TIP: When taking these measurements, use a cloth tape measure, not a metal one. Make sure that, when you circle your chest, waist, or hips, the tape is level and neither too tight nor too loose. Also measure yourself on your bare skin, not over clothes. And this may sound silly, but don’t trust your memory — be sure to write the measurements down!
How to Get Your Body Measurements
Chest or Bust
This measurement is used for tops and lab outerwear. Women: Place one end of the tape measure at the fullest part of your bust and wrap it around your body to get the measurement, keeping the tape parallel to the floor. Men: Place one end of the tape measure at the center of your chest. Wrap it around your body, keeping the tape parallel to the floor.
This measurement is used for tops and bottoms. Most clothing lines use the measurement of the “natural waist” for their size guides. To measure your natural waist, you want to find the narrowest part of your waist, located above your belly button and below your rib cage.
This measurement is used for bottoms and sometimes for tops. Stand with your legs together and measure the fullest part of your hips. Be sure to go over your buttocks as well. It might be challenging to keep the tape consistently level when you do it alone; it is recommended that you have a friend assist you with this or that you do it in front of a mirror.
This measurement is used for pants.The inseam is the distance from the uppermost part of your thigh to your ankle. It is easiest to measure the inseam based on a well-fitting pair of pants. Measure from the crotch to the cuff on the inside seam of the leg. The number of inches, to the nearest ½”, is the inseam length. It’s best to measure your inseam with a pair of shoes on so that you can ensure the hem hits at the right point on your shoe. The hem should hit at the middle of the heel shaft or should hit just slightly above the flat shoe.