How to size women’s clothing correctly

You can find anything online these days. From groceries to fashion, it is available within a few clicks. Unfortunately, sizing and fitting charts have not caught up with the online world. Shopping for women’s clothing online is made more difficult because women are not one-size-fits-all. Knowing how to measure yourself makes this a whole lot easier.

Stand Right

First, you need to stand right. Stand up straight with your shoulders level. A full-length mirror comes in handy for this. Do not slouch or arch your back. Your feet should be a natural width apart.

Shoulder Size

To measure your shoulder size, wrap the measuring tape around your back and shoulders just over your bust with your arms down. Mark the place where the measuring tape meets. You might want to get a friend to help you with this measurement.

Bust Size

Wrap a dressmaker’s tape measure around your back, under your arms and across the fullest part of your breasts. The tape should be firm but not pressing into your skin. Mark the place that the tape measure meets itself with your fingers. That measurement is your bust.


Waist Size

Waist size is the narrowest part of your waist, where it curves inward. Wrap the measuring tape around your back where your waist dips just above your belly button. Once again, mark the place and let go of the tape.

women's clothing

Hip Size

Your hip size is the measurement around the fullest part of your hips and buttocks. Wrap the measuring tape around your buttocks and hips. This is your hip size.

Inseam Size

The inseam is the length of your leg on the inside. Stand straight, although it is tempting to widen your stance to get the size. Measure from the inside of your groin to your ankle. If you have a pair of pants that fit well, you can use these to get an inseam measurement.

What These Measurements Mean

Now that you have the numbers, you can fit almost any shirt, dress, skirt, or pants. Tailored shirts are a combination of your bust size and your waist size. Most pants are a combination of your waist size, hip size, and inseam.

When you shop for clothing at an online retailer, take a look at their sizing chart. Many sites have their own sizing and sizing charts, so be careful to look at the one for that particular website. If they don’t have one, ask. Small, medium, and large mean very different things to different retailers. Shopping for and fitting women’s clothing doesn’t have to be difficult, just get your right measurements and go!

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