How To Measure Yourself Accurately For Good Fit?

Find useful tips for taking accurate measurements yourself and some facts about achieving better fitting in your garments. This post puts light on the measuring systems used in dressmaking and tailoring. This post is a part of dressmaking basics series.

Namaste my dear Tantu Enthusiast!

How are you? I am doing good, peeping thought the window to see the moody Pune sky and anticipating some rain. Yes, yes! I have a lot to say about some rarely known fact about taking body measurements before actually talking about taking measurements. Let me share the happiness with you, this is the first post in the dressmaking basics series as I had promised about some tutorial posts for you in the last post. Dear Bunny, I had thought of dressmaking basics series only after receiving your requests πŸ™‚ So, thank you!

Tape measure with metric and imperial measurement units

Important things to remember while getting measured:

We all have let our dressmakers and/or tailors to take our measurements. And hundreds of times scolded them for improper fitting. But, do you know, most of the times it is because of inaccurately noted measurements? So, today, let us see how to take exact measurements so that we increase the possibility of better fitting in your dress.

Be happy and healthy

Don’t force yourself to get measured when you are hungry or sad or ill. You are likely to put on or lose weight when you get well. So get well first. Your mood influences the accuracy of measurements. Because, when you are in good mood, you are more comfortable and normal. Thus, you can stand normally.

Be Free

Yes, you need to be free to stand normally (not too erect not too free) to get properly measured.

Stand in front of a mirror

Ah! Who doesn’t want to stand in front of a mirror? And don’t ask about ladies!!! Standing in front of a full-size or three-quarter size mirror helps you to keep your posture normal. It also helps you and the measurer to avoid any possible mistakes in measuring.

Wear nothing

Are you feeling awkward and cursing me? Experts say so! I know, it is impossible for most of us unless we are measuring ourselves. Wear minimum possible but well-fitting clothes. It is must to wear right sized and rightly shaped inner wears beneath your closely fitting and comfortable garment.

I suggest you to wear good inner wears instead of wearing nothing when you are measuring yourself as good inner wears add good shapes.

Open up.

Ask any doubts you have. Seek out the measurer’s help for any problems. It helps the dress makers to identify and solve if any.

How to measure yourself?

You know yourself the best. You know what suits you and what not. You know the deviations you have, if any. You know which styles comfort you and which you would like to give a try. If you want to seek experts’ help also follow your instincts to finalise. Choose the design. Take required measurements accordingly.

  • Make sure that you are following all the above mentioned points. i.e., Be happy and healthy. Be Free. Stand in front of a mirror. Wear minimum possible but well-fitting clothes.
  • Take measurements in a comfortable order and record them in a systematic way. Take measurement every time you are buying/making/getting made a dress if possible, to be more accurate. Compare the previous records every time to note any changes.
  • Take a tape measure that is flexible. Yard sticks can only be used for measuring your height.

Tips for accurate measuring for good fit

  • Let the measuring tape be straight and firm while measuring. It should not hang down or stretch.
  • Always place your index finger and middle finger beneath the tape next to the body while taking girth (=round the body parts) measurements. This is to add minimum ease.
  • You can use metric system (centimetres) or imperial system (non-metric system, i.e., inches). For more accuracy, metric system is preferred than inches. As a fashion design student, I was taught to follow metric system. In India, dressmakers usually use inches.
  • Take measurement twice in case of any confusion.

Always try to follow most of the points listed here. Prevention is better than cure, isn’t it? Hope this post serves you the best! Please share your views and any tips that are not mentioned here.

Take care!
Bye until the next post!



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A nature lover and dreamer who expresses herself as an artist, fashion designer and blogger. Persued B.Sc fashion design at Karavali College (Mangaluru University 2003 - 2006) with first rank. Former lecturer for fashion designing at Gloria College, Puttur for five years (2006-2011). Blogger since 2013.


  1. Can’t thank you enough for this post!I’m still uncapable to take my own measurements but your positive attitude towards sewing helps a lot a begginer like me…. if you’d read my last post you’d know what kind of problems I was facing with my last sewing attempt….

    • Pleasure is all mine Tajana πŸ™‚ M so happy that this post is of some help for you! Every great sewer was once a beginner, I bet you that you would be very good at sewing after some hard work πŸ™‚ Mmm, even I want to master in crocheting like you :)))

      Thanks a lot for your encouraging words that give me more confidence to continue this series πŸ™‚ TC! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks good advice, I’m not very good at measuring

    • Hey, thanks for stopping by Lucy! My pleasure! Glad you found it useful πŸ™‚ I believe, most of us are not gifted, we all learn as we grow… πŸ™‚ TC! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

  3. Never knew measurements is such needs so many points to be careful about πŸ™‚
    Good article.

    • Thanks for your valuable feedback Dilip πŸ™‚ Glad that you found these matters interesting πŸ™‚ Yes, taking measurement accurately would be very much influencing for even men’s attires, especially for tailored garments like suits… πŸ™‚

      TC! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks Sindhu for this detailed post. Love it when you say not to be ill, sad when taking measurements. Really thoughtful. Now that I feel a bit more comfortable sewing for my daughter, I might take the next step to try to sew for myself. This post is very helpful to take the next step for me. Thanks.

    • Feels great to get a positive feedback from a sewer friend that my post is of some use πŸ™‚ Thank you Preethi, I bet that you can sew for yourself without any trouble πŸ™‚ TC! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

  5. Good tips here, Sindhu.
    You have rightly mentioned all the points. Haven’t done Self-measurement many times. A good tailor knows the correct fittings πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much for your visit and for your valuable feedback Anita πŸ™‚ Yes, but, good tailors/dressmakers are very rare! TC! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

  6. on the rare occasions i actually need to draft a pattern, I always get someone else to measure me. it is easier, with less awkward bending to hold the tape in place or find an accurate curve.
    for everything else, i trace a well fitting garment πŸ˜€

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences Jaya πŸ™‚ Yes, self measuring can be difficult at times… some tips can help to solve them πŸ™‚ Ah! I have been tracing garments during my first sewing years (before studying fashion design), some 12 year ago!

      Thanks for your kind visit πŸ™‚ TC! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

  7. Your words are wise. Thank you for posting this.

  8. good tips which are helpful really, keep going. continue posting mam……

    • Hi Preethi Madam,

      Thank you so much for your valuable words! They mean a lot…
      Lots of readers’ requests are yet to be covered… Hope your request will be online soon!
      TC! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

Your words make my day! Thank you!