How To Take Accurate Body Measurements

How would you feel, after spending time and energy to make a dress, only for you to test it and it completely lacks fitting?

I would be utterly heartbroken if it were I.

Do you know the worst part?

You can’t even figure out what went wrong since you followed all the drafting steps carefully.

Well, I can give you a 98.99% guarantee that the problem’s foundation is how you took the measurements.

Surprised, aren’t you?

Well, I prepared a comprehensive guide on “how to take accurate body measurements” just for you.

This article will discuss precautions to take when taking body measurements, how to take specific female body measurements, and the importance of taking accurate body measurements.

How To Take Accurate Body Measurements – Precautions To Take

There are several precautions to keep in mind on how to take accurate body measurements.

Some of them are listed below

1. Never take your measurements yourself.

Have someone else take your measurements because it is easier and more accurate.

2. Before taking any measurements, ensure your model isn’t wearing padded or push up bras and panties because it can exaggerate the bust and hip measurement.

Also, make sure she isn’t wearing tight fitted wear.

3. Make sure your model stands straight, with arms by the side and legs together.

Ensure she avoids slouching but at the same time, try not to push her chest forward.

4. Ensure she is not sucking in her stomach or holding her breath.

5. Make sure your model is not tense because this could make her flex her muscles and lead to inaccurate measurements.

6. Try as much as possible to prevent your model from looking down.

7. Make sure your model isn’t wearing layers of clothing as this can exaggerate sizes.

8. Make sure your tape rule is properly calibrated

9. Ensure you record your result immediately after taking each measurement.

How To Take Female Body Measurements

1. Neck Measurements

The neck measurement is used to draft the neckline.

You take this measurement by wrapping the tape measure around the circumference of the neck.

Make sure the tape measure sits comfortably on the nape of the neck.

neck measurement

2. Shoulder Measurements

This measurement is taken from the tip of one shoulder to another.

You can take this measurement in two ways:

  • Using a tape rule, measure from one shoulder’s tip (just after the shoulder blade) to the other shoulder’s end.

You can measure from the back or the front.

  • You can also measure the circumference of the shoulders. From the back, round to the front and divide by 2 to get your shoulder measurement.
shoulder measurement

3. Bust Measurement

This is one of the most straightforward measurement to take.

First, ask your model to locate her bust apex/nipple.

This is usually the fullest part of the bust.

Wrap your tape rule around this point, from the back to the front.

Make sure your tape is parallel to the ground.

Ensure it’s not too loose or too tight. Record your result.

bust measurement
  • Bust span/nipple – nipple

Measure from one nipple/bust apex to the other. Read, and record your result.

  • Bust point.

Measure downwards from the shoulders to the bust apex

bust span and bust point

4. Underbust point

Measure from the shoulders down to the point directly below the bust.

Make sure you place the tape measure directly on the point where the bust stops. This is the point where the bra would usually sit.

5. Underbust or rib cage Measurement.

Measure around the circumference of the underbust point.

From the front to the back, making sure your tape measure is parallel to the ground.

6. Sleeve Length Measurement

Many designers mismeasure this.

Most people measure the sleeve length while the hand is placed loosely by the side.

But this isn’t  right.

The sleeve will eventually turn out too short or too tight.

Instead, tell your model to stand akimbo.

With hands on her hip and measure the sleeve length from the shoulders to any length of your choice.

This method gives room for movement of the arm.

sleeve length

7. Round sleeve Measurement

This measurement depends partly on the length of the sleeve.

However, regardless of the length, you will need to measure the top arm.

The top arm is the fullest part of the sleeve.

Locate this point and measure the circumference.

This is te fullest part of the arms.

Now, if the sleeve extends to or below the elbow, measure the circumference of the elbow.

Ask your model to place her hands on her hip before taking this measurement.

Finally, measure the circumference of the point where the sleeve ends.

round sleeve

8. Wrist Measurement

Wrap the tape rule firmly but not tightly around the wrist and record your result.

9. Armhole Depth Measurement

It can be taken in two ways:

  • Measure around the armhole. From the shoulders, through the armpit, and back to the shoulders.

Divide by two to get armhole depth.

  • Measure from the nape of the neck, straight down to the point where the armpit stops

10. Waist Measurement

Locate the smallest part of the waist. This is usually 2 or 1.5 inches above the navel.

Measure the circumference of this point.

Make sure the tape is parallel to the ground.

  • Half-length.

This is the measurement from the shoulders to the waist point.

Make sure you measure straight down, over the bust, down to the waist.

10. Hip Measurement

Locate the fullest part of the hip. And measure the circumference of this point.

Ensure your tape is parallel to the ground.

  • Hip point.

Measure from the waistline to the hip line to locate the hip point.

You can also choose to measure from the shoulders. 

11. Thigh Measurements

Wrap your tape measure around the fullest part of the thigh.

12. Knee circumference Measurement

Measure the circumference of the knee and record.

13. Ankle Measurement

Measure the circumference of the smallest part of the ankle.

14. Crotch depth.

Measure from the waist to the point just below the vagina.

ask your model to sit on a stool and measure from the waist to the top of the stool.

Find the average of these two measurements to get the crotch depth.   

15. Garment length.

Measure from the part of the body where the garment should start to whatever length of your choice.

5 Importance Of Taking Body Measurements

1. Accurate body measurements prevent fabric wastage.

When measurements are not exaggerated, the fabric is conserved.

2. Think of the amount of time and energy you waste in adjusting an ill-fitted garment that resulted from inaccurate measurements.

That time and energy could have been conserved or used to make another garment.

3. Accurate body measurements can also prevent stories that touch.

Typical “what you ordered versus what you got” stories.

This is because accurate measurements are required for making well-fitted garments that will please your clients.

4. Measurements also influence the style of the garment.

Inaccurate measurements can completely change the style of attire.

Another “what you ordered versus what you got” k study.

Accurate measurements, however, prevent deviation from the original style.

5. Garments made accurately to fit the wearer accentuates their best part, thereby making them look smart.


As a tailor or dressmaker, accurate measurements can help you make a name and protect your integrity in the fashion industry.

This is because it will enable you to make garments that fit your clients properly. And trust me, as an entrepreneur, there is nothing better than a satisfied customer.

Now, you know how to take accurate body measurements. In my next post, i’ll discuss how to keep your scissors sharp and healthy.

I hope you gleaned a thing or two.

Try out these tips and let me know which ones worked for you in the comment section

Website | + posts

4 thoughts on “How To Take Accurate Body Measurements”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *