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Why and How to Measure for Clothing

 Woman asking herself if she knows her body measurements

Why do I need to know my body measurements?
Is this something that I should know?

Have you caught yourself asking these same questions in the last few months? All perfectly good questions that I've started to hear more and more as the days pass by, and they usually come up after this type of statement: "Ughh, last time I ordered nothing fit. I'm always a Small and now I have to order a Large? No way I'm a Large and I will not shop here ever again".

Have you stopped to wonder why? Why do the clothes don't fit me anymore if I haven't gained any weight? 

Of course, most people looking for fresh new apparel pieces still prefer traditional retail stores. Data shows that prior to COVID-19 some 30% are used to buying their clothes online. Hassle-free shopping at the comfort of your own home, saved time, and more competitive pricing are just a couple of reasons why individuals switch to online businesses. 

Now that most traditional stores don't let you try on their clothes due to the pandemic, shopping online has surged like never before. And while we love shopping and hitting that Add To Cart button to satisfy that instant gratification that comes from retail therapy, that same online shopping comes with its own drawbacks. And when it comes to clothing, it’s usually the same for everyone – which size is right for me? The days when a Medium size in one store was the same Medium size in another are long gone, and if you look at your closet you probably have items all across the clothing size spectrum.

That’s why it’s more important now than ever to know your body measurements, and we are here to give you some guidance.

General rules of thumb

You don't have to be top of the class or a scientist for this. Although many people think that taking accurate body measurements yourself is super hard, it’s really not – all you have to do is know exactly where to place the tape measure and the rest will follow. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions for measuring your body:

  • Use a cloth tape measure for maximum accuracy. (yes it exists and they are cheap)
  • Make sure the tape is level and neither too tight nor too loose. (is not spandex)
  • Measure on bare skin, not over clothes. (Are you going to wear jeans over jeans? I didn't think so)

How to measure for women's clothing

When measuring yourself for a piece of women’s clothing, the most important measurements to take are bust, waist, and hip circumference, as well as the inseam length for pants. 

Bust: Place one end of the tape measure at the fullest part of your bust and wrap it around going under your armpits and shoulder blades back to the front. Keep the tape snug but not too tight.

Pro tip: wear a non-padded bra to get the most accurate measurements, we don't need a super padded pushup bra unless that is the only garment you use as a bra.

Waist: Wrap the tape measure around your natural waistline, which is located about 2 inches (5 cm) above your belly button. To check, bend to one side – the crease that forms is your natural waistline.

Pro tip: don’t suck in your stomach as this will give you inaccurate results.

image of where to measure your body for clothing

Hip: Stand straight with your feet together and measure around the fullest part of your hips and buttocks, about 8 inches (20 cm) below your waist. Use a mirror to make sure the tape is as level as possible. You can also take measurements of your thigh by locating the fullest part of your thigh and wrapping the tape measure around from front to back.

Inseam: Inseam is the distance from the uppermost inner part of your thigh to the bottom of your ankle. You can cheat by measuring the distance from the crotch to the hem of a favorite and best-fitting pair of pants you already own.

When Is The Best Time To Do It?

The best time to take your body measurements is in the morning, possibly right after waking up. This is because you really want to see the real picture.

In the morning, your body is well-rested, all the food you’ve eaten the other day is no longer in your stomach area causing you bloating or anything else. 

The more you know your numbers the better your online shopping experience will be. Just think about all the time that you will have back by not having to spend it by working on a return because it doesn't fit. 


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