How to Measure Clothing

One of the trickier aspects of selling clothing online is accurately describing the size. Clothing sizes aren't standardized, so designer A's size 12 dress may be the same fit as designer B's size 8. The problem is even worse when it comes to vintage clothing; the sizes have changed over the years so that a vintage 12 will fit like a modern 4 or 6. To prevent unpleasant surprises and unhappy buyers, you should always provide accurate, detailed measurements for each garment you sell. The steps below include a simple outline of how to do it.

1. Prepare Clothing

Lay the garment front side up on a clean table (or on top of a clean sheet on the floor). Lay the garment front side up on a clean table (or on top of a clean sheet on the floor). For some measurements (like shoulders), you may need to flip the garment over.

2. Use the Measuring Tape

Using a measuring tape, measure the different areas listed below. Hold the tape flat and level across the garment.

3. Know what to measure

Dresses and coats:

  • Bust (measure from underarm to underarm)
  • Waist
  • Hips
  • Shoulder (measure from shoulder seam to shoulder seam across the back)
  • Length from neckline to hem
  • Sleeve length from shoulder seam to end

Shirts and tops:

  • Bust (measure from underarm to underarm)
  • Waist
  • Shoulder (measure from shoulder seam to shoulder seam across the back)
  • Length from neckline to hem
  • Sleeve length from shoulder seam to end

Skirts:

  • Waist
  • Hips (measure across widest part)
  • Length from waistline to hem

Pants and shorts:

  • Waist
  • Hips (measure across widest part)
  • Inseam (length from crotch to hem or cuff)
  • Front rise (length from waistline to crotch)
  • Rear rise (length from waistline to crotch in the back)
  • Length from waistline to hem

Neckties:

  • Full length
  • Width at widest point

Hats:

  • Inside diameter

Shoes:

  • Heel height (from sole to bottom)
  • Width at widest point (across sole)
  • Length (across sole)

Purses:

  • Width
  • Height
  • Depth
  • Drop (distance from top of handle/strap to top of bag)

4. Write an Accurate Description

In your listing, state all the measurements you and have make sure to mention that these measurements were taken with the garment flat. You don't have to double the bust/waist/hips

Tips

  • eBay's size charts include measurements for men's, women's and children's sizes, as well as conversions for UK and European sizing. Many clothing manufacturers include size charts on their websites, so check there for the most accurate information.

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