How to Find Your Measurements
There is no standard body, no universal size - every body is as different as the spirit who inhabits it. If you look in your closet right now, I’m willing to bet money that there’s a range of sizes, whether it’s the S/M/L kind or the 2/8/16 kind, quite possibly even from the same brand. That’s why it’s so, so, SO important to choose clothing based on how it fits you, not the number on it. If it’s in person, just try it on. If it’s online, go by the measurements of your body and of the garment. Those are the only numbers that matter, because they’re the only ones based on reality.
How to Measure Yourself
The first time you measure yourself it can be a weird experience, or hard to know how to do it. I'll put together a photo tutorial once I've fully recovered from surgery for, but for now here's some guidelines.
Wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your breasts, usually where the nipple is. Make sure the tape is level/straight around your body. You want it snug but not so tight that it's cutting in to your body. This measurement is just for tops; for bras there's some additional steps.
Wrap the measuring tape around the narrowest part of your waist, making sure it's level/straight around.
Wrap the measuring tape around the biggest part of your hips and bum. This could mean biggest from the side (wide hips) or front to back (bigger bum). Make sure the tape is straight/level, and take measurements from a few different spots to make sure you get the largest measurement.
I find it easiest to keep the measurements saved in my phone so that I always have them on hand. If you have the Intuitive Wardrobe Book, there’s also a section where you can write them all down! Also, try measuring yourself during different parts of your menstrual cycle - our bodies can change depending on what stage we're in, so it’s helpful to get a thorough picture. For instance, my normal waist size is 36”, but when I’m PMSing or have my period I can swell up to 42” or 43” inches, which is a huge difference and really impacts the type of clothing I buy.
The measurements included in most product descriptions are of the garment laid flat. A flat measurement means from one side of the garment to the other, so for bust it's left armpit to right armpit, and hips is left hip to right hip. It's best to compare these measurements to other garments in your closet. To compare them to your body measurements, double the number (this will give you the circumference of the piece).
If a piece is meant to fit tight, or if it's stretchy, it's fine if the numbers are the same or slightly smaller. For pieces without stretch you'll want an extra inch or two, and for oversize you'll want a few extra inches (I like things to be about 5 inches or more for oversized).
It’s also important to remember that these numbers are not good or bad. Try to look at them with love and gentleness, not judgement. We are all perfect as we are, and that’s what makes us beautiful.