Hello! Welcome to the online measurement tutorial. This page should help you take your own measurements (with the help of a friend on a few.)
There are 17-22 total (depending on style) and they only take a few minutes 🙂
If you have any questions, shoot me a note!
Also… you’ll have to excuse my attire 🙂 I find measurement tutorials are a bit easier if you can see the figure. 🙂
What to wear:
Most anything works. Lightweight, fitted garments (like yoga pants and camis) work really well, but denim is fine too. Just make sure you’re not in anything too thick, baggy, or structured (like cable knit sweaters, big sweatshirts, or blazers.)
Also, be sure to wear the sort of bra you plan to wear with the dress.
To get started: find this spot
The hollow area in the middle of your collarbone. This is used as the starting point for the first three measurements.
Measurement 1: Neck
Use the hollow point in your collarbone found in previous step as the start and end-point, and use the “outside” number at the end as your measurement – i.e., mine here is 15″ (rather than 14.5″)
Measurement 2: “Center Front”
Start at the hollow in your collarbone from step 1, end at your natural waist. Keep the tape snug but not tight over the bust (should rest over curve rather than create a “valley” between breasts.)
Important: our natural waist is not where we wear our pants, but rather where our side creases if we bend to the side, and where our elbow hits. I have marked mine with pink here to help.
Measurement 3: “Diagonal”
Start at the hollow in your collarbone from step 1, end at the fullest point of your breast – effectively, your nipple. Mine is about 9″
Measurement 4: Shoulder
Creating a straight line on the top of your shoulder, start from the “base” of your neck (roughly where the tape was during the neck measurement.) End at the point of your shoulder bone. Mine is about 4″ here.
Measurement 5: “Cross front”
Roughly “armhole to armhole.” This is where your armhole or sleeve seams will sit. (If it helps, you can put on a dress that fits and measure the distance between its actual seams.)
Measurement 6: “Nip to nip,” pretty much 🙂
The distance from the fullest part of one breast to the fullest part of the other. This is for flattering dart placement. My tape is goofy here, but mine is like 7.5″.
Measurement 7: Bust
Same as any bust measurement – keep the tape level and snug, but not tight, over the fullest part of your bust.
Measurement 8: Underbust
Same as any underbust measurement – keep the tape level and snug, but not tight, just under your bust on your ribcage (where your underwire sits.)
Measurement 9: Waist
Again, use your natural waist (where we crease when bending at the side / where our elbow hits – my tape is on top of that pink marker here.) Keep the tape level and snug, but not tight. Mine may look tighter than it really is – my cami has some extra fabric around the waist.
Measurement 10: “High” hip
Pretty much where the top of your pelvic bone is (like 1-2″ below where I’m pointing.)
Measurement 11: “Low” hip
The fullest part of your hips. Make sure the tape is level all the way around, and snug without being too tight.
Measurement 12: Skirt length
This number is at your discretion, but either use a mirror or a friend – you want to make sure you’re standing up straight rather than bending over to read the number.
Start from your natural waist, measure the distance to desired hem. I usually use 24″ or so on my own. Other girls have done 17-26″. Pick anything that delights you 🙂
Measurement 13: Side
Start at natural waist, end at the “bottom” of your armpit – this where your armhole will sit. (If it helps, you can put on a dress that fits well and use it to measure.)
Measurement 14: Armhole
With your arm down, measure the circumference. Keep the tape snug but not too tight.
Now to the back!
Here’s where I highly recommend recruiting a friend for help 🙂
To get started: there’s a vertebra that we’ll use for 2 measurements. It’s the first “defined” (or gently protruding) vertebra from the top (C7 or T1, if that helps.) You can usually feel it with your finger, either standing straight or looking down. (It’s also the uppermost one that stays stable, rather than bending in, if you look up.)
Measurement 15: “Center back”
Start from the vertebra we found in the previous step, end at natural waist. Keep tape tight against back.
Measurement 16: Full shoulder
Measure across the top of your shoulders, resting the tape on the vertebra we found. Ends should rest at the points of your shoulder bone.
Measurement 17: “Cross back”
This one is especially tough to accurately get on yourself – I didn’t even attempt it 🙂
Just like the “armhole to armhole” one we took on the front, this one is on the back. Again, if it helps to use a dress that fits as a guideline, feel free to do so 🙂
If you want a sleeveless dress and do not want sleeves, then congrats – you’re all done! 🙂
If you would like sleeves, then continue on for just a few more measurements.
Again, these ones are way easier with someone to take the measurements 🙂 Otherwise the tape wiggles all over the place 🙂
Measurement 18: Shoulder to elbow (or desired length, if above elbow)
From the point of your shoulder (bone) that we used before, to elbow crease.
Note: keep your arm straight at your side, not bent like mine here (My measurement is really like 13.5″.)
If you’d like short sleeve (above elbow), just take the measurement to your desired length.
Measurement 19: Elbow to wrist (or desired length below elbow)
From elbow crease to wrist (however long you’d like your sleeve.) Again, keep your arm straight at your side for this. 🙂 (I think I was having trouble photographing the angle…)
Measurements 20-22: Bicep, Forearm, Wrist
Measure bicep halfway down upper arm. Measure forearm halfway between elbow and wrist. Measure wrist at narrowest part. All snug but not too tight.
Note: if your desired sleeve is above the elbow, you only need your bicep measurement. Anything longer than the elbow, all three help 🙂
You’re all done!
Congrats! If you have any questions, let me know!