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How to Take Measurements for A Dress: By Your Body Type [Infographic]

Dress Measurement Guide

Have you ever wanted to know how to take your measurements? There’s very little to it; all you need is three items and four numbers. But why should you take your body measurements anyway? The answer: It makes online shopping much, much easier. Knowing how to measure your body is handy for ensuring you always order comfortable, fitting outfits online. You can compare your numbers with the website’s sizing chart and find the style that fits you like a glove.

If you don’t yet know how to take your measurements, the infographic and explanation below will show you how! Otherwise, here’s the only body measurement guide you need to get started:

How To Take Body Measurements for a Dress

Step #1: Take Your Measurements (check it out below!)
Step #2: Identify Your Shape
Step #3: Shapewear
Step #4: Dress for your Shape with Colors & Prints

Go ahead and share this helpful infographic with your family & friends! Repin on Pinterest!

Step #1: Take Your Measurements

All you need to get started is a measuring tape, pen, and paper. When measuring your body for buying clothes online, you’ll generally need to know the following questions and either select or enter your measurements on the website:

How to measure your bust size

Sometimes, plus-sized dresses and shirts are snug around the bosom, so the bust measurement is exceptionally important. To measure your bust, stand up straight with your shoulders relaxed and arms by your side. Wrap your measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust, then round to the nearest half-inch. Make sure you wear a bra when measuring your bust so you account for the adjusted shape of your breasts.

How to measure your waist size

Most people say the waist is the narrowest point of the torso, but this definition doesn’t work for all body types. To help, lean to one side and find where your body creases. Starting at your belly button, bring the measuring tape up to the fold. Pull the tape straight across your back so that it appears at the same spot on the other side, then bring the opposite end down to your belly button. If this sounds confusing, check out the infographic for a visual guide!

How to measure your hip measurement

Finding clothes that fit both the waist and hips is sometimes hard, so it’s exceptionally important to nail this measurement. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and measure straight across the fullest part of your hips. Note: this is not a waist measurement, but a hip measurement. Again, measure yourself while wearing undergarments for better accuracy.

How to measure your inseam

To find your inseam, measure from the underside of your pelvic area (where the leg connects to the hips) to the bottom of your ankle. Round to the nearest half-inch.

Body measurement quick tips:

Measuring your body accurately can be tricky the first few times. Here are some tips to help:

  • Relax – don’t clench your muscles or hold your breath. You want to measure your body as it appears naturally so you’ll be comfortable wearing the clothes you order. The measuring tape should lay gently against your body just as the fabric would.
  • Hold the tape taut and parallel to the ground when measuring your bust and hips.
  • Retake your measurements every three months to account for natural changes in your body.

The importance of proper body measurements

If this is your first time measuring your body, you may get frustrated quickly and give up or think, “Good enough!” However, patience and accuracy are incredibly important. Without the right measurements, you may order an outfit that’s too tight or too loose, even if the numeric size matches the rest of the pieces in your closet. Manufacturers don’t use the same measurements when making their clothes – a size 16 from one brand may be closer to a 14 or 18 in others. By measuring your body rather than relying on an arbitrary number, you can compare your measurements to the website’s sizing chart so you order the correct fit every time.

Prefer video, or want to follow along when you’re taking your body measurements?

How to Take Your Measurements Video

Learn how to choose the best plus-size dress style for your body type:

Reminder: Here are the 4-steps in our How to Dress Your Body Type Infographic series:

Step #1: Take Your Measurements  (you just viewed this one! 🙂 
Step #2: Identify Your Shape
Step #3: Shapewear
Step #4: Dress for your Shape with Colors & Prints

Tell us how this works out for you! Comment below.

Comments (9)

Nice!!! Thanks for sharing the information.

Nice!!! Thanks for sharing the information. Do you want to know more about your body type, size of clothes that fit your body? Then check out

Hi, it’s Alan here. Really appreciate this method for measuring your clothing size, but i know one app that makes this thing easy for you as well retail fashion store. The app name is Viubox SYZ, you Can find all apps at

I learned how to take measurements and how that would let me know what my shape is for the perfect outfit.

I learned my body type.

Love the information; very educational thank you.

You are very welcome Mary! 🙂

This is great. It is so thorough in describing exactly where you need to measure.

Thanks for the comment April! Glad you liked our infographic!

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