How to Read Your Body Size Measurements

Written by christina martinez
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How to Read Your Body Size Measurements
One of the basic measurements is around the waist. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Besides your height and weight, you have a basic set of body measurements. They are taken when having a garment specially made or when items of clothing are taken in or let out. To measure a specific area properly, take a tape measure and pull it taut over each part of your body before recording your measurements. Read your measurements as if you were going from head to toe.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Look at the numbers. For example, a woman's basic body measurement is written out like this: 36-30-38.

  2. 2

    Read the first number. This stands for the area around the bust line. So, the area around the bust line measures 36 inches.

  3. 3

    Check out the second number, which is the waist. In this example, the area around the waist is 30 inches.

  4. 4

    Look at the last number, which is the widest part of the hips. In our example, the hips measure 38 inches.

  5. 5

    Take a look at an inseam measurement, which runs from the ankle bone up to the inside crotch, for men and women. This measurement will be separate and will often be written like this: "Inseam of 28."

Tips and warnings

  • Men are measured the same as women for hips, waist and inseam. However, they have chest measurements, not bust lines -- although the measure is taken in the same way.

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