From the Tailors’ Studio: How to Measure Yourself Properly

The occasion may arise when you need to measure yourself for a pair of new pants, a shirt, or the like. Of course, any tailor is trained to do these measurements, but it’s helpful to know how to do it yourself, as well. Here are our tips on how to make your measurements accurately, and a guide on what terms and tools you will need.


You’ll need a cloth tape measure (a metal tape measure won’t work), and a pencil and paper to write down the measurements.

Take it off
You’re going to want to measure yourself against your bare skin, so remove your clothes first. You’re going to take measurements of your chest, waist, hips, and inseam, plus a few extra measurements you may need.

Don’t suck in
You want your clothes to look great on you, and this requires accurate measurements. If you’re measuring yourself, don’t suck in you belly or cheat on the measurements! This may sound silly, but you could sabotage a flattering garment in the making (or in-the-alternations) if you don’t measure accurately.

Place the end of the tape measure at the fullest part of your bust (female or male). Wrap it from here around your back (under the armpits, over the shoulder blades), and back around to the front where you started with the tape measure. This loop gives you the circumfrence of your chest.

Your natural waistline is above your belly button, and below your rib cage. This area is what you want to measure. As tempted as you may be, do not suck in your stomach; let it fall naturally so that you get an accurate measurement. Take the tape measure and wrap it around the circumference of your waist.

Begin at one hip, and wrap the tape measure around your bottom, making sure the tape measure is over the largest part of your buttocks. Make sure the tape is flat/level over this area, and wrap it around to meet itself at the hip where you started.

This term refers to the distance between the uppermost part of your inner thigh, all the way down to the very bottom of your ankle. (Note: this is not the bottom of your foot, but  just below your ankle bone.)

Get a friend to stretch the tape from the innermost part of your upper thigh (your crotch), and pull it all the way to the bottom of your ankle, taught. If you are doing the measurement alone, you can measure the inseam of a pair of pants that fit you perfectly.

Measure the circumference of the widest part of your upper arm.

With a friend assisting you, bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle and place your hand on your waist. Have your friend take the tape measure, and starting at the middle of the back of your neck, have them pull the measure down over your shoulder, down your arm to the elbow, and to the wrist (stop at the wrist bone).

Measure the circumference of the widest part of your thigh. Begin at the front, then wrap around the back and meet the tape measure in the front again.