Taking your measurements lends itself naturally to wearing clothes that fit properly. The three most important measurements are your bust, waist, and hips, which is why you might have seen bb/ww/hh on various websites. There are a few other important measurements, but let’s start with these…

  • Wearing a well-fitting bra, measure around the fullest part of your bust. This is your bust measurement.
  • Take your waist measurement by bending to one side. The “pinch” in your waist is your natural waist. Standing straight and measure around this point.
  • For your hips, find the widest point in your hips and measure.

The measuring tape should be taught but not tight. Now you have your measurements (and go determine your body shape, as well).

Other important measurements

  • Your torso: standing straight, measure in a straight line from the base of your neck to the top of your hipbones.
  • Your rise: wearing well-fitting jeans (easiest), measure from the crotch seam to your belly-button.
  • Your shoulders: measure around the broadest part of your shoulders.

These three can also be used for finding your correct proportions. Unless you are a life-sized cardboard cut-out, these are “three-dimensional” measurements. During online shopping, sizing measurements are often listed as “flat measurements.” Just double the seventeen inch waist to get your thirty-four inch measurement.

Now what do you do with your measurements? Take a measuring tape with you while shopping, of course, and save yourself bundles of time and hassle. With a narrow waist, I found my jeans always gapped in the waist,  but I stumbled upon a great pair of jeans in a thrift store that fit perfectly. So, I laid them flat, measured the waist and the jean rise. Now, I always bring a measuring tape with me to measure jeans and even skirts. Measuring also helps to ensure I don’t try on something too small and rip it.


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