• Creator
  • #613816
    Victoria Femme
    Registered On: January 20, 2022
    Topics: 5
    Replies: 63
    Has thanked: 85 times
    Been thanked: 237 times

    I know there are a million posts like this, but I found most of them didn’t say what I was looking for. After spending a lot of time and money, I feel like I can provide some value. At least this is what I would have wanted to hear. I plan on making more of these Noob advice posts in the future. Open to suggestions on topics.

    I just like to dress up. I’m not into makeup, or leaving the house (did once tho, and it was fun. Just not my thing). But if you have any questions about something I know about, I’m happy to share.


    First things first. Do this. Go online, and order a “body tape measure” for $5. There are times to be cheap, and there are times to argue. This isn’t either of those times. Go order it already. This is extra important, because clothes manufacturers have different definitions of clothing sizes. So for instance, a large size dress at Macy’s is very different than a large dress at Bebe.

    So you need to figure out your body measurements. This will fix all of your sizing problems. I’m amazed how many women have no idea what their own measurements are. But they can go try different stuff on at stores, where most men can’t.


    The tape measure should be wrapped snug against your body. Aim for it to be tight enough to hold a pencil, but also loose enough that the pencil would eventually fall out if you moved around.

    Women’s body measurements for clothing have three key components. The circumference of the chest, waist, and hip. When you hear: 36-24-36, that’s a 36 inch chest, 24 inch waist, and 36 inch hip. Where women measure is different than where men measure.

    Your chest measurement is the circumference around your chest. Which will be taken around the nipples. This is the only place where men and women measure at the same spot. Be sure the tape measure is straight and level. Unless you have six pack abs, I don’t recommend you measure with fake boobs for this part. Just measure with your regular chest size, and round up a few inches. I’ve tried to write out an explanation for this a few times, but it gets fairly complex and confusing. Sorry. Clothes fitting will be it’s own post.

    Your waist measurement is (and this is mildly controversial), measured around your belly button. It’s NOT your men’s pants waist measurement. If you’re lucky enough to be skinny, then measure at your belly button. Of note, women measure their waist above their belly button, but they’re also shaped differently.

    Your hip measurement is the circumference around your butt. The vast majority of men will have smaller hips than women. I’ve never bought anything where my hips were too big. This size is good to know when you’re buying skirts, and pants. Not important at all when buying dresses.

    Need To Know >> Bras are an exception to the chest measurement rule: Specifically, bra straps. To get your bra strap size, measure just below your chest muscles. Below your chest muscles, where the bra strap hugs your body. Measure that. Should be smaller than your chest measurement.


    With women’s clothing, there are a couple of different measuring systems they use. The first is the traditional S,M,L,XL,XXL sizes. The second is 2,4,6,8,10 sizes.

    So which one are you? Google, “Womens clothing sizes”.

    You will get results of women’s clothing charts from a lot of different manufactures. Note that they’re all similar, but not identical. Never trust the label. But don’t worry, because you know your measurements. We buy based on our measurements. We size based on the manufacturers measurements. Why? IDK. I think because women don’t want to know what their actual measurements are.

    Next step is to figure out which size you are on that chart. This is actually really simple. Find the size that doesn’t have any of the three measurements smaller than your own. This will probably be your waist. If you’re lucky, it will be your chest.
    Real life example: Since I’m 36-36-42, the smallest outfit I can squeeze around myself is an XL or 16. (with most clothing brands).

    Good To Know >> You will be a different size depending on the manufacturer.

    Good To Know >> If it’s Chinese sizes, you will need to go at at least two sizes up. Sometimes 3.

    Good To Know >> Plus sizes. Note there is a difference between an XL and a X1. Don’t assume they’re the same.

    Good To Know >> If you see sizes are listed as odd numbers like this: 3,5,7,9. It’s for girls. Unless you’re really small, none of these will ever fit you. Just look away before you see a bunch of adorable stuff you will never be able to wear.

    Good To Know >>Slim sized women’s clothing will fit men better. They actually have XL sizes with a slim cut. Not all women are as curvy as others. So don’t rule out slim if you’re not slim. We’re all slim shaped when it comes to women’s clothes.

    Good To Know >>There is an evil thing where some manufactures will list your size, but the clothing is actually a lot smaller. Happens all the time. This is why it’s critical to check each item for the measurements.

    This is already a much longer post than I was expecting. I’ll do another one on buying clothes, shoes, bras… I should also do one on nail polish, and removing nail polish. In particular, removing nail polish from stained fingerbeds (looking at you OPI laquer red cajun). Hint: bleach.

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  • Author
    • #615038
      Eileen Bach
      Registered On: February 27, 2021
      Topics: 1
      Replies: 265
      Has thanked: 139 times
      Been thanked: 1101 times

      Very good, Victoria.

      I would offer some slight changes in wording though. When ordering women’s clothing, include your forms. That’s your bust size, the first number listed. The chest size is under the boobs, that’s your bra band size. The bra straps go over your shoulder and are more adjustable. Other than when figuring a bra size, the chest is not important for clothing.

      The tape measure needed is a cloth tape available at any store that has fabric or sewing supplies, including many hardware and grocery stores,

      Unless you can try on in person, try to order clothing from just a few vendors. You’ll get used to their sizing and how certain styles fit your body. All online clothing has their own sizing chart, with your own measurements, sizes may vary.

      Don’t order from China. Ever.

      Hugs, Eileen

    • #614020
      Topics: 0
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      Wow, great information Victoria, thanks.

    • #613916
      Topics: 0
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      Thank you for your wonderfully informative post. No, really, I’m not being sarcastic, I know that sounds sarcastic but it’s not meant to be…


      I find that my issue is that my bottom is smaller than my top. I’m an apple. I need a 2x sports bra but a L yoga pants. That carries over to just about everything I wear. If it fits my boobs it hangs like a tent over my butt. If it fits my waist, I’m squeezing my boobs together (well, that’s not an altogether bad look).

      So… I buy a lot of Old Navy, I can wear an XL dress or top comfortably.


      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #613913
      Angela Booth
      Registered On: August 1, 2020
      Topics: 9
      Replies: 1007
      Has thanked: 3745 times
      Been thanked: 4686 times

      Very concise information Victoria. Well done

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #613824
      Celeste Starre
      Registered On: June 26, 2018
      Topics: 49
      Replies: 1378
      Has thanked: 382 times
      Been thanked: 5051 times

      I do know my measurements but I would never purchase based solely on a size such as XL or L etc.  I buy a garment based on the actual measurements of the garment.  I buy lots of things from Amazon and find that the charts will list both the size and give the actual measurements of each size listed. Ebay is often the same and if the seller does not list measurements for the garment in question I ask for them.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
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