If you're shopping often online, you might already have your measurements written down somewhere and you surely check them regularly to be sure they're up to date. If that's your case I probably don't have anything new under the sun to tell you, but should taking your measurements be something you still need to get used to or simply completely new to you, here are 5 tips to help out!


1) Use a soft tape measure
It is really important that it's a soft tape (like the one pictured on the top of this article) because other measuring tape are not made to measure bodies as if the tape is not soft but rigid, you won't be able to place it in a way that allows you to take correct measurements!
If you don't have one in cm, you'll find plenty of convertor online (or maybe you simply have one in your phone or computer).


2) Standing the right way
Stand straight, tall, and breathe normally when taking your measurements. Since this is for lingerie, I don't recommend you wear clothes on while doing this (except, maybe, some underwear fitting super closely).


3) Know what to measure
Something super common is people insisting on giving me their height while never giving me their hips measurement, one of the most (if not THE most) important measure needed to have your undies fitting properly. Not saying it's completely useless but unless you're buying a bodysuit and you're particularly short or tall, I'm unlikely to use your height from head to toe at all in pattern cutting.
A very quick look at my size chart will tell you that when buying my pieces, what you have to measure is bust, underbust, waist and hips. Depending on your body type, they might be more or less easy to locate so don't hesitate to spend some time in front of a mirror checking where your belly button is, where you're the fullest or not, etc.


4) How to use the tape
A general rule I'd give you is that the tape HAVE to be parallel with the floor. Now let's see how to use it for each part you need to measure:
- To measure your bust, wrap the tape around your back, across your shoulder blades and under your arms. It must wrap around the fullest part of your bust. Place your thumb beneath the soft tape, keep yourself from pulling too tight and get the measurement.
- To measure your underbust, wrap the tape around your ribcage, right below your breasts. Like for the bust, place your thumb beneath the soft tape, keep yourself from pulling too tight and get the measurement.
- To measure your waist, use the tape to circle your waist at your natural waistline, which is located above your belly button and below your rib cage (if you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waistline). Don’t suck in your stomach, or you’ll get a false measurement.
- For your hips, start at one hip and wrap the tape measure around your rear, around the other hip, and back to where you started. As said on the previous point, make sure the tape is over the fullest part of your hips and buttocks. Because making sure the tape is level back there can be hard, do it in front of a mirror if you can.


5) Keep your measurements on hand
Now that you have your measurements and have been able to order the coveted lingerie, you might just throw away your notes. But if I can give you a piece of advice, keep them!!! You'll probably even want to retake and update them once in a while because weeks or months might have passed and your body might have changed during that time!
Also, if shopping online becomes an habit for you, you might be really happy to have these on hand to double check your size with each brand/website you are buying from. Indeed, every brand makes its own size chart that is meant to fit its own customer base and checking the size chart is much more precise to figure out your size that to try to figure out if it runs small or large (actually, checking the size chart is the accurate way to find out if, in your opinion, a brand runs smaller or larger than what you are used to).


BONUS: The "Can I just convert?" question
Or "What's a US 8 or a UK 6 or whatever in your sizing?" or  any question involving not actually measuring yourself. Why? For example, let's say you feel super good in the size Medium of a brand which is made to fit a 72-76cm waist. My Medium size is made to fit a 70-74cm waist. So if you're 73cm around your waist, you'll probably be happy with a Medium from my shop as well but if your waist is 75cm, you'll have to pick a size Large when ordering from me. But the only way to find out this is by measuring yourself.
Of course geography (among other things) may sizing but all the brands from a whole continent don't necessarily size the same either. In my personal experience, geography is just not a super important factor: I have customers from all around the world so during the first years of my business,
 I had feedback about sizing from many different places in Europe, Australia, the entire American continent and so on, meaning my size chart was influenced by people from all those locations and more. Yet, I very often come across an American brand having a very similar size chart to mine while I could probably make you a list of brands based in Europe just like me that size oh so differently.


I hope this post helped you but should you still have some questions or remarks, the comments section is open!

Photo Credits: Original photos taken in my workshop by Adama Anotho <3
March 29, 2017 by Sacha Kimmes
Tags: Sizing

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