How to Take Body Measurements to Find Your Perfect Fit

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take body measurements for perfect fit

How often do you find yourself shopping online? It’s the new norm for consumers today, and while many people shop online, it can be a daunting and tricky task when it comes to selecting a size. Because we can’t digitally try on clothing, we have to rely heavily on the sizing guides that brands provide us to determine how the clothes will fit. But one way that you can successfully determine your ideal size is by taking your measurements.

How Many People Shop Online?

Now, more than ever, women are purchasing most of their clothes online. The eCommerce apparel industry is valued at $104.3 billion, and it’s only expected to grow in the years to come, which means that women should get comfortable building virtual wardrobes. While online shopping seems to be popular, more than 64 percent of Americans would rather shop in brick-and-mortar stores than online. 

plus size woman in peach blouse

Why Is It So Hard to Find My Size?

One of the biggest pain points women have with shopping online at their favorite plus size online boutique has to do with sizing because they aren’t able to try on clothing before they purchase it. And this struggle reaches beyond learning how to dress for your body type because sizing can be vastly different and difficult to determine because it is not in any way standard. Let’s take a look in your closet. You may have a size 12, a 2X, an 18 and maybe even an XL hanging up next to each other, and they may all fit you just the same. You can thank vanity sizing for that, which is the practice of labeling larger clothing with smaller sizes. 

Every designer and clothing manufacturer usually has their own set of standards for sizing, meaning that you will rarely ever wear the same size no matter where you shop. Vanity sizing has been around for a very long time, and the fashion industry as a whole hasn’t made any effort to standardize sizing. This is likely an issue women will face for many years to come, which means that you can’t just blindly order a 2X everywhere you shop. You’ll need to analyze every article of clothing, the materials it’s made from and the brand’s sizing guide to make sure you’re selecting the right size. To make sure you find the right fit every time, Chic Soul has put together a comprehensive guide to finding the right size. 

plus size woman measuring waist

Getting the Right Fit Every Time

One way to successfully narrow in on your correct size no matter which plus size boutique clothing you’re shopping for is to use your body measurements. Most online clothing stores have a sizing guide that will point you to your appropriate size via your measurements. Making sure your clothing fits you like a glove is critical because it can stand to greatly impact your confidence. 

At Chic Soul, we use bust-waist-hips-inseam to determine sizing, and we would love to help you take your own measurements so you can find your precise size and feel confident about shopping online. You can always find our sizing guide for each garment below the size choices. 

full sized woman wearing blue romper

What You Need to Take Your Measurements 

To make sure you take the most precise measurements possible, there are a couple of things you’ll need. 

  • Tape Measure–You’ll need a flexible but inelastic tape measure so that you can accurately identify your measurements.
  • Mirror–If you plan on taking your own measurements, you’ll need to stand in front of a full-length mirror so that you can ensure your tape measure is always level. You’ll also need to look into a mirror to identify which part of your body you’ll need to measure. If you don’t have a big enough mirror, no problem! Just recruit a friend to help you with measurements. 
  • Journal and a Pen–As you take your measurements, you will want to keep track of the numbers with a pen and paper. 
  • Fitted Clothing–If you’d rather not take your measurements naked or you have a friend helping you, wear clothing that is thin and fitted so that you can get a close measurement of your body.
  • Master Your Stance–When you take your measurements, you will want to stand up straight with both legs together. 
  • Get Precise Numbers–If you want to make sure your measurements are spot on, take your measurements twice. If you find that your measurements differ each time, choose a happy medium in between the two numbers. 

So step into your virtual fitting room, grab a tape measure and a pen and paper, and let’s get started. 

How to Measure Waist

Your waist is the area between the top of your hip and the very bottom of your rib cage. Depending on your body type, your waistline may be wider or more narrow. But regardless of your shape or size, taking your waist measurements will help you ensure you order dresses, blouses and pants that fit you perfectly and look stunning on your frame. 

measuring the waist graphic

  • Find the narrowest part of your waist, which should be just above your belly button. 
  • Place the front end of the tape measure at the front of your waist and wrap the other side around to match the front.
  • Pull the tape measure taut, but make sure it’s comfortable. 
  • Jot down the number on the tape measure where the front end meets the wrapped part. 

How to Measure Inseam

In order to find the most perfect-fitting pair of jeans or bottoms, you’ll need to measure your inseam. The inseam starts from the top of your inner thigh and goes just below your ankle. It can be a tricky place to measure yourself, but here are some helpful tips! 

measuring the inseam graphic

  • Before you measure, it’s important to think about which shoes you wear most often. If you will be wearing heels, make sure to wear heels when you measure. If you are usually wearing flats or tennis shoes, you can remain barefoot for this measurement. 
  • Roll up your tape measure and start to measure as high up on your thigh as you can. Then, drop the rest of the tape measure while holding onto one end. 
  • Keeping the top of the tape measure pulled tight, bend down to read the numbers that fall just below your ankle or mid-heel. 
  • Write this number down for future reference. 

How to Measure Hips

Knowing your hip measurements can be helpful when shopping for new pants or dresses. To achieve the most accurate measurement, you’ll want to measure the widest part of your hips, which is just above your groin area. 

measuring the hips graphic

  • Stand with your legs together and place the front end of the tape measure at the front of your hips and wrap the other side around to match the front. You will want to wrap the tape measure around your butt while making sure the tape remains level and parallel to the floor. 
  • Pull the tape measure taut, but make sure it’s comfortable. 
  • Write down the number on the tape measure where the front end meets the wrapped part for your hip measurement. 

How to Measure Bust

Looking for a better fit when it comes to your tops and dresses? Let’s measure your bust so you can find garments that fit precisely. 

measuring the bust graphic

  • Place one end of your tape measure at the fullest part of your bust and wrap the other side around to match the front. Make sure the tape remains level and parallel to the floor. 
  • Pull the tape measure taut, but make sure it’s comfortable. 
  • Write down the number. 

How to Use Your Measurements

Now that you have your measurements, you’ll be able to better determine how clothes will fit and what size you should order at your favorite plus size Afterpay boutique. Here’s how you can use your measurements and how to keep them up to date. 

  • Use Sizing Guides–To make the most of your measurements, refer to a brand’s sizing guide online, which will include size suggestions based on measurements. Typically, sizing guides can be the same throughout a brand’s entire collection, but just to be sure, cross reference the sizing guide for every garment you’re looking at. 
  • Be Flexible–When you compare your measurements to the sizing guide, you may not see exact matches or you may be in between sizes. Our advice: If it stretches, size down. If it doesn’t stretch, size up. 
  • Update Your Measurements Regularly–How often does your body change? For some, it’s monthly. For others, it’s never. But it’s always a good idea to update your measurements as you feel you need to so that you are always ordering clothes that fit. 
  • Keep Track of What Fits–Do you have a favorite brand that you like to shop at because the clothes always fit perfectly? Keep a measurement journal so that you can keep track of your measurements and any changes to them as well as favorite brands and styles you love.