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How to Take Self-Measurements

As a model, knowing your exact bust, waist, and hip measurements at all times is pretty much a requirement. Now with many casting calls happening virtually, it’s even more important to know what your measurements are as there is no one taking them for you on a regular basis. Also, agencies are requesting digital updates more often, and with that they will want your current measurements.

Taking your own measurements can be kind of tricky, and many models aren’t quite sure how to do it. See below for some step-by-step guidance so next time you have to submit your measurements you can be confident they’re accurate!

General tips before you get started: You’ll need a non-elastic but flexible measuring tape that is commonly used for sewing because it will conform best to your body and provide the most accurate measurements. You do not want to try to use a construction/contractor tape measure because they are still and will not be able to wrap around your body and give you an accurate measurement. If you don’t have a sewing measuring tape, use a non-stretchy piece of string and a ruler or contractors tape measure. Measure yourself wearing fitted clothing and make sure the fabric isn’t bunched in the areas your measuring, and pull the measuring tape snug to the body without indenting the skin.

How to Measure Your Bust/Chest

Measuring your own chest can be a bit tricky since you need to have your arms raised slightly while you’re putting the measuring tape in place. Start by wrapping the measuring tape around your chest at the nipple line, making sure it stays level as it goes around your back. The tape should lie flat against your body, go straight around your chest, and feel snug without compressing your bust. Once the tape is in place, relax your upper arms as best you can and make any necessary adjustments to the measuring tape.

How to Measure Your Waist

Wrap the measuring tape around your waist at your natural waistline, which is generally located above your belly button and just below your rib cage (if you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waistline). Make sure the tape is straight all the way around, sits flat on your skin, and is snug without digging in. Don’t try to suck in your stomach or you’ll get a false measurement. Breathe out normally, and check your measurement after you exhale.

How to Measure Your Hips

Start at one hip and wrap the measuring tape around your rear to the other hip. Make sure the tape is over the fullest part of your derriere and level all the way around. It may seem like the tape is sitting lower than what you would consider to be your “hip line”, but you really want to make sure you’re going around the fullest part of your bum, which is generally right where your femur bone joins your pelvis and not at your actual hip bones. This can vary a bit though since not every body is the same, so just be sure you’re going around the widest part to get an accurate measurement.

How to Measure Your Inseam

This is the distance from the uppermost inner part of your thigh to the bottom of your ankle. You can measure your inseam in two ways. The easiest way to take this tricky measurement is to find a pair of pants that fit you perfectly, not too loose around the waist and not falling past the ankle. Measure the inseam by stretching the measuring tape from the crotch to the bottom of the hem.

If you have someone to help you, hold one end of the measuring tape at your crotch seam (while you're wearing the pants) and have your helper stretch the tape to the bottom of your ankle. Make sure you are standing straight up, and with legs hip distance apart.

If you don’t have anyone to help you or a pair of pants with the right fit, you can get your inseam measurement on your own. Stand in front of a full-length mirror and hold one end of the measuring tape at your crotch. Drop the other end of the tape to the floor, and step on it with one foot so that it is taunt but not pulled too tight. Angle yourself in the mirror so that you can see the measurement number that hits at the bottom of your ankle. Be sure you’re standing up straight with legs hip distance apart.


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