top of page

How to Measure Yourself

Of course! I'd be happy to help you learn how to measure yourself for clothing. Proper measurements are crucial for ensuring a good fit. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to measure yourself accurately:

  1. Use a flexible measuring tape: A soft, flexible measuring tape is the best tool for taking measurements. If you don't have one, you can also use a piece of string and then measure it against a ruler.

  2. Wear fitted clothing or undergarments: To get accurate measurements, it's important to wear well-fitting clothes or undergarments. Baggy or bulky clothing can affect the measurements.

  3. Stand straight and relaxed: Stand in a relaxed posture with your feet slightly apart. Ensure your body is straight and not leaning forward or backward.

  4. Bust/Chest measurement: Wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust or chest. Make sure the tape is parallel to the floor and not too tight or loose. Take note of the measurement in inches or centimeters.

  5. Waist measurement: Find the narrowest part of your waist, which is usually just above your belly button. Wrap the measuring tape around this area, without holding your breath or sucking in your stomach. Again, keep the tape parallel to the floor and record the measurement.

  6. Hip measurement: Measure the fullest part of your hips, usually around the widest point of your buttocks. Wrap the tape around this area, keeping it parallel to the floor. Take note of the measurement.

  7. Inseam measurement: For pants or skirts, you'll need the inseam measurement. Stand straight with your legs slightly apart. Measure from the inside of your leg, from the crotch area, down to the desired length. This measurement determines the length of the garment.

  8. Arm length measurement: For sleeves, measure from the top of your shoulder to the desired length. Bend your arm slightly to make it easier to measure.

  9. Shoulder width measurement: Start at the edge of one shoulder, where the sleeve seam would start, and measure across to the edge of the other shoulder. Make sure the tape is straight and not slanted.

  10. Additional measurements: Depending on the garment or pattern, you may need to take additional measurements such as neck circumference, bicep circumference, or thigh circumference. Follow any specific instructions provided for those measurements.

Remember, accuracy is key when measuring yourself, so try to take the measurements a few times to ensure consistency. If possible, it can be helpful to have someone assist you in measuring for better accuracy, especially for hard-to-reach areas like the back

How to Measure Yourself sketch
sketch of where to measure

What Do I Measure?

For dresses and shirts, you will need a minimum of six measurements:


Across the back of the shoulders




Length of dress or shirt

For Pants, you will need a minimum of four:




Length of pants

Other measurements you need for custom clothes include:


Around the Bicep

Around the Thigh

Length of sleeves Bust depth Bust Span

Torso Length (front and back)

Chest width across the front and the back (this is different from measuring above the bust)

So How Do I Measure Myself??

First, put on the underwear you would wear with your potential outfit. This way you have the undershape of the outfit ready. Second, put on thin and/or snug-fitting clothes that will not affect your true size.

Get your measuring tape or string and stand in front of your mirror. The easiest measurements to do are the ones around the bust/chest, waist and hips, so we will do those first.

The Easy Stuff


How to Measure Yourself- bust

When you measure the bust or chest, you want the measuring tape to cross the fullest part of the chest without pulling in or straining. The tape should be level all the way around, not slanting up or down on the back.

Write down this measurement in inches or centimeters, as long as all measurements are recorded with the same units.


How to Measure Yourself - waist

The waist is located in a slightly different place for every person. No matter where it is, it should be the smallest part of your torso before your hips. This location is typically just below the rib cage. Like the torso, make sure the tape or string is not pulling or straining and you feel comfortable.


How to Measure Yourself- hip

The hip measurement is anywhere from 6 to 9 inches below the waist. If you have a belly, you will need to take a few extra measurements to make sure the clothing you order accounts for it.

In that 6 to 9-inch range, the tape should cross the fullest part of your bum. wrap your tape around, making sure it's level. Write down the number, making sure to keep all your units the same.

Across Shoulders

These next measurements are best accomplished by wearing your favorite button-down shirt. The seams on the shirt will help you find the right places to measure.

How to Measure Yourself- across shoulders
across shoulders

Take your measuring tape and find the point of your shoulders (just above the place where shoulder meets arm). Drape the measuring tape along your shoulders and behind your neck, making sure one end is at one shoulder point. If you're wearing your favorite button-down, these points are where the shirt meets the sleeve.


How to Measure Yourself- undrerarm

Measuring the underarm can be super tricky. If you are not wearing your favorite shirt this measurement should come from the point of the shoulder (mentioned previously) and curve around the space your arm takes up, ending up under your armpit, dead center. If you are wearing your favorite shirt, take it off and measure from the shoulder where it meets the sleeve along the sleeve seam to the side. Make sure you don't stretch the fabric or straighten it out, it needs to curve!


How to Measure Yourself- sleeve

For measuring sleeves, it is easiest to just use a shirt with the length of sleeve you want. Measure from the point of the shoulder to the very end of the sleeve. Don't stretch the fabric!

If you don't have a shirt, measure from the previously mentioned shoulder point to where you want the sleeve to stop (above the elbow, at the wrist, below the wrist, etc)


How to Measure Yourself- bicep

Here's a easy one! Wrap your measuring tape around your bicep while flexing. Take a moment to appreciate how strong you are.


How to Measure Yourself- thigh

Find the fullest part of your thigh and wrap the measuring tape around it. Remember not to pull the tape tight, you need room to move!

Full Length

How to Measure Yourself- full length
full length

For dresses, find a friend to help you out, because bending over to find the length will throw it off.

Decide how long you want the shirt or dress to be, and find that shoulder point again. Drape the tape down your front, making sure to go over any fullness in the chest. Have your friend write down that number for the length.

How to Measure Yourself- waist to ankle
waist to ankle

For pants, hold the measuring tape in the place where you want to the pants to sit, whether that is your waist, hip, or somewhere in between. Have your friend drape the tape all the way to the floor (for pants) or to partway down your leg for shorts and skirts.


How to Measure Yourself- inseam

Hold the tape on the inside of your leg where you want the crotch to sit. Get your friend to drape the tape to the floor (for pants) and partway for shorts.

The Weird Stuff


How to Measure Yourself- collar

Drape your measuring tape around your neck in approximately the place where you would want the collar of a shirt to sit. Make sure to leave breathing room.

Bust Depth and Span

How to Measure Yourself- bust depth
bust depth

How to Measure Yourself- bust span
bust span

The bust depth is from that shoulder point down to the fullest point of the bust. The bust span is across, nipple to nipple, as it sits in a bra.

Torso Length

How to Measure Yourself- torso length
torso lenght

Once more, find the point of your shoulder. Much like when finding the length of your shirt or dress, drape the measuring tape down the fullest part of your chest to your natural waist. Record that measurement, then get your friend to do the same down your back.

Chest width

How to Measure Yourself- chest width
chest width

Take your measuring tape and start at where your armpit meets your chest. Measure across to the other armpit along the front of your chest. It should be above, not across, the fullest part of your chest. Get your friend to do the same across your back.

Wrist Circumference

How to Measure Yourself- wrist circumference
wrist circumference

Wrap the measuring tape around your wrist so you can still fit two fingers behind it. Record the number.

And you're done!

Sit down, have a drink, and make sure you didn't miss anything. You now have all the measurements needed to make an outfit that will fit you perfectly.

Be sure to check your measurements once a year, or whenever you change your lifestyle enough to merit body change (new diet, fitness regime, etc).

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page