Updated: Mar 19, 2022
How to measure twice and get the right modest fit the first time!
Modesty is a must...
Modesty saved my sanity! Growing up I was a tomboy, you would never catch me in a dress or skirt or anything that resembled femininity. It was Gloria Vanderbilt denim and t-shirts for me. And my personal experience did not turn out well, I never felt like a female either and I did not act like one either. When I found this wonderful Christian walk and saw in the word of God that women should dress modestly and not in costly array, I threw out the old and brought in the new and it transformed my life and my mind. I felt like a lady for the first time in my life and I actually acquired a felling of self worth and respect for myself. I really was transformed in mind, body and spirit. I love modesty and I love what it has done for me personally. God does all things well! It is a blessing to be different, how else will they know who to run to!
HERE IS SOMETHING TO KEEP IN MIND: When I measure my garments for the store I lay them flat and measure them on one side only and un-stretched. Most all of the fabrics I use to make my clothing is stretch fabric, so if you for instance have a 48 bust measurement and are looking at something that measures 48 around on the bust the garment will hang and not be stretching at all when worn. So keeping that in mind, and depending on the way you like your clothing to fit, take that into consideration.
Tip #1 - Measure Twice and with What
Always measure everything twice and write it down.
1. Use a cloth measuring tape for a more accurate reading.
A rigid metal tape may skew measurement readings, so use a cloth measuring tape instead.
Avoid using a measurement tape that stretches, too, as this may cause inaccurate measurements.
Tip #2 - How to Measure
2. Place the measuring tape properly around the intended body part.
Hold the tape measure level around the body and roughly parallel to the floor. It is recommended to take body measurements while standing and against bare skin as opposed to over clothes.
Also, do not pull the tape too tight, nor drape too loosely. Ideally, the tape should be slightly snug and no more than one finger should fit through it.
Pinch the tape measure at the correct spot and bring it up to your eye level. If you’re supposed to be staring straight ahead, you might wonder how you’re supposed to see the tape measure. There’s a simple trick to this! While maintaining good posture and looking straight ahead, pinch your finger and thumbnail around the tape measure at the correct spot on the measuring tape. Then bring the tape measure up to your eye level to see where you’ve pinched it.
With a secure grip on the tape measure, release the tape from around your body and lift it up to take a closer look.
Check to see which line on the tape your thumbnail is sitting at, and use this as your measurement.
If your thumbnail is pointing to 31.25 in (79.4 cm) on the measuring tape, write this down as your measurement.
Knowledge of your precise bust, waist, hip, and inseam measurements is the key to having perfectly-tailored clothes. Other measurements, including shoulder width and sleeve length, are handy to know as well. A few tricks will make taking your measurements simple and accurate. Prepare a reference sheet on which you can jot down the measurements, and maintain good posture when positioning the tape measure. Ask a friend to assist you with some of the trickier measurements.
Tip #3 - Measure
3. Taking body measurements.
BUST MEASURING: Wrap a tape measure around the fullest part of your bust. Start by holding the end of the tape measure at the center front of your body, in line with the fullest part of your bust. Pass the tape under your arm and wrap it around your back. Bring it back to meet the end in the front.
The fullest part of the bust is often in line with the nipples.
Keep the tape level and parallel to the floor.
Pinch the tape measure at the meeting point and record this number as your bust measurement on your reference sheet.
Take your underbust measurement by wrapping the tape around the base of your bra. For the underbust measurement, align the tape measure with the part of your chest that sits directly under your breasts, where the bottom of your bra sits. Use the same technique of placing the tape measure at the center front, wrapping it around your back, under your arms, and pinching the tape where it meets the end in the front.
This is sometimes referred to as your band size when you’re getting sized for a bra.
ARM LENGTH: Extend the measuring tape along your bent arm to find your sleeve length. Ask a friend to assist you with this one. Stand with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle with your hand resting on your hip. Instruct your friend to hold the end of the tape measure at the center of the base of your neck at the back. Have them extend the tape measure to your outer shoulder, down over your elbow, and down to your wrist. They can stop at your wrist bone. Record this number as your sleeve length.
This should be one full measurement; don’t break it up into pieces.
The sleeve length measurement is used for certain types of formal and custom-made shirts or blouses.
You can also extend your bent arm out in front like a doll for this measurement. It just needs to be positioned at 90 degrees.
Identify your natural waist. While standing upright, bend over to the front or side and make a note of where your body creases. This is your natural waist. It's the narrowest part of your torso, generally located between your rib cage and belly button.
If you plan to take lots of measurements that relate to your waist, such as rise, it can be handy to tie a thin string around your natural waistline. This way you don’t have to keep finding it all over again!
Keep the measuring tape parallel to the floor as you extend it around your waistline. Don’t hold your breath or suck your stomach in since this will result in an incorrect measurement. Be sure you don't draw it too tight.
Slip 2 fingers under the tape to make sure it isn't pulled too tight.
Without slouching or looking down, pinch the tape measure where it meets together. Record this number as your waist measurement.
Wrap the tape around the fullest part of your buttocks for your hip measurement. The hip measurement refers to the widest part of your lower torso, which is usually located about 7 to 9 in (18 to 23 cm) below your natural waist. This may be quite low on your pelvis. Keep the tape measure parallel to the floor as you hold it in the front, extend it around the back of your body, and bring it to meet in the front.
Double-check that that tape measure is parallel, since this measurement can be easy to get wrong, before pinching the tape and looking to see what the final measurement number is.
Record this number on your reference sheet.
Though it’s called the hip measurement, you shouldn’t measure the circumference in line with where you can feel your hip bones at the front of your body. This part of your body is typically narrower than your buttocks.
Tip #4 - Shoes
Wear shoes with the correct heel height for hemline or inseam measurements. This is especially important when taking measurements for a dress. Slip on the shoes you’re planning to wear with your clothes, or a similar pair with the same heel height, to avoid too short a hemline.
It can be useful to wear the right shoes even if you’re not looking to hem your clothes. Wearing heels changes your posture so it’s best to take measurements of your body as it will be in your clothes.
Tip #5 - Posture is important
Stand straight up with your feet hip-width apart and your head lifted up. Good posture is the key to accurate measurements. Distribute your weight evenly on both feet, with your feet at least 6 in (15 cm) apart. Don’t shift your weight to one side, or bend your knees since this will throw off your measurements. Focus on looking straight ahead rather than glancing down and bending over your head.
Have fun and buy smart!