Why I always travel with a measuring tape in my wallet

My father is an engineer and ever since I can remember he’s had a work bench and garage full of tools. His ability to take broken things and mend them or take separate pieces and turn them into something new was always source of fascination for me.

I accompanied him on many trips to the hardware store, usually with a carefully measured diagram and a list of parts he needed. Of course, as a supplement, he always had a tiny paper tape measure tucked into his wallet, just in case any emergency measurements needed to be taken. This measuring tape was a souvenir from the birth of one his children, used to measure an infant’s head circumference and undoubtedly meant to be thrown away afterward. It was a topic of endless jokes in my family, but it was hard to deny how useful it was to be able to measure even 24 inches reliably. I am not exaggerating when I say that my father was genuinely disappointed when he realized that he had accidently thrown out the tape measure when he changed wallets.

Taking the measure of lolita fashion

I think no one in my family could have guessed that my hobbies would include Japanese alternative fashionJapanese alternative fashion, least of all my father. And I doubt he knows how much I follow his example in this strange past time. Because like my dad, I always have a tape measure in my wallet.

Any seasoned lolita fashion fan can tell you that “small, medium, large” really isn’t a great indicator of how something is going to fit. Those sizes can vary pretty wildly between Japanese and western brands, and even between different garments from the same company.

It’s much more common for lolitas who are buying and selling to ask for measurements of a garment to determine how well it will fit. Mostly commonly these measurements will include bust and waist, as well as length. However, it’s not uncommon to include or ask for cuff measurements, shoulder width, strap length, and more. If you know your own measurements, these details will help you decide whether or not to buy something.

In theory, shopping in person should alleviate some of this confusion. But it’s not always practical to try on a garment that you see in person. You might be wearing a lolita coordinate or you might not have a place to change. For situations like this, it’s always good to have a tape measure on hand.

So next time you’re heading out the door to go thrifting or attend a swap meet, be sure to tuck a measuring tape into your wallet or purse. It’s amazing how often it will make the difference between a dream dress and a dud. 


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