Getting Set Up
1Pick up a cloth or plastic soft tape measure. A metal tape measure won't sit close enough to your skin. You can find soft measuring tapes at craft and sewing stores with the sewing needles and accessories.
- If you don't have one of these on hand, use a piece of string. Wrap it around your body, and mark the distance with your fingers. Then, stretch it out and hold it up against a regular tape measure to see how long it is.
2Grab something to take notes on. You have a lot of measurements to take, so don't think you can just commit them to memory. You'll need a decent size piece of paper and pen, or you can just take notes on your phone!
- You can also have someone jot down measurements as you call them out.
- Write down measurements in inches and centimeters, just in case you happen upon a store that uses the opposite one from what's normal in your country.
Strip down to your underwear or wear tight clothing. If your clothing is loose or bulky, you're not going to get accurate measurements. Pick tight clothing like leggings or just take it off, leaving just your bra (if you have one) and underwear on.
Taking Measurements for Men's Clothing
1Start with the neck for shirts. Measure around the base of your neck where the collar generally falls. Place the end of the measuring tape on the front of your neck, and wrap it around until the ends meet. Gently pull it tight, and take the measurement.
- Round up to the nearest half inch or centimeter.
2Take a chest measurement at the widest part of your chest. Place the tape measure in the center of your chest at the widest part, which is usually right above your nipples. Wrap it around your back, going under your armpits and making sure the tape measure stays horizontal and doesn't twist.
- Pull it up against your skin but don't pull it too tight.
3Have a friend take a sleeve measurement. This one is a little difficult to take by yourself because you need to measure from the middle of your back down your arm. Place your hand on your hip with your elbow at a right angle, then have your friend run the tape measure across your shoulder and down your arm to your wrist.
- Make sure the tape measure goes over the top of your shoulder and along your elbow to get the full length.
- If you need to take this measurement yourself, try taping the end of the measuring tape in the middle of your back and then gently guiding it down your arm.
- In a pinch, you could measure from the middle of your chest instead, though the sizing may be off slightly.
4Find your natural waist measurement. Your natural waist is where your waist is smallest, usually above your belly button and right below your rib cage. Go ahead and take this measurement even if you wear your pants in a slightly different place. Hold the end in front and wrap the rest of the tape measure around the back to take the measurement.
- If you usually wear low-rise pants, you can also take a measurement where your pants normally fall.
- Keep the tape measure a little loose by placing a finger between it and your waist.
5Measure the width of your hips and the distance from your waist. Stand with legs about 6 inches (15.2 cm) apart. Wrap the tape measure around the place where your hips are the widest.
- Then, measure the height from your natural waist to your hip measurement.
6Check the size of your thigh, knee, and calf. While these measurements aren't always used, they're important if you're getting tailored clothing. Wrap the tape measure around each area at the widest point, then take the measurement.
- Some places may also want an ankle measurement.
7Take crotch measurements. Measure the crotch length by placing the end of the measuring tape at your waist in front, then drawing the tape measure through your legs. Put your finger on the tape at your natural waist in back, and that's your crotch length.
- For crotch depth, sit down on a flat surface. Measure from your waist down to the surface.
8Find your inseam measurement. Put on a pair of shoes. This measurement is also easiest done with a friend, as you measure from your inside crotch down to where you want your pants to fall. However, if you need to do it yourself, try stepping on one end and pulling it up to your crotch.
- Another option is to take a pair of pants that fits your length well and measure the inseam on them instead.