Properly Taking Measurements

Whether you are looking to get a new suit for interviews, or whether you are having a wedding dress made, it is important to know your measurements. This will help you determine your size for a close fit. And while measurements do not provide for a perfect fit, they are extremely helpful when it comes to alterations. The more accurate your measurements, the less hassle with alterations. Here are the measurements you need, and how to properly take them. Going to a professional every couple of years to have professional measurements taken doesn’t hurt either.

There are three main measurements: bust, waist and hip. For the most part, one should start at the top (bust) and work her way down. Use a sewing measuring tape to take all measurements, and stand in your underwear.

Bust: This should be taken at the fullest part of your bust. You should stand as you do naturally, and have your heels together. Your arms should be at your side. Keeping your thumb to the inside of the tape, wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your chest and the widest part of your chest.

Waist: To find your waist, put your hands at your waistline. It is tempting to suck your stomach in a little, or to stand up extra tall. However, you should stand naturally and keep your stomach in its natural position. You should feel comfortable. Also, do not tighten the tape. Keep it loose about your waist, just against the skin. Reporting your waist as smaller than it is will do you no favors. Instead, the clothing will be too tight and will expose bulges. Properly fitting clothes are more sliming and attractive than tight clothes.

Hip: Relax your posture and stand with heels together. This measurement is actually two measurements. The first is of the fullest part of your hip, and the second is around your bottom at its fullest. For fine pants, it is helpful to have both of these measurements. For dresses, an A-line needs the hip measurement and the sheath needs the bottom. A good seamstress or tailor will know which measurements to use.

There are two additional measurements for dresses. One is the dress length and the other is a specific measurement for bridal gowns. You need to know how long you might need to make the dress. If you are wearing heels, or if you are taller than average (at least 5’8″), then you might need to add extra length. 3″-5″ is normal.

Bridal gowns have what is called a hollow-to-hem measurement. Not all bridal gowns need this measurement, but if yours does call for it, it is a good idea to have it taken at a bridal shop. The dresses that require this are those gowns with full-skirts and some A-line gowns. The measurement is designed to take into account a skirt section that comes out from the body. This measurement is taken from the base of the neck and then moved outward away from the body and down to just above the floor, where the dress’s hem would be. It is important to be wearing the proper heel height, as this will affect where the hem falls.

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