Knowing your body measurements, including bust, waist, hips and inseam, is essential when shopping for clothes. Learn how to measure your body in this step-by-step guide to tailoring, and discover our top tips for finding the perfect fit. All you need is a soft tape measure and a piece of paper to write down your measurements.
What part of the body should you measure?
You should measure your bust, waist, hips and inseam. You may also want to measure your shoulders and arm loops.
We recommend keeping your bra on to measure your bust unless you’re shopping for clothes you’ll wear braless.
- Lift your arms and wrap the tape under your armpits, passing it around the fullest part of your bust.
- Keep the tape parallel to the floor for an accurate measurement.
If you want to know how to measure your waistline, you first need to find your natural waist. This is where your body creases when you bend sideways while standing. Then, follow these steps:
- Remove your shirt and find your natural waistline.
- Wrap the measuring tape around your body and connect it at the front.
- Ensure the tape is parallel to the floor and sits against your bare stomach for accurate measurements.
Follow these steps to measure your hips:
- Ensure your feet are placed directly below your hips.
- Pass the tape around the widest part of your hips and wrap it around your body.
- The tape should be level and snug but not dig in.
The inseam is the distance from your crotch to your ankle. It’s easier for someone to take this measurement for you. If no one can help you, you can measure the inseam of a pair of trousers by following these steps:
- Fold the trousers in half vertically at the crotch (so the trouser legs sit on top of each other).
- Measure from the crotch seam or bottom of the zip to the bottom of the leg.
To measure your shoulders, we recommend asking someone to help you. If nobody can help you, find a shirt that fits you well and measure it following the same process.
- Stand directly in front of the person measuring you.
- Ask them to measure from the outside edge of the shoulder where the shirt’s yoke will be, across your upper back to the opposite edge.
6. Arm loops
To measure your arm loops, you should:
- Stand with your arms by your sides.
- Place the tape on top of your shoulder and loop it under your armpit, meeting at the top to take the measurement.
- Ensure the tape is not too tight and you have room to move your arm comfortably.
How do I measure dress length?
Looking for a new dress to celebrate a special occasion? Learn how to measure yourself to find the right dress length. Dress measurements should be taken from the top of the shoulder to the hem, making it easy to work out where it will sit on your body.
- Mini dress – measure to your mid-thigh
- Knee-length dress – measure to your knee
- Above-the-knee dress – measure a few inches above your knee
- Below-the-knee dress – measure a few inches below your knee
- Mid-calf dress – measure a few inches below your calf
- Ballerina dress – measure a few inches above your ankle
- Ankle-length dress – measure to your ankle
- Floor-length dress – measure to your toes
How do body measurements correspond to clothes size?
Once you know your body measurements, size charts can help you find perfectly fitting clothes when shopping online. These charts usually include hip, bust and waist measurements in centimetres and inches.
If you’re still unsure about sizing, our women’s size guide can help. With a Damart Personal Account, you can try clothing at home before paying, ensuring you get the ideal fit. You’ll have 28 days to decide whether to keep or return your items.