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How to Take Measurements for Shopping Online


     If you have ever shopped clothing online, chances are you’ve had at least one bad experience choosing sizes. As you may know, size can vary depending on brand, fabric, style, among many other factors; and because of this, it is important you know the accurate measurements for your body. For this reason, here at TLE we have put together a three-part instructional guide, with videos on our Instagram TV page, that will show you how to take proper and precise measures and make your shopping experience a little easier.

First some notes:

  • Measuring over bare skin or tight clothes and using a cloth tape measure will give the most accurate results. But if you don't own a cloth tape measure, you can print a tape measure for free with this useful link from SizeCharter.
  • Having a measuring partner can make these techniques a lot easier to perform and give a more reliable measure.  
  • If you take the time to take measurements, we recommend you write them down and take as many different sections (bust, waist, neck, sleeves, etc.) as you can. However, there certainly are some that you will use more than others.
  • If you can only remember a certain number of measurements, make sure to always take into account:
                  -  Height or length for tops
                  -  Chest/Bust Size
                  -  Shoulder size (for men)
                  -  Waist
                  -  Hips
                  -  Inseam
  • You can also take other measurements such as neck, sleeve, and wrist size if you are shopping for dress shirts, jackets, or blazers.
  • Finally, depending on the location of a brand or store, the measurements of a garment might appear in centimeters or inches, so make sure you consider both when writing your numbers down. 

Part 1: How to take proper measurements for Women’s clothing

  • Bust: While standing straight, measure around the fullest part of your chest going under the armpits and around your shoulder blades. Make sure the tape is comfortably snug, without any slack but not too tight either. 
  • Waist: Wrap the tape measure around your natural waistline; you can find where this is by bending to the side and placing the tape wherever the crease forms. While measuring, it is important to stay relaxed, and to not tense your stomach.
  • Hips: With your feet together, measure around the widest part of your hips and over your buttocks. If measuring by yourself, use a mirror to keep the tape measure always parallel to the ground. 
  • Inseam: This is the measure from the uppermost part of your thigh to the bottom of your ankle. Measuring it can be quite difficult, but the best way to do it is by measuring your best fitting pair of jeans. To do this, all you need to do is choose your favorite pants, lay them flat and measure the distance from the crotch to the hem.

Part 2: How to take proper measurements for Men's clothing

  • Neck: This is an important measurement for shirts. With the tape resting on your shoulders, measure around the circumference of your neck leaving one or two fingers of extra space to breathe. 
  • Chest: Wrap the tape measure under your armpits and around your shoulder blades. When you do this make sure to measure the widest part of your chest, and keep as relaxed as you can. For a precise measurement, keep the tape snug, but not too tight.
  • Shoulders: If someone is helping you, take one end of the tape and place it where your shoulder meets your arm. Measuring through the back, take the tape measure to the same point of the opposite shoulder. If measuring by yourself, do the same to the back of your best fitting shirt. 
  • Waist: With your tape measure, go around your natural waistline; you can find where this is by bending to the side and placing the tape wherever the crease forms. When you do this, keep a relaxed posture and do not tense your stomach!
  • Hips: Stand with your feet together, and measure around the widest part of your hips and over your buttocks. Keep the tape measure always level with the ground for a precise measurement.
  • Inseam: This is the measure that goes from your groin to the bottom of your ankle. To measure it, choose your best fitting pair of pants, lay them flat and measure the distance from the crotch to the hem.

Part 3: How to take proper measurements for Kids Clothing: 

* For kids, it is important that you always consider room for movement when you are measuring. Every time you take a measurement, leave a two finger gap with the tape measure, so they have enough space to move and play comfortably.

  • Chest: While they hold their arms relaxed and to the sides, measure under the child’s armpits and around the chest or breastbone. 
  • Waist: Place one end of the tape measure just above the belly button, and measure around the natural waistline. Make sure not to tighten the tape too much, and use a slightly loose grip. 
  • Hips: While standing with feet together, measure around the widest part of the child’s hips and over the buttocks. Make sure to leave enough space for movement. 
  • Inseam: Using the same trick as you did with your own jeans, choose a pair of pants that fit your child well, and measure the distance between the crotch and the bottom of the leg hem.