How to Measure for Stretch Garments

Chances are if you’re on this page, you need some help on how to measure yourself. Well, good news we can help! Below we have listed some tips on best practices when it comes to measuring for a stretch fabric costume.

We have also included a free download of where to measure for you to reference

  1. Make sure that you are measuring from the 0-inch end. For accurate sizing it’s best to wear a practice leotard or something similar. You want to avoid wearing thick, or bulky garments such as sweats, or jeans and a sweater because it could lead to false measurements.

  2. When measuring, you’ll want to make sure your measuring tape is snug, but not too tight. When measuring for stretch garments, you do not need to measure the chest expanded with air, as you might, with a non-stretch garment.

  3. A helpful measurement for a bra-top or short crop top, is the underbust measurement, which is taken right under the bustline.

  4. Other helpful measurements include the neck measurement taken at the base of the neck, which is the circumference of the neck; the arm width, which is the circumference of the widest part of the upper arm at the armpit; and the arm length, which should be taken from where a sleeve attaches at the shoulder to the finished length, which should be about a half an inch longer than the wrist bone.

  5. For pants or long skirts, you will need your inseam or outseam measurement, or simply a skirt finished length. The inseam is taken from the crotch seam, down to the finished length of the pant, which should be generally to the floor, in stocking feet, or higher, if you wish your pants shorter. The outseam is properly taken from the natural waistline, again, to the floor, in stocking feet, or to the desired length. A safe finished length on a pant, is to the seam of where the heel attaches to the shoe, unless high heels are worn.

  6. The natural waistline is a very important location to measure. It is located where you find the narrowest part of the body. It is NOT where you wear your pants! It also does not mean that this is where the waistline will be cut to, on your costume, but it tells the manufacturer what your natural waistline measurement is.

  7. Remember that it is much easier to alter by taking in or shortening, rather than trying to make something bigger or longer. So, if your measurements fall between sizes, general rule of thumb is to size up. When in doubt, check with your costume manufacturer, for their help and suggestions when you are just not sure which size to choose.

Have questions? Leave a comment and we will answer your questions!