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Wear light, thin clothing or dress in your bra and undies to get accurate measurements. If you wear bulky clothes and measure over them, you'll end up with extra inches and the wrong size. If you have a trusted friend, she can help you to make sure that you get the right measurements in hard-to-reach places.
Place the measuring tape around your waist, right under your belly button. Wrap it around your stomach and back until you have made a circle around your waist. Keep the tape even around you to get an accurate measurement, and then take note of the number. This is your waist size.
Measure your hips by wrapping the measuring tape around the widest part of your hips and bottom. Stand up straight and keep the tape even to get an accurate reading. Make a note of this number, which is your hip size.
Wrap the measuring tape around your back at the bust, and gather it together at the fullest part of your breasts. The tape should be in the same position as your bra. Make sure that you are standing up straight with good posture to get the right reading.This number is your bust size. You can also use the sizes of a well-fitting bra to help you when determining your dress size.
Refer to the clothing designer's size chart when you are ordering or trying on clothing. If your measurements do not exactly fit a specific size, choose the size that fits your largest measurement. A good seamstress or tailor can always take in your clothing so it fits your body like a glove. As a general rule, women under 5 feet 4 inches should look for petite clothing that will work well with a shorter stature. Women with measurements that fit over a size 14 should look for plus-sized clothing to find a fit that works best.