Measure Twice, Buy Once: Fashion That Fits

Measure Twice, Buy Once: Fashion That Fits

Are you obsessed with fashion, but math leaves you cold? Try this quick fashion math formula to make sure your new outfit is a perfect fit. Working out the numbers on your latest style investment can be a tricky — and costly — proposition. The stakes are high when it comes to your wardrobe: A bad fit, an unflattering cut, or an ill-considered color combination could make you look and feel like a green super villain in an all-black world. However, armed with some simple formulas and measuring tricks, you too can know what works and what doesn’t on you so that every time you buy something new, it adds up in style. Here’s how to measure twice and only need to buy once.

We’re going to be using the word “shoulders” a lot. Don’t freak out!

We know, but it’s a really important word to keep in mind when measuring for clothes. You see, the shoulders are where your clothes will sit on your body — and if they’re wrong, everything else will be wrong too.

Knowing Your Shoulder Measurement Is Key

Choosing the right shoulder measurement is key when working out what size clothing to wear. The shoulder is the most important part of your body when it comes to wearing clothing, so you must be really careful when choosing. You need to make sure that the shoulder of your clothing is large enough so it doesn’t rip every time you move your arms. Too small and you’ll be pulling at your sleeves all day; too large and you’ll look like a walking box.

Knowing your shoulder measurement is a simple way to make sure you get the perfect fit each and every time. Unfortunately, sizing is not always standardized. The standard sizing chart will not always be correct. This is why it is important to know your correct measurements.

Bust, Waist, And Hips: Which Measurements Matter Most?

You already know that the shoulders are king when it comes to fit, but there are other measurements that hold the key to a well-fitting outfit, too. Each measurement has some significance and can affect the overall fit of an item. The key here is to understand what each measurement does and how you can use it to your advantage.

  • Bust: Okay, so this is the part of your body where you’re likely to be a little bit more generous — but it matters when it comes to determining what clothing size you should wear. Your bust measurement will determine the cup size of your bra, which in turn affects the size of clothing that you should be wearing. If you wear too small a cup, you'll be uncomfortable and obvious; too large and your clothing will fit poorly.
  • Waist: While this measurement isn’t particularly important when it comes to sports bras, it is important when determining the fit of your clothing. It is not recommended to wear the same size at your bust as at your waist. You should look for clothing that is fitted at the waist but leaves room for the hips.
  • Hips: This is where you want the clothing to be slightly bigger, as it will bunch or fold at the waist. Depending on the type of clothing you are wearing, a larger measurement at the hips can be a good thing.

Step 1: Determine The Right Shoulder-to-Hip Ratio For You

If you want to get really scientific, you can work out your ideal shoulder-to-hip ratio (SHR), which is the proportion between your upper and lower body measurements. But if you want to get even more specific, you can determine the ratio between the length of your upper (from shoulder to bust) and lower torso (from waist to the top of your knee). Wherever you fall on the scale will indicate the most flattering clothing proportions for your body type. If you’re still struggling to find your ideal ratio, don’t stress — there are lots of tools online that can help.

If you’re keen to get the ball rolling, try this simple formula: Take your shoulder measurement and divide it by your hip measurement. If the result is greater than 1, you’re likely to fall into the “apple” category. If it’s less, you’re likely to be “pear”-shaped.

Step 2: Find Out Where You Are Currently At Via Body Measurements

Once you’ve determined your ideal shoulder-to-hip ratio, it’s time to figure out where you currently stand. Measure yourself up and record your measurements in a notebook or spreadsheet, so that you can easily reference them when shopping for new clothing. This will help you to identify any areas of your body that need improvement in order to achieve your desired look. If you’re struggling to determine which measurements are affecting your fit, try to think about how you would like to look and feel in your clothing and work from there.

  • Bust: If your bust is too large, you’ll want to look at minimizing this area. Wearing clothing that is fitted at the bust, but that has plenty of room at the top of the sleeve is a great way to do this.
  • Waist: If your waist is larger than you would like, you’ll want to try to break up the vertical lines. Vertical lines are not slimming and can make you look heavier. Wearing clothing that has a slight A line is a great way to do this.
  • Hips: If your hips are larger than you’d like, you’ll want to break up the horizontal lines. Wearing clothing that has a slight scalloped edge or that is fitted at the hemline is a great way to do this.

Step 3 Or 4 (Depending On How You Feel): Determine Where You Want To Be And What You Need To Achieve This

If you have determined that your current measurements are not working for you and you’ve identified the areas of your body that you’d like to change, you can now work out how you can achieve your desired measurements. There are a few things you can do to change your measurements. You could lose or gain weight. You could increase or decrease your muscle mass. You could change your posture. You could also change your clothing style.

  • Lose weight: If you want to lose weight, you should try to eat healthier and exercise more often to help you achieve your desired measurements.
  • Increase muscle mass: If you want to increase your muscle mass, you should try to exercise more often and eat more protein to help you achieve your desired measurements.
  • Change your posture: If you want to change your posture, you should try to exercise more often to help you improve your posture.
  • Change your clothing style: If you want to change your clothing style, you should try to choose clothing that is better suited to your desired measurements.

Confirm Your Math With A Final Fit Check

Once you’ve worked out your ideal shoulder-to-hip ratio and determined what clothing proportions you need to achieve this look, you should try to find clothing that fits you according to these specifications. Unfortunately, clothing sizes are notoriously vague. What is a large in one brand might be a medium in another. This means that even if you’ve worked out your ideal measurements, you might have to try on a bunch of different items to find one that fits.

But don’t fret. The moment you’ve found a piece that fits according to your desired measurements, you’ll know it. Your outfit will look good on you and feel right. You’ll walk out of the change room feeling confident and ready to face the world in your new look.


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