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Consumers may need to take their own body measurements and then check a retailers size chart to determine the proper garment size to try on items in a store or purchase online.
Clothing factories would need to understand body measurements when developing size spec files and determining if the production facility properly following instructions. Manufacturers and wholesalers will typically utilize fit models to make sure that the clothing produce is accurate and properly fits the human body.
Here are a few resources to help you take measurements of your body or the body of a fit model.
Body Measurement Methods
Chest: Place tape measure up and around the fullest part of your chest, keeping the tape straight across your back. Keeping tape measure parallel to the floor.
Dress Length: Dress length is measured from the collar of the garment to the bottom hem.
Hip: Standing with heels together and with tape parallel to the floor, measure the fullest part.
Inseam: Measure from the crotch point to ankle bone.
Neck: Measure around the base of your neck. Pull the tape tight enough for a snug but comfortable fit. Measure around your neck at the point where a shirt collar band encircles the neck.
Sleeve: Bend elbow and measure from the center of neck on the backside at the base of the neck, to the elbow and down to wrist.
Waist: Measure around the smallest part of your waistline. Tape measure should be straight around waist where pant waistband normally sits.
You can also learn about the pant rise.
Additional resources regarding how to take body measurements for apparel and accessories:
Men's Dress Shirts: How to measure your body for a dress shirt (Proper Cloth)
Men's Tailored Suits: How to measure a body for a tailored suit (A Tailored Suit)
Men's Trousers: How to measure for men's tailored trousers (A Tailored Suit)
Athletic Apparel: Body measurements for women's athletic apparel (Lulu Lemon)
Lingerie: How to take body measurements for lingerie (Victoria's Secret)
Panties: How to measure panties (Victoria's Secret)
Shoes: How to measure your feet for shoes (Nike)
Swimwear: How to measure bodies for women's swimwear (Venus)
Multiple Items: shoes, boots, handbags, clothing, eyewear, accessories, and more: Shoe Measurement & Styles (Zappos)
Below are a few more noteworthy resources to review:
J.Crew - Size Charts & Measurements
Overstock - Men's clothing measurements guide – suits, dress
shirts, pants, etc.
Simply Bridal - Body measurements for bridal fashion
Anthropoligie - Anthropologie Size Guide and How to Measure
Sew Neau - How to Measure Worksheet
Threads Magazine - How to Measure Up
H&M - Size Guide for Ladies
Under Armour - Size Charts & How to Measure
Russell Athletic Size Guide
Cutter & Buck
Here are a few more to research:
We hope that you find this information to be helpful. If we can do anything to help make your research easier please let us know. If you work in the apparel industry, please join in the discussions about garment fit and size specs at the Fashion Industry Network.