Know Your Body & Your Size (and How to Measure)
Think you're too skinny / too fat? Trouble getting well-fitted clothes? It's time to get on a scale and grab a measuring tape. Here's how to measure for smarter shopping.
In Rebuilding Wardrobe 101 series so far, I’ve posted about the basic fashion items that I will need to have in order to rebuild a sustainable and flexible wardrobe.
If I were to rebuild my wardrobe a few years ago, I would probably just rush out to shop (or browse online stores) to grab those things on the list, and then call it a day. #MissionAccomplished
But there’s a problem: I didn’t know my body well enough.
Like what we’ve been talking about: well-fitted is important. It’s only in these recent years that I realised this:
If you’re going to get well-fitted clothes, you need to know your body well.
The ability to buy well-fitted clothes is a skill that depends a lot on how much you know your body and your measurement.
Your girlfriend or wife always says she looks fat, but you think she looks just fine? That’s body image.
Men have this problem, too. For example, your athletic co-worker thinks he’s not lean enough, or your rather plump buddy thinks he’s too fat to try on any slim fit shirt. Maybe you think you’re too short.
If you always think you look like something that you’re not, you have a biased body image. You need some adjustment with facts and numbers.
So, let’s do this: Get on a scale and weigh. Get your height.
Study the numbers on the scale, your height and ask yourself: Are you too fat / too skinny for your height?
The numbers will help you to be realistic and be honest with yourself. You may be insisting on size L all this time, but size M looks better on you in reality.
I used to think that I’m short. Standing at 167cm, I may be theoretically short. But in fact, I look tall with my slim frame and body proportion.
Honestly, besides knowing your size is M, do you know your chest in inches?
Because size M means differently for different brands and manufacturers, it is important to know your actual measurements in units. It’s the most important thing if you’re talking about online shopping.
How many times you stopped yourself from pressing that “Add to Cart” button because you have doubt in picking the right size?
You need to do this: Measure your body with a tape.
How to Measure Body
Here’s an illustration that tells you what you need to measure. With these measurements, you’ll have a better chance of buying well-fitted pieces.
As a general rule, do not wrap either too tight or too loose when measuring with a tape.
- Neck – Measure below your Adam’s apple, around your neck.
- Chest – Measure around your chest, across your nipples. Not above or below.
- Natural Waist – The narrowest/smallest waist that you can find. Measure around.
- Waist across belly button
- Hip – This where your pants’ waistline should usually fall on. Measure around.
- Inseam – Length of inner leg. From your crotch to heel.
- Sleeve length – From shoulder to bottom of wrist.
- Upper body length – From base of your neck straight to your hip.
- Shoulder – From the end of your left shoulder to the end of your right shoulder.
- Waist to crotch – From your hip to the bottom of your crotch
- Thigh – 2 to 3 inches bellow your crotch. Measure around.
- Bottom – Yes, your butt.
You can measure the length in inches, and then convert it into CM or MM, or vice versa.
After you’ve done, consider keeping your measurement somewhere handy (e.g. as a note on your iPhone, or on a piece of namecard-sized paper in your wallet.)
Now that you already have your measurement. Let’s do some simple test.
Here’s the sizes of the shirt:
As you may have noticed, sometimes the sizes / length are measured in 2D flat plane.
For example, size “48” also means 48cm between the shirt’s armpits. If that is the case, you simply need to multiple the numbers by 2, to get the round measurement. (That explains why size 48 has 96cm of chest.)
With your body measurement, which size fit you the best? According to my numbers, I’m size 48. ☺
Let’s try with a pair of pants.
Here’s the sizes of the pants:
|Size||Waist||Hips||Waist to Crotch||Thigh||Total Length|
Depending on the brand or retailer, sometimes the wordings used are a little confusing and they may clash with the wordings we’ve been using in our measurement.
In this case for Yesstyle, “Waist” actually refers to hip size, and “Hips” actually refers to bottom size. This is where we’ll need more measurement details from the product seller.
So, according to your measurement, what is your size? I’m still size M.
Do you have a better idea in finding the right fit now? I hope this post answers some of your shopping questions. Browse Rebuilding Wardrobe 101 series for more guides similar to this post.