Sometimes sizing your body jewelry can be a little tricky, so here are some basics that should help demystify things a bit:
The first thing you’ll always need to know no matter what type of body jewelry you’re looking for, is what gauge or thickness you’re going to need. Gauge sizing is measured in millimeters, and unlike shoe or clothing sizes, an item will actually get larger or thicker as the numbers go down. A twenty gauge for example, is smaller than a fourteen gauge, and so on.
Our next stop for the sizing of barbells is length. Any barbell style jewelry that is straight, waved, or curved will have a length that corresponds to the size of your piercing. Let’s use labret studs as an example. Everybody’s lip is slightly different in size than their peers, so some persons will require an 8mm post length, and others will need a longer 10mm post. If the post is too long relative to the girth of the lip, the item will protrude slightly giving an odd appearance to the piercing, but if it’s too short it won’t fit properly, so knowing your correct size is extremely important.
For items that are circular rather than straight, instead of length you’ll need to determine their diameter. This goes for horseshoes and BCRs, as well as types of septum jewelry, spiral rings, and nipple shields. If the diameter isn’t large enough, the jewelry will be too tight and feel uncomfortable, so getting the sizing right is essential to a good fit.
The best way to find out exactly what you need is of course to ask your friendly neighborhood piercer. If they don’t have your sizing needs on file or know off hand, most have special tools they can use to quickly measure.