Ordering clothes online can be a minefield. Sizes can vary enormously from brand to brand depending on the cut and ease favoured. Rather than using body measurements, this helpful guide will talk you through using your favourite clothes to find your perfect fit.
Handy Tip: When measuring with a tape measure, pull the tape taut, but don't stretch it.
Use a pair of trousers that fit you well.
Rather than measuring yourself, which can be tricky to do accurately, it’s best to use a pair of trousers that you like the fit of.
- Not all types of trousers will have the same measurements. Grab a few different kinds of trousers that fit you well. Suit trousers will be slightly different than chinos, or jeans. Select something in a similar style to whatever you are purchasing.
Lay your trousers flat on the floor.
The easiest way to measure trousers is to lay them on a flat surface. If you try to measure a pair of trousers that you are wearing, you may not get the right measurements as you shift your body to see the measurements.
- Your trousers shouldn’t be too worn-in so that you can get a realistic measurement.
- If the trousers you are measuring are wrinkled, quickly smooth the fabric out with an iron.
Measure the waist of your trousers.
To get the most accurate measurement of your trousers' waist lay them flat on the floor. Smooth the trousers out so there is no bunching. Don’t stretch the trousers, though. Measure flat across the back waistband from one corner to the other. Double the number to get the actual waist size.
- Make sure your trousers are also facing up, with the front pockets facing the ceiling.
- If your trousers are lying correctly, the front part of the waistband will be resting slightly below the back.
Measure the hips. Measure across your trousers at the base of the zipper. Make sure that you pull the trousers flat and measure from edge to edge. Once you’ve measured the front, double the number to get the whole measurement.
Measure your inseam. Starting from the crotch, where the pieces of fabric in your trousers intersect, draw the measuring tape down the inside seam of one leg and to the very bottom of the trouser leg where it would naturally hang around your shoe.
- Note that inseams are measured to the nearest inch.
- If the leg of your trousers doesn't sit where you'd like it to (i.e if you cuff your trousers or they are cropped), measure to where you'd like your pair of pants to end. This is best done with a friend, whilst you wear the trousers. Don't measure it on yourself - bending to reach your ankle will give you an inaccurate measurement.
Use a pair which fit you well.
As with the trousers, it’s best to use a pair that you like the fit of.
You want to make sure that they are tight enough to stay up, without being so tight that they dig into your waist.
Measure the waist of your boxers.
Boxers have a stretchy waistband, so the measuring doesn't need to be as accurate as with a pair of jeans for example. But you want to make sure they will be comfortable. Lay the boxers on a flat surface and measure along the top of the waistband. This will give you the half waist measurement, so don't forget to double it when reading the size chart.
****Don't pull the elastic. You want the measurement as it sits, not when it is stretched.
Measure the hips. Measure across your boxers at the point where the front seam starts to curve, roughly 9 inches from the top. As with the waist, double the number to get the whole measurement.
There are 5 useful measurements for a shirt: across the chest, for the general size and fit; across your back, for range of motion; the shoulder, for the drape; sleeve length, bear in mind this can always be tailored to make it shorter, but not longer; and finally tail length.
Measuring each of these can be done easily on a flat, ironed shirt.
1. 1/2 Chest.
This is sometimes called Pit to Pit, because you measure from one armpit to the other in a straight line. Make sure that the shirt is flat and that there is no excess at the back.
2. Cross Back
3. Tail Length
This is measured straight down the back of the shirt not the front. Don't include the collar. Start at the seam below the collar.
4. The shoulder and sleeve
These are sometimes done in one measurement. The shoulder seam doesn't always sit exactly on the shoulder, it might be moved forwards or backwards for design reasons. So instead, let the shirt sit flat as it wants to and measure from the neck point (the seam where the collar is attached) along the fold of the shoulder to the sleeve seam. And then from the sleeve seam onto the cuff of the sleeve.