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Pop quiz: What's your ring size?
If you answered "sort of big," "kind of small" or "umm ... I have no clue," then read on to forever solve this mystery.
TODAY Style is here to help make jewelry shopping a snap with the easiest explanation of how to measure your ring size at home. Sound simple? It's actually trickier than you think because lot of factors influence size, such as ...
... when you measure.
Fingers morph in size throughout the day and often fall victim to fluctuations in temperature. Too cold and it can shrink half a size. Too warm and it can swell and throw off your measurements, too. The sweet spot is to measure in the evening when the temperature is slightly warm. (It's better to measure at night so that you won't struggle or resort to extreme measures to slip it off at the end of the day.)
Other strange factors that can impact fit? Salty foods, humidity, certain medications, exercise and pregnancy can all cause water retention — so size with those slight variations in mind.
... which finger you measure.
The fingers on your dominant hand — the one you typically write and polish your nails with — can often run a half-size larger than your non-dominant digits. (Think about it: They've been getting their exercise!) Always measure the specific finger you're fitting for the most accurate results.
... how you measure.
Some ring size charts for women suggest wrapping a string around your finger. Ignore such deceiving advice! String and ribbon can stretch and skew your findings. A thin sheet of paper is all you need to get the most accurate results at home. You should also refrain from using measuring tape since the thickness may give you a false reading.
... what ring you're measuring for.
Considering a wider band? Try a half size larger for comfort. Going for a trendy "midi" style that rests above your knuckles? Be sure to measure at the spot you're planning to wear it.
Keeping all of that in mind, you're ready to start the process. And if you find that you're in-between sizes, it's best to go larger so that the ring clears your knuckles comfortably.
Worst case scenario, it's always possible to resize a ring.
Click here to download and print our guide to help you size before your next purchase. Whether it's a trendy ring or a special gift for a loved one, we have you covered!
Size for yourself:
1. Cut a thin strip of paper.
2. Wrap it around the base of the finger you're planning on wearing the ring.
3. Mark where the paper overlaps with a pen and measure the length in millimeters.
4. Click here to download and print our guide to scale. Use a calculator to divide the length you measured by 3.14. That number will correspond with a ring size on the chart!
(For example: If you measured 60 mm around your finger, you'll get 19 mm. Find that number on the chart and it's a size 9.)
Size for someone else:
1. Find a ring your giftee has recently worn on the finger you're intending to size.
2. Rest the ring over our printable chart. The ring should cover the line so that the outside of the black circle touches the inside of the ring.
This story was first published Aug. 11, 2016.