How To Take Body Measurements For Clothing

Having clothes that fit perfectly is a universal goal. Whether buying off-the-rack or custom-made, understanding your body measurements is crucial, especially in the era of booming online shopping.

As virtual retail has surged, more people are making online purchases. However, before checking out, it’s vital to know your accurate body measurements. Relying solely on generic size labels like small, medium, or large can be misleading, as these vary across brands and websites.

To navigate this fashion maze, mastering precise body measurement is essential. The key is to take these measurements while wearing form-fitting clothes, avoiding bulky outerwear. Fortunately, this can be done alone, without external help. Stand in front of a mirror, ensure the tape is aligned correctly, and carefully record each measurement for future reference.

In summary, by mastering body measurement, you can make informed fashion choices, avoiding ill-fitting clothes and ensuring sartorial satisfaction with every online purchase.

Measuring Yourself for Women’s Clothing


When measuring your bust, it’s important to wear a non-padded bra or no bra at all. This will ensure you get an accurate measurement. Wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust, keeping the tape parallel to the floor. If you have someone to help, they can wrap the tape around for you to get the most precise reading.


To measure your waist, wrap the tape around your natural waistline, which is typically about 2 inches above your belly button. Make sure not to suck in your stomach, as this will give you an inaccurate measurement. The tape should be level and not riding up or down.


For your hip measurement, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and buttocks. It’s best to remove any pants or undergarments to get the most accurate reading. The tape should be parallel to the floor.


To measure your inseam, stand with your feet slightly apart and have someone measure from the top of your inner thigh down to the desired pant length, such as the bottom of your ankle. If measuring yourself, you can use a pair of well-fitting pants as a guide. Add or subtract a couple inches if you plan to wear heels.

The key to getting precise clothing measurements is to measure directly on your body, avoiding any extra layers of clothing. Take the time to ensure the tape is level and pulled snug, but not too tight. With these measurements, you’ll be able to find the perfect fit every time.


How To Measure For Men’s Clothing


Measuring the neck is a straightforward process. Wrap the measuring tape around the center of your neck, ensuring it is level. The tape should run from the back to the front, ending just above the collarbone. You do not need to look in any particular direction to keep your neck straight.

If measuring yourself, use a mirror for assistance. The type of stitches or clothing you plan to purchase does not matter, but be sure to leave one finger’s width of space between the tape and your neck to allow for a comfortable fit. For women, the neckline depth can be adjusted according to the garment.


The method for measuring a man’s chest is similar to the bust measurement for women. Run the tape around the fullest part of the chest, under the arms and across the shoulder blades. If measuring for formal attire like blazers, coats, or shirts, add 1-2 inches to the final measurement for a better fit.

When having someone else take the measurement, stand upright in a relaxed position. Alternatively, use a mirror to ensure the tape is level. Measuring the chest is one of the easiest body measurements to take for men.


Place the tape measure just above your belly button to get your waist measurement. If you are unsure where to measure due to excess abdominal tissue, you can locate your natural waistline by bending to the side – place a finger there and then position the tape.

Keep the tape parallel to the ground for an accurate waist measurement. For the best results, leave one finger’s width of space between the tape and your body. This will ensure the garment is neither too tight nor too loose, providing a comfortable fit.

Hip & Inseam

The process for measuring the hip and inseam is the same for both men and women. If you have not read the instructions for taking the hip measurement previously, we will cover that now as well. For best results, stand upright and wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your hips.

To measure the inseam, start at the topmost point of your inner thigh and run the tape down to the bottom of your ankle. If you want a tailored fit, you can also measure the circumference of your thighs by wrapping the tape around the largest part. Ensure you are taking the maximum measurement.

Shoulder Width

Draw an imaginary straight line up from each armpit to your shoulders. The distance between these two points is your shoulder width. While some may not consider this a necessary measurement, it is crucial for achieving a well-fitted garment.

If you plan to do any at-home sewing, this measurement will be invaluable. You can combine it with your chest size to get a perfectly fitted shirt or t-shirt. Many online and offline retailers now list shoulder width as a standard sizing option for men’s clothing, allowing customers to purchase accordingly.

Sleeve Length

Also known as arm length, this measurement is taken when buying full-sleeved shirts, coats, jackets, or t-shirts. Start the measurement at the same point as the shoulder width, just above the armpit, and extend it down to your wrist.

Remember that the sleeve length is measured for the entire arm, even if you are purchasing 3/4 or half-sleeve garments. You can gently bend your hand while taking this measurement, as it can help ensure an accurate sleeve length

Final Words

This post covers how to properly take body measurements for clothing, for both men and women. It’s important to understand that male and female body structures differ, so the measurement steps vary between the two.

We recommend using a flexible tape measure to get the most accurate readings. If you’re unsure of the proper technique, it’s best to seek assistance from someone experienced.

We’ll continue updating this guide with additional information on measuring for clothing size. Be sure to check back on the Quilted Sewing blog for the latest tips.

The same measurement methods can also be applied when taking body measurements for fitness purposes. If you have any other techniques for measuring the body, we encourage you to share them with us as well.


Hannah Nelson

Hi, there! I am Hannah Nelson, your host on this website. I started this blog to teach my lovely readers how to master the art of sewing effortlessly and how to turn this hobby into an income generating business.

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