How to Measure Your Body for Custom Clothes
How do you provide clothing makers with accurate measurements?
It’s not as hard as you think, and it’s surprisingly empowering to know your own body data. Some folks feel strongly that a manual tape measure is the most accurate means, and others find body scanning technology is more accurate and fast. So, we offer you both!
Use a tape measure.
You can do many measurements yourself, or have a friend, a tailor, or a friendly dry cleaner help you. (Many dry cleaners will do this for free!) We have a detailed guide here as a downloadable PDF to print and take with you for note taking. Too big and scary? Here’s a shorter one with just the basics. Then just enter your data in My Profile. You can update your measurements anytime. (Don’t have a tape measure? We can send you one!)
Use your phone to scan.
We partner with 3DLook, a body scanning tech that doesn’t require you to download an app. To scan yourself, you just snap two photos and upload them for instant calculation. You MUST use the same email address for your scan as you do your Balodana login, so we can match up the data. Click the button below to get started:
Here’s a bit more instruction for 3DLook to make sure you get the best possible measurement accuracy:
- Wear slim clothing: tight jeans, tank top or tight shirt, yoga pants, fitted blouse, etc. Not too “squeezy” though, we need to see your real shape. Wear the bra you’d normally wear with clothing (NOT a sports bra).
- Measure barefoot, and take off unnecessary pieces of clothing, accessories, empty pockets.
- Long hair should be tied up or pulled back.
- Put the phone vertical, at about hip height for best results, and either have a friend hold it or use a prop to get your phone as vertical as possible.
- Follow the prompts on the app to get the right poses and distance.
- The distance between you and the camera should be about 6-8 feet, and for the first pose you should have your feet apart at least 7 inches. We need your full head and feet showing.
- Lighting matters! Make sure you’re well lit, to show the distinct contour of your body
- Background doesn’t matter as much as lighting but do have a pretty clear contrast between what you’re wearing and the background, and try to avoid cluttered backgrounds.
- If you have a technical failure, you can scan again.
Let us know if you have any technical issues with the scanner
email [email protected].
The most important thing you can do to ensure a perfect fit at Balodana is to get measured properly. It’s not hard at all, but a lot of women are nervous about it the first time! You can do many of the measurements yourself, but it really is much easier and better if you can get a friend or professional person to help. Did you know that most dry cleaners who offer alterations will do a professional measurement session for very low cost? And when you compare investing just a short amount of time to get your measurements done vs the time you spend returning ill-fitting clothes to retailers, it really makes more sense to get your measurements!
You don’t need every metric for every item we sell, but it’s worth having a comprehensive profile to make things easier to shop. Use the guide below, or simply print out this aCore MeasurementsorComprehensive MeasurementsPDF so you can write down measurements and enter them into your Balodana profile (you must be logged in to access your Balodana profile).
Comprehensive List of Body Measurements for Custom Clothing:
Standard Body Measurements
If you put your arms down and bend at your elbows, where your elbow bends is your natural waist. It is also the narrowest point on your torso. Stand tall and natural. If you are round-shaped or have 'rolls', do not suck them in.
Take a 360° measurement at the widest point of your bust. Measure with your arms down rather than out to the side. Note: The nipples are not always the widest point of every woman’s bust.
Highest Point of Hips
Measure approximately 3’’ below your waist, at the top point of your hip. Take a 360° measurement, with your feet together.
Widest Point of Hips
Measure approximately 8’’ below your waist, at the widest point of your hips (and generally your booty). Take a 360° measurement, with your feet together.
Wrap the measuring tape around the thickest part of your thigh, with legs straight. This should be right under your booty. Take a 360° measurement.
Widest Point of Upper Arm
Take a 360° measurement of the widest part of your upper arm. Flex or bend your arm if you want a looser fit. Otherwise, leave your arm outstretched.
Neck to Sleeve Length
Start at the middle of the back of your neck. Measure to your shoulder bone, then down to your wrist. Let your arm hang down naturally. This is for most shirts and dresses. If you are measuring for a suit jacket, ask your designer to add 2 inches (4 cm) or preferred length for suit sleeve.
Shoulder to Shoulder (Back)
Measure from one shoulder bone to the other across the back of your neck. If you have trouble figuring out where your shoulder tips are, find anything you own that fits you well and has both a collar and a sleeve and measure its shoulder length.
Front Collarbone to Waist
Stand tall as you measure from the center of your collarbone (your clavicle) to your waist. For added accuracy, tie a string around your natural waist before measuring!
Inseam to Ankle
Measure inside the top of the leg to ankle bone.
Take a 360° measurement at base of your neck.
Shoulder to Shoulder (Front)
Measure from one shoulder bone to the other across the front of your neck. If you have trouble figuring out where your shoulder tips are, find anything you own that fits you well and has both a collar and a sleeve and measure its shoulder length.
Neck to Shoulder
Measure at the base of your neck—on the top of your shoulder—to the tip of your shoulder bone.
Measure horizontally across the front of your body from armpit crease to armpit crease. Keep your arms down by your side.
Measure horizontally across the back of your body from armpit crease to armpit crease. Keep your arms down by your side.
Top of Bust
Get a 360° measurement under your armpits, along the top of your bust.
Take a 360° measurement where your bra band sits, right underneath your bust.
Measure a straight vertical line from the top of your shoulder to the apex of your bust (the apex of your bust will not necessarily be your nipple). Remember to wear or not wear a bra depending on your general preferences.
Apex to Apex
Measure in between the two highest points of your bust (sometimes from nipple to nipple- but not necessarily for all women).
Special Request for Bust
Use this field to enter information about any special bust needs. This could include mastectomy information or breast asymmetry.
Front, Shoulder to Floor
Stand tall as you measure the front of your body from the top of your shoulder to the floor. Make sure to measure from the top of your shoulder, over your bust and keep a straight, vertical line.
Front, Collarbone to Floor
Stand tall as you measure from the center of your collarbone (your clavicle) to the floor.
Front, Shoulder to Waist
Measure from the high point of your shoulder, over your bust, and to your waist.
Front, Waist to Knee
Measure down from your natural waist to the top of your knee. Follow the natural curves of your body as you measure.
Back, Shoulder to Waist
Measure from the high point of your shoulder to your waist.
Back, Spine to Waist
Stand tall as you measure the back of your body from the top of your spine at the base of your neck to your waist. For added accuracy, tie a string around your natural waist before measuring!
Back, Spine to Floor
Stand tall as you measure the back of your body from the top of your spine at the base of your neck to the floor.
Inseam to Floor
Measure inside the top of the leg to the floor.
Outseam, Waist to Ankle
Measure outside the body from your waist to your ankle.
Tie a string around your natural waist. Measure from the center of the front of your waist under your crotch to the center of the back of your waist.
Crotch Over Shoulder
Take a 360° measurement from your crotch looping around one of your shoulders. This measurement is specifically meant for jumpsuits and rompers.
Arms & Legs
Sleeve Length (Straight Arm)
Measure from your shoulder bone to your wrist bone. Let your arm hang down naturally. This is for most shirts and dresses. If you are measuring for a suit jacket, ask your designer to add 2 inches (4 cm) or preferred length for suit sleeve.
Sleeve Length (Bent Arm)
Measure from your shoulder bone to your wrist bone. Place your hand on your waist to form a 90° angle as you take this measurement.
Widest Point of Calf
Take a 360° measurement of the widest part of your calf. This measurement is most important if you have very large or very skinny calves.