How to Measure For Women's Clothing Sizes

When you're shopping for women's clothing online or from a catalogue, it's important to know your size to ensure that you get the right fit. Furthermore, knowing your size can help expedite your next shopping trip. Taking your measurements carefully, writing them down and then comparing them to a size chart will give you the best idea possible. Remember that all women's clothing manufacturers are different. Once you know how to measure for clothing you'll be able to find your size in any brand.

Wear your everyday bra when measuring, or if you are measuring for a dress that will require a speciality bra, such as strapless bra, measure your bust while wearing it. Draw the measuring tape around your back, and bring the ends across your nipples to meet in the middle. Read the measurement to the half inch, and write the measurement down. This is your bust measurement. Add five inches to determine your band size for a bra if necessary.

Slide the measuring tape down to your belly button. Bring the measuring tape around your middle, meeting the ends over the belly button. Read the tape and write down the measurement to the half inch for your waist measurement.

Move the measuring tape down to your hips, and measure around the place where your hip bones protrude, the fullest part of your hips. Take care that the measuring tape stays level, so you aren't adding unnecessary inches by having it slide down to your bottom. Write down the measurement to the half inch for your hip measurement.

Measure your inseam so that you always have the right length of trousers. Measure from the top of the inside of your thigh to the ground. You may need a friend to help you get an accurate measurement. Most pant inseams are 31 inches or 33 inches, so it helps to know which one will suit you best.

Compare your measurements against online and catalogue sizing charts to decide your size. Every brand and manufacturer fits differently, so consult your measurements before purchasing. See the Resources section for a general sizing guide.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
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About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.