How to Measure Yourself

When ordering clothing online, or having something custom made to measure, it’s important to have up to date body measurements to make sure you get the best fit possible! Gloomth offers custom tailoring on almost all of our garments and we’re always happy to answer questions about fit and size. 🙂

gloomth custom clothing

Here’s a quick guide on taking the most accurate self measurements you can! We often recommend getting measured by a friend or professional tailor first, but if that’s not an option here’s how to do it yourself.

You will need a flexible measuring tape. Not the metal construction style, but a plastic or cloth one intended for sewing. You can grab them at dollar stores (often in a basic kit with needles/thread).

Wear your regular undergarments, what you’d most likely be wearing under the clothing you’re considering buying. Keep in mind a padded bra will change your bust measurement as will a reducing bra, etc. Measure yourself in your skivvies, not over other clothing.

You’ll also need to stand by a mirror to make sure you are positioning the measuring tape properly.

When shopping online read any fabric information provided, it’s important to know if the fabric of your clothing choice has any give or stretch, or a shirred portion that will allow some flexibility to your sizing. If you don’t know what something is made of or whether it stretches ask the seller! 🙂

skeleton lolita dress halloween

Bust- Wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest, under your arms, and around your back. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around and not swooping down or up. The measuring tape will sit across your shoulder blades. While holding the measuring tape take a few relaxed breaths, this way you’ll see if you need to add a little bit of room to breathe. *If you are measuring yourself for a lolita ensemble keep in mind you may want to wear a blouse under that jumperskirt or dress! In that case measure yourself with that blouse on.

Waist- Your “natural” waist is where your body bends, on most figures this is about where your navel is. Many of our dresses and skirts are intended to sit at your natural waist, for example. If you are measuring for pants or a skirt measure where you usually wear your waist band, which is often lower than your natural waist. Make sure to breathe and don’t hold your stomach in (no one wants to wear something they can’t breathe or eat in).

Hips- Wrap your tape measure around your hips and across the widest part of your bum. Make sure it’s level the whole way around yourself.

Upper Arm- This is helpful for fitted jackets and blouses. Just wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your upper arm, be sure to breathe and move a little as the muscles may require you to adjust the measurement.

Sleeve Length- The best way to find this is to measure the sleeve on a jacket or blouse you already own and love. Measure from the shoulder seam (where the arm is sewn to the body of the item) to the cuff. To find this measurement on your body put your hand on your shoulder and raise that arm, you’ll feel the joint where your arm is attached flatten and raise. Measure from that point to your wrist.

Length- It’s helpful to know how long a dress or jumperskirt is, and whether you’ll need to layer it over an underskirt or not. For measuring the length of a dress simply measure from the top flat part of your shoulder to where you’d like your dress/jsk to end. Or alternately measure from shoulder to hem on a dress you already own and love the length of. For skirts compare the measurement from your waist (or where you want the waist band to rest) to where you’d like the skirt to end, you can also measure a skirt of a similar fit you already own.

*Got questions about fit? Not sure which size to choose? We’re happy to answer questions about these things anytime. 🙂 Just send us an email or give us a call*


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