note of the measurements below which you can them compare to our corset measurements online. If you do need any help please Contact Us and we'll be able to help.


corset sizing | hpw to measure for a corset

We have more information about corsets on our 'All About Corsets' page, as well as our blog which includes Katie's personal experience with tight lacing (search 'corsets' on our blog to bring up all the corset articles).


The short answer is yes. Corsetry is designed to shape your figure, which means it has to be tight. We’ve tried to make our shapewear as easy to get into as possible, but a few items  need a little wriggle.

If you do think an item is too small, why not take a breather and try again later? Once you’re in you’ll look spectacular and remember, our shapewear is designed to be comfortable enough to wear all day.

Should you happen to break a garment trying it on send it back for a refund and tell them Katie sent you. It hasn’t happened yet but there’s always a first!

how to put on a merry widow

Our Retro Seamed Stockings are made from 15 denier stretch nylon with elastane, which means that just 2 sizes cover sizes 6-14, 5ft to 5ft 11. The stretch nylon also means that the welts (stocking tops) stretch which make them comfortable for larger thighs.

Modern hosiery contains lycra which makes it very stretchy and sizing is not so important. Although some stockings in the 1940s and 1950s were made from stretch nylon, our fully fashioned and seamfree rht stockings are made from non stretch nylon which makes sizing critical - and sizing will vary from style to style. If it is your first time wearing real nylons please double check the size is correct for you before opening, and if you are unsure contact us for livechat so we can put your mind at rest.

Our Fully Fashioned Stockings and Nylons range are made in one of the last three remaining Fully Fashioned Stocking mills in the world, in Nottingham, in the heart of England (alas, the last US factory closed a couple of years ago). Both of these ranges are made from the same high quality silky soft non-stretch nylon evocative of the monofilament yarn used in the 1950s.

putting on fully fashioned stockings

They’re seamed by hand which is extremely labour intensive and explains why Chinese factories have little interest making them a mass market product!  If you haven’t tried real nylons before you might be rather alarmed at the length of them! Being non stretch they do look very long, but once you put your leg in them it will take up the slack.

My, Should They Really Be That long?

Sizing is very important with non stretch nylons: one size does certainly fit all. Our Fully Fashioned and Nylons ranges are designed for dress sizes 8-12. If you are smaller than that then you might like to try a size smaller, while if you’re a size 14 you might try a size larger. Don’t be tempted to go up or down more than one size as you’ll either end up with wrinkled ankles, or digging-in welts.

putting on fully fashioned stockings

Real nylons are extremely delicate and need to be treated with the utmost care. In the heyday of stocking manufacturing, workers were treated to two manicures a day (on arrival and after lunch) to ensure nails and rough skin didn’t snag the delicate stockings. We highly advise the use of hosiery gloves, thin rubber gloves used for hair dying are an easy to find alternative - although slightly less glamorous! Believe it or not, the most dangerous time for nylons is not when you’re wearing them, but when you putting them on, removing them, washing them or storage.

What Katie Did is a very small company and we all wear the lingerie, and have experience in fitting on different body types. If you are stuck, please contact us by telephone, livechat (on the Contact Us page) or email. It always helps to have as much information as possible - from what brand of bra and lingerie you normally wear, to your underbust, waist and hip measurements.

If our lingerie isn't suitable for you, we'll be happy to recommend an alternative brand if we know of one which will work.

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London Boutique: What Katie Did, 26 Portobello Green, 281 Portobello Road, London, W10 5TZ
Tel: 0345 430 8943

Los Angeles Store: What Katie Did, 3420 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California, 91505 USA
Tel: 1 877 221 2472 or 1 818 955 7710 (from outside US)

Head Office:

What Katie Did,
Unit 8 The Old Mill, 61 Reading Road,
Pangbourne, Berkshire, RG8 7HY

Tel: 0345 430 8743 or
+44 118 976 7676 (from outside UK)

Registered in England with company number: 05752881