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Whether you lost a few pounds and want to chart your progress or you’re just dying to know if you can squeeze into a smaller size before ordering online, knowing your measurements ensures a custom fit. If you don’t have a seamstress on speed dial, it’s up to you to get those measurements right. While breaking out the tape measure can be tricky if you’re unsure what you’re doing, a little practice can help you take accurate measurements for a picture-perfect fit.
If you’re wearing the same bra size you’ve always worn, taking your own measurements can help you decide if it’s time for an update. To measure your bust size, you have to get two measurements: one at the fullest part of your chest and the other slightly higher than your chest. The first measurement is to wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust, which also is the widest part of your back. You can then measure directly under your arms and straight across your back -- these two measurements can help you determine your proper bust size.
Finding Your Cup Size
When you have your two bust measurements, it’s time to do some subtraction. To make this happen, subtract your upper chest measurement from your full bust one. The measurement difference can tell you just what bra size you should be wearing. A-cups have a difference of 1 inch while B-cups have a difference of 1.25 to 2 inches. You can calculate your bra size from there, using the 0.75 measuring difference to find the right one for you. Just make sure you’re holding the tape measure flat against your back -- otherwise, you could be adding on some extra inches and that can throw off your measurements. If something doesn't add -- or subtract -- up, you may need to re-measure.
Low-rise pants that dip below your hipbones can throw off your idea of where your waist is. These low pants are okay every once in a while, but finding pants that hit at your natural waist. To take your waist measurement, wrap your measuring tape around the smallest portion of your waist, which is usually right around your belly button. If you’re not sure exactly where that is, you can tie a piece of elastic, such as an elastic ribbon, around your waist. The area the waist gravitates toward is the smallest part of your waist.
While hip measurements can often be the part that women hate to measure, you have to for your skirts, pants and dresses to fit like a charm. Stand with your feet close together and feel for your hip bones on the sides of your body. Where the hip bones are most prominent is usually the largest part of your hips. Wrap your tape measure around and measure this spot to determine your hip measurement.