If you're wondering how to measure women's tops, there's a good chance you're looking to either buy or sell women's tops, shirts or blouses online. When sellers take the time to accurately represent a garments measurements, and buyers take the time to review and understand those measurements prior to purchasing, it can decrease the need for returns and help lower the carbon footprint of eCommerce - which is a win, win for everyone involved!
Here at FineClothing.com we include specific measurements for each and every item that we sell so that our customers can better judge the garments fit prior to purchasing. Of course, this is only half of the equation. If you are a buyer, and really want to know how an item will fit, you have to take the measurements that we provide and compare them to your own to get the full picture.
That being said, if you love online shopping and you are interested in learning more about how to measure women's tops (or yourself) read on!
Before you can learn how to measure women's tops and blouses it's best to familiarize yourself with a little bit of top and blouse measurement terminology:
When it comes to measuring yourself for women's tops it's best to have a buddy! If you try to measure yourself on your own, there is a good chance you'll get it wrong. Pick someone you feel comfortable with, as things may get a little personal. Wear tight fitting clothes like leggings, or a bathing suit to avoid confusing your measurements with the added bulk of material, and have a cloth or fabric tape measure and notepad on hand.
While it is important to know your own measurements, and use them as a baseline - we often recommend that our customers compare the measurements given in the description of the top, to the measurements taken from a top they already own. By doing so, you will gain a better understanding of how tops fit you, and you will be able to better judge how your potential purchase might compare.
To measure a top that you already own, first consider the material content and style. Is the top meant to be stretchy or does the material have a lot of give? If so you will want to take a "measurement range" and not just an exact measurement. If the material is say, a 100% cotton weave and does not stretch then you can probably take a more exact measurement. In either situation, start by laying your top out flat on a smooth surface and make sure that it is fully buttoned / zipped up if necessairy. You will want to have a flexible fabric or cloth measuring tape on hand. You won't want to use a straight edge ruler or carpenters measuring tape - as they tend to be more cumbersome. You will also want to have a pen and notepad handy to jot down your results.
How to Measure the Bust on Women's Tops
Find the armpits on the top and measure across with the top laying flat. Pull the material taut but do not overstretch; double this measurement to determine the bust circumference. If the top is a knit or if it has a significant amount of stretch in the material, take another measurement with the material reasonably stretched and double it to determine the max bust circumference. A comfortable fit should fall somewhere between the two, and should not pull or gape in the front if the top has buttons.
How to Measure the Waist on Women's Tops
With the garment laying flat, locate the narrowest part of the waist. Pull the material taut but do not overstretch; double this measurement to determine the garments waist circumference. Again if the top is a knit or if it has a significant amount of stretch in the material, take another measurement with the material reasonably stretched and double it to determine the max waist circumference. A comfortable fit should fall somewhere between the two, and should not pull or gape in the front if the top has buttons.
How to Measure the Shoulder Span on Women's Tops
To measure the shoulder span on a woman's blouse, lay the garment out flat and facing down. Locate the shoulder seams on the back, and measure between the two across the top edge with the material pulled taut but not over stretched. If the top does not have shoulder seams (undefined), or if they are narrow cut, or dropped you may want to indicate this as it could lead to confusion.
How to Measure the Sleeve Outseam on Women's Tops
It's hard to go wrong when it comes to measuring the sleeve outseam on a women's blouse or top. With the top lying flat and the arms spread out to the side, simply measure from the top of the shoulder seam down in a straight line to the bottom of the cuff. This will give you the Sleeve Outseam length - not to be confused with the sleeve "Inseam" length described below.
How to Measure the Sleeve Inseam on Women's Tops
Again, with the top laying flat and the arms spread out to the side, locate the armpit and measure down in a straight line to the bottom of the cuff. This will give you the sleeve inseam.
How to Measure the Hips on Women's Tops
Depening on the length of the top - the hip measurement may or may not be a factor that you need to consider. If your top is of an average length (which would hit at or near the hip bone) simply lay the garment flat and measure across the hem pulling the material taught but not overstretched. Double this measurement to get the hip circumference. If your top is extra long, or "tunic length" you may also want to include a low hip measurement. To do so, measure two inches down from the previous position, and take another measurement across the garment. Double this measurement to get the low hip circumference.
If you're trying to shop for women's tops online, and a store does not provide exact measurements for a blouse in their item description, contact their customer service and ask! If they offer up a canned response, or if they are unwilling to help track down specific measurements - you might want to take your business elsewhere. Finding a top that you like online is the easy part (there are literally millions of them out there!); but making sure that it will fit, and avoiding the inconvenience of having to return it is the hard part! Once you know how to measure yourself, and how to measure women's tops, you should be able to determine whether or not a top you see online will fit.
Of course, this is just a starting point and it does not in anyway take into account the top style, material, or color. If you are wondering whether or not a particular top will look good on you, you might want to checkout our Figure Flattering Guide or Color Analysis Guide to help better determine which styles and colors look best on you!