This guide is meant to assist those purchasing custom sized clothing online in taking their measurements. A seamstress or tailor will require you to measure yourself, just stating what size you usually purchase at a brick & mortar store will not suffice as all garment manufacturers have different size standards. Women will need to give their actual bust measurement, not bra size. A measuring tape is essential for taking measurements and can be purchased at most dollar stores or department stores in their sewing/craft sections, or at any fabric store, usually for a dollar or two.

When taking measurements hold tape snug to the body, not loosely, but don't compress your flesh inwards with the tape. Do not add additional inches to your measurements, your tailor will add the correct required extra amount onto your measurements themselves. Adding extra yourself will lead to a garment being too large for you. Wear your undergarments when taking measurements. For women this includes wearing a bra. When measuring length for a floor length skirt or dress be sure to wear the shoes you will be wearing with the garment.

I know its difficult not to suck in your stomach when measuring your waist, but you need to avoid doing this or you may wind up with a garment that is too small at the waist. Concentrate on relaxing those muscles when you are measuring.

Here are directions for taking some common measurements:

Height: Stand barefoot with your feet together and your back to a wall. Measure from the top of your head to the floor. It may be easier for a friend to take this measurement for you.

Chest: Take measurement of the circumference at the fullest point of the chest. Keep tape under arms and around shoulder blades.

Bust: Measure the circumference around the fullest point of the bust while wearing a bra. Keep tape under arms and around shoulder blades.

Waist: Measure the circumference of the smallest part of the waist above the hipbone.

Hips: Stand with your feet together. Put the tape around at the fullest part of your bottom.

Upper arm: Measure around the fullest part of your upper arm, below the shoulder.