If you want to become a shopping savvy fashionista, then taking your own body measurements is a good first step.
By knowing your body’s three-dimensional angles, you’ll be able to select clothes that fit your body figure.
Knowing how to take your body measurements is simply a valuable and practical must-know for both women and men who love to shop for clothes.
Perfect fit makes a world of a difference in how you look. It flatters your body shape and scale and eliminates the frumpy-dumpy look. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone – especially for gals who love the oversized look. But it is a must if you want to look presentable and polished!
How Fit Affects Your Look
Whether you like it or not, the fit of your clothes often conveys a message of how you are as a person to other people without you having to open your mouth.
Too tight clothes can make you look cheap (no offense!) and like you’re trying too hard. It can even highlight areas of your body that you don’t like or parts that are just inappropriate if you want to be taken seriously. Also, too loose-looking clothing can make you look too casual and unprofessional for the setting. It can also make you look bigger, frumpy and sloppy.
Fit is crucial for especially if you’re a Petite or Plus Size. Too-big clothes on a 5’1″ overwhelms their stature and make them look like a little girl. While too-big clothes on a size 16 woman can make them look heavier.
So getting the body measurements right will save you lots of time and money – and it won’t sacrifice your image. Great fitting clothes are the best style strategies to looking your best!
Note: Don’t let the size tag bring you down.
Looking good in clothes, is a lot about proportions and focusing on your best assets. Click here for more basic dressing tips for all body shapes.
Now let’s measure your body figure!
How to Take Your Body Measurements
Now I’m going to ask you to do something that might sound a bit scary:
Measuring your true body size.
I don’t like it either, but we need to do it for us to figure out your body measurements which will make it easier for you to hone down your body shape and size. For us image consultants and fashion stylists, we often use the numbers to find the client’s body shape according our charts.
Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple. I’m going to show you how. You don’t even have to reveal your numbers to me 🙂
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Cloth tape measure
- A pencil (measurements will change over time) and piece of paper
- Full-length mirror
So grab your tools.
Ok, now make sure you’re in your underwear and stand up straight. That means roll your shoulders back to open your chest. Nobody’s watching. So try not to pull in your stomach 😉
Always use two fingers under the tape measure to build in the right amount of ease. Except for when measuring your shoulders and rise.
Note: We’ll be measuring in inches. So if you’re using centimeters, divide the number with 2.54 and you’ll get the numbers in inches An example: If your waist measures 75 centimeters, divide it by 2.54 and youll get the measurement in inches. 1 inch=2.54cm.
Measuring Your Body Step-by-Step
You might want to print out this page so that you can write down your measurements after each step:
Measure in a straight line from the outer edge from one shoulder to the other.
Under your arms, around the fullest part of your chest (usually on your nipple area). Wrap the tape around your back and forward to the fullest part of your bust.
Around the narrowest part of your torso.
This is one of the areas we tend to pull in when its exposed. That’s natural. I do it myself when I’m wearing my bikini or a fitted dress. But we need to find the exact waist measurement, so avoid holding your breath.
Measure around the widest part of your hips (usually the area where your hip bones are located). This should be done with your feet close together.
Measure from your natural waist down to your crotch. Hold the tape a little loose, gently pull it through the legs (from your crotch, between your legs) and up to the same level as your natural waist.
From crotch to the inside of your ankle. Start from the ankle and up. This is best done with a partner. PS: This is how you find your best pants length (petite, average or tall)
Tips on How to Take Exact Measurements:
- Measure yourself after a meal (like lunch or dinner) to get the most accurate read of your body
- Do it a couple of days after or before having your menstrual period. Who doesn’t retain more water during menstruation cycle?
Now you know your true measurements! This will help save you time when going shopping.
How to Use Your Body Measurements
Pay close attention to the sizing description. Compare it with your measurements. If your measurements equal a size bigger or smaller than what you’re used to, buy it. Trust your measurements.
Tip: Remember to take note of the fabric. If a clothing is of 100% cotton it will likely shrink after its first wash. So you might want to consider ordering a size larger. An exception is pre-washed clothes like most vintage clothes.
In a store
Always bring a measure tape when going shopping (unless you have time to try them out in the fitting room), especially if you’re buying pants, jeans and jackets (eg. blazers).
Reach for something in your size (standard size). Hold it up and take a good look at the construction.
If it doesn’t look like the right size, measure it.
Run your tape across the parts of the clothing (as seen above) and multiply it by two. Don’t think about the number on the clothing. Is the measurements on the clothing smaller or bigger than your standard size? Then pick the right size according to your own measurements.
Or you can always head to the fitting room, of course 🙂
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