You will need:
- a soft tape measure (the paper ones from ikea will do the trick if you have one lying around)
- a pencil & paper to take notes OR your phone with a new note open
- underwear and a bra, preferably on you nudie rudie, so that the measurements are more "wearing" accurate
- a mirror you can stand in front of
- a smile (it's ok if it's a fake one, this won't take long)
We suggest taking some accurate measurements of yourself using the following guides and keeping them written down somewhere on a piece of paper in your walled (next to your credit card *laughs ironically*) or in your phone so that you can refer to them regularly.
The areas you're likely to need the most are chest, waist, hip, your height and maybe your arm length. You'll need to work in cm for everything except jeans. Here's a quick guide for measuring each of the main areas:
CHEST: Send your measuring tape around your back (about the area that your bra runs) and pull the tape firmly around to the middle of your bust. You'll need to try and take the measurement with your arms down so you may need a buddy for this one.
WAIST: Wrap the tape measure around the slimmest part of your waist. This is normally somewhere between your belly button and your ribcage but it different on everyone. A good trick is bending sideways and the area that folds is most likely you natural waist.
HIPS: Take this measurement around the widest part of your hips / bottom. Again this is different on everyone. For example my hips are narrow but around mid-bottom things get a little wider than everywhere else so I would take the measurement there. This will ensure when you're checking sizes you'll have enough room to get a skirt or pair of pants on. Which helps, you know?
ARM LENGTH: Sleeve lengths will be taken from the shoulder seam in the top or dress to the end of the sleeve. It's helpful if you throw on a top that has a normal shoulder seam and take your arm measurement from the shoulder seam to, say, the bend in your wrist. This should provide a good reference for lengths of sleeves.
BICEP: Go for the "meatiest" (sorry gross!) part of your arm and take a circumference measurement. If you're me you'll be promptly buying all raglan sleeves and boyfriend shirts until the arm fatigue wears off.
HEIGHT: You'll definitely need a buddy for this one. The best way is stand against a wall, look straight ahead and get your mate to run the tape measure down the length of the wall from the top of your head to the sole of your feet. Note: you won't ever see a "height" measurement on a size chart but it may help you get a rough idea of proportions when looking at "lengths". Lengths of garments are either taken from the Highest Shoulder Point (HSP) or Center Back (CB).
- It's often suggested you keep two fingers under the tape against your body to allow for a little give.
- We know it's a bit of tedious job but once you've done it you won't have to do it again unless you start running marathons or baking A LOT.
- If you start to get an idea of what size you take in different brands this is also handy to record. However be aware that fits of garments can differ within the brand itself so it's always good to check style by style.
- Some other measurements that can come in handy are the length of your torso or legs from the top of your undies to your ankles (for pants or jeans. If jeans use inches and do your inner seam too from bottom of undie line to top of ankles).
Now you're set! Use your measurements to compare with size charts that you're viewing online. It's worth noting a lot of brands' size charts indicate measurements of the actual garment, not the body the size would fit. So you need to think about your body in relation to the garment and whether you want the garment to fit super skin-tight or you want a bit of room between you and the fabric.
Have we missed any areas you've needed to reference in the past when shopping online? Any other good tips? Help a sister out. This stuff is important. And happy shopping!
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