Measuring the Body
When taking body measurements, use a cloth tape measure, not a metal one. Make sure that, when you circle your chest, waist, or hips, the tape is level and neither too tight nor too loose. Also measure yourself on your bare skin, not over clothes.
Bust: Measure the circumference of your chest. Place one end of the tape measure at the fullest part of your bust, wrap it around (under your armpits, around your shoulder blades, and back to the front) to get the measurement.
Waist: Measure the circumference of your waist. Use the tape to circle your waist (sort of like a belt would) at your natural waistline, which is located above your belly button and below your rib cage. Don’t suck in your stomach, or you’ll get a false measurement. If you generally wear your clothes below your waist, take that measurement as well.
Hips: Measure the circumference of your hips. Start at one hip and wrap the tape measure around your rear, around the other hip, and back to where you started. Make sure the tape is over the largest part of your buttocks. Because making sure the tape is level back there can be hard, try to do it in front of a mirror.
Inseam: This is the distance from the uppermost inner part of your thigh to the bottom of your ankle. You can measure your inseam in two ways.
- with help: While you’re wearing a pair of pants, have a friend stretch the tape from your crotch to the bottom of your ankle.
- without help: If you have a pair of pants that fit you perfectly (and they shouldn’t be too loose around the waist),measure the inseam of the pants, again from the crotch to the hem. The proper inseam on a pair of pants will depend on the height of the heel you’ll be wearing with them.
Sleeve length: Get help for this one because it’s hard to do yourself. Place your hand at your waist (your elbow should be bent at a 90-degree angle). Then start at the middle of the back of your neck and measure to your shoulder, down your arm to the elbow, and then on to the wrist.