We have come a long way from the days of one size fits all or purchasing our different articles of clothing according to the general sizes that best suits us (Shirts: either Medium or Large; Outerwear: Large or X-large and so). We have also come a long way from the days of thinking that getting our clothes custom fitted or tailored is only for the wealthy. Nonetheless, with a bit more “a long ways” to go, we at EsotericFashionistas figured we would help you along your journey. With more and more men becoming fashionably inclined, and although women have already been hip to this, people overall are realizing that one size does not necessarily fit all. There are many misnomers about the pros and cons to getting your clothes tailored, however, this article is not about that but rather about the step right before it; determining Size: YOU.
And when measuring the circumference or girth of a body part (such as your chest, thigh or girth of a the stomach) you should start at the center of that body part and wrap the measuring tape once around until you reach the initial start point (silver or gold point). The wrap should be snug or as loose as you would want the garment to be. While the number that lands on the tip after the wrap around is the total number of inches around that particular body part:
Before we go on measuring let’s take a quick tutorial on how to go about acquiring exact measurements through the use of a measuring tape. First, you should start your measuring from the sliver or gold tip of your measuring tape that comes before “1 inch” mark:
*so this collar measurement would be roughly 14 inches.
How to measure your pants or jeans:
In measuring one’s waist people, usually men, will measure their waist at where they wear the waist of their pants however this is not your true waist.
- One’s true waist can be located when you lean your torso to either side (right or left) and then place you hand where your torso or love handle begins to fold.
- Then take the measurement tape and wrap it around this area and whatever number the tape measures to after you have wrapped it once around or desired snugness. The tape should meet at your belly button or a bit above it.
“Outer Seam” Length Measurement:
*a seam is the part where 2 pieces of material that were once separate meet by being sewn together.
- In measuring one’s outer seam length you can either utilize one of your favorite jeans or pants to get this measurement which is to referred to as a “FIXED” measurement.
- However, to acquire your “TRUE” outer seam length you must measure from your waist to the bottom preferably with footwear on so that you can end the measurement where you would like the pants or jeans to fall.
- The inseam measurement takes place on the inside part of the leg (inner thigh) and is measured from the crotch, where the seams of the pant legs meet, down to the end of the pant leg.
Or a less invasive measure could be:
*Starting the measurement on the thigh, parallel to where the inseam is located.
Leg bottom width:
1. The leg bottom width of your pants is important so that you can know if the jeans should be only worn with slim footwear because with anything bulkier the jeans may look too tapered. This rule also applies in the reverse; if the leg bottoms are too wide they may cause you to step all over your jeans and rip them if worn with slimmer footwear that will not hold them up such as some more bulkier footwear.
2. This is a measurement that you can do with your favorite jeans so that you know what your leg bottom width is more or less so when you go shopping for jeans with your measurement tape you can save yourself some time from even having to try on jeans.
**Now in jeans and pants there are different types of “BREAK” level or what some may call “sag” or “drape” of your pants or jeans. The "breaks" go from little to no drape to more drape.
- Classic Break or sometimes referred to as “High Waters”
B. Quarter Break C. Half Break D. Full Break
The “Break” indicates the amount of fold or “breaks” in the pant’s (to an otherwise straight) leg.
Measurements used in women pants:
- This measurement is just like the waist measurement but occurs over the widest part of your backside.
*This measurement is seldom used on men unless they are constructing a pair of pants from scratch or happen to have a rather robust derrière. This measurement helps with knowing the measurement of your hips and behind.
- Since many women differ in thigh width, the thigh measurement is to let the tailor know how wide to make the pant legs on your pants or jeans.
* This measurement seldom applies to men, unless once again you have wider thighs than most.
- Since thighs are usually larger then the rest of our legs below the knee we would not want the width of our pant leg of our thigh to continue past our knees unless we were looking for a bell bottom look.
Front Rise Measurement:
- The front rise measurement is to help indicate how low you may want your jeans to set from your waist. This measurement is what is considered when creating the level of “low” in your low rise jeans. You can begin the measurement at the crotch and end it where you please on the waist to make it easier to read and record the end measurement.
Back Rise Measurements:
- The back side measurement is to ensure that the waist to the pants does not fall to low in turn exposing any unwanted “crackage” from a robust behind that may drop the jeans or pants. This measurement is the same as the front rise although you may want to be careful how low on your waist you end the measurement especially if you already took off inches from the front rise.
Standard Chart of Pant's Measurements:
How to measure your shirt and suit jacket:
When taking one’s shirt measurements, the suit jacket measurement is very similar so both will be addressed together below:
Collar Measurement (Shirt only):
1. In measuring for your shirt collar size, you should try and wrap the measuring tape at the base of your neck where you neck meets your shoulders. This will let you know your collar size for when purchasing a dress shirt online or at a department store.
- In the chest measurement for a shirt you will wrap the measurement tape around the widest part of your chest (and for women the widest part of the bust area).
- The only difference between the shirt and suit jacket measurement with regards to chest is that you can give the suit jacket's measurement an extra inch to inch and half simply because the jacket has to fit over your shirt and/or waist coat therefore it should not be as form fitting as a shirt.
Front Length Measurement:
- The front length measurement of a suit jacket is usually standard depending on your height. A shirt’s length measurement is usually standard as well although it’s longer than that of the suit jacket considering the shirt is usually tucked in. You can start the measurement at the base of the neck where it meats the shoulder all the way down to the desired length of your shirt or suit jacket
- The shoulder measurements is to measure the width of your back which if not accurate can feel tight as if your arms are being pulled back. Another way you can tell if the suit jacket is too small is if the seam where the arm and rest of the jacket meet seem to be digging in too deep into your arm pits. The measurement can start at either shoulder end a half an inch or whole inch after where the are can bend upwards.
- To measure your sleeve you should measure from where your arm folds when you raise it to where you prefer along your wrist. When pertaining to your shirt sleeve you can stop at the wrist for a more fitted look and feel or a bit past your wrist for more relaxed feel. However when pertaining to your suit jacket it’s also your preference if you wish to reveal the cuff button of your shirt to not showing any shirt cuff at all. However, your jacket sleeve should never look baggy or have to much of a “break” to it (as referred to in outer seam pant measurement).
Girth of the Stomach Measurement:
- The girth of the stomach measurement is for the fit of the suit jacket when it is closed. You should measure the same way you would the chest, around the widest part of your stomach. You can go for a snug “European” fit to a more casual or loose fit for your shirt and suit jacket. You should give the suit jacket's measurement an extra inch to inch and half simply because the jacket has to fit over your shirt and/or waist coat therefore it should not be as form fitting as a shirt.
Standard suit jacket measurement chart:
One of the positives of knowing one’s measurements is that when you can get your clothes tailored, the article becomes one of one; meaning it only molded to fit to your individual body’s dimensions and no one else’s ( and even if they try to fit into it, chances are it won’t fit them as perfectly as it does you.) It is also recommended that you know your measurements especially for when you are shopping online and want to ensure that it will fit once that package arrives. So have fun with this and get a friend, housemate or family member to assist you. Or the next time you get measured for a suit tell the tailor to write down your measurements for you.
Until next time..... Enjoy...