How to Measure Your Waist | The Perfect Fitting Guide
Jan 2021

As a society we have always thought that climbing on the scales to determine our size was the perfect solution. However more and more of us are ditching the scales for our trusty tape measures.


Measuring your waist size will not only assist you in selecting that perfect fit for your clothing or lingerie but will also help you keep track of your weight. Waist measurements are a more accurate way of predicting health problems such as; type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, than the previous method of BMI.


So what's a healthy waist measurement


It is suggested that for a man your waist circumference should be no more than 37 inches and for a woman it should be no more than 31.5 inches in order to avoid health complications.


As with any measurement there is always a what's healthy for you measurement. For example someone who is taller or shorter would have a different ideal measurement. The best way to measure this is to compare your waist measurement with your hip  measurement. This is called a hip to waist ratio and can be done by dividing your waist by your hip measurement.


  • For men anything above one is too high the aim is to keep it below 0.95 in order to reduce the risk of disease. 
  • For women anything over 0.85 is too high. In order to keep your risk low you should aim for it to be below 0.8.


Why is it important to take your measurements?


Although understanding your health is a great advantage to knowing your measurements, it also helps us ensure we have correctly fitted clothing/lingerie.


Many women don't look at measurements and just select a size when purchasing items, but I'm sure many of you returned clothing/lingerie because the fit was not quite right.


Most women can fluctuate between sizes and it isn't always because you have put on weight, sizes can vary widely depending on the brand you're purchasing from.


Ever purchased the most stunning pair of jeans in your size from one shop that fit incredibly well, to then pick up the same size in a different store that are just too tight?


This is why understanding our measurements is vital to getting that perfect fit every time!


Taking your measurements


  • It's important to use a soft tape measure, nothing too rigid, a nice flexible tape measure will give you an accurate reading. 
  • Paper and pencil to take down your measurements. 
  • Take your measurements in your underwear as this will ensure the most precise measurements. If you don't feel comfortable in your lingerie make sure you're wearing tight fitting clothing, e.g. a pair of leggings and tight fitting top.
  • Take your measurements in front of the mirror if possible, this will help ensure the tape measure is in the correct place and straight.
  • Take your measurements in a seated position.


Have you ever purchased a top that fits perfectly until you're seated? We all have areas that bunch together when we sit down so by taking a seated measurement we can actually find clothes that will not only look good when we are standing but also when seated.


How to measure your waist


A waist measurement is used for tops, dresses, skirts and trousers. Most designers use your "natural waist" in their size guide. This is the narrowest part of your waist and is usually located roughly 2cm above your belly button. However, in some cases this may be a little higher, especially if you're plus size.


A large majority of designers use a low waist measurement within their fitting guides, and is the most common! BUT a select few use natural waist:


Natural waist


This is the smallest part of your waist usually located 2cm above your belly button.


  • Take the tape measure and wrap it around your waist ensuring that the tape measure is pulled so that it has a snug fit but is not too tight. Record your measurement for this area.


Low waist


This is generally the area in which your jeans would sit on the hip bone.


  • Again pull the tape measure so that it's tight around your body but not so that any area is bulging. Record your measurement.


How to measure your hips


This measurement is primarily used for trousers and skirts however some designers also use this for dresses in their fitting guides.


Your hip measurement is the largest part of your hips and in most cases can be found in line with your crotch however again we are all different so this may fall slightly higher or lower on you.


  • Place the tape measure around your hips and pull the tape measure tightly, write down your measurement.


Seated Measurement


If you wanted to take a seated measurement you can do so by:


  • standing with the tape measure in the correct place holding it and letting it expand as you sit down. You may need to try this a couple of times to ensure that you are not letting the tape measure slide too far.


Now you have your measurements ordering clothing at the right size should be so much simpler. If you want to learn more about body shape and clothing styles you can read more here.  How to Know Your Body Shape


Sizing in countries differ. Having a tape measure to hand and knowing how to measure your waist will ensure you can always purchase clothing and/or lingerie with confidence.


When writing this, an assumption was made that you have a tape measure! These can be truly inexpensive to purchase from you local store or Amazon:

Amazon Tape Measure 


Tape Measure


When ordering online from different designers(brands) it is always advised to visit the respective size guides. Each brand is different. 


Below is the difference between Ann Summers and Boux Avenue.


Ann Summers


demonstration purposes only. Sizes vary between their own styles.


Ann Summers Size Guide


Boux Avenue


Demonstration purposes only. Sizes vary between their own styles.


Boux Avenue Size Guide


My personal waist is 30 inches and my hips are 37.5 inches so when shopping at Ann summers I would be between a dress size 10 or a 12 depending on the style. Whereas when I shop at Boux Avenue I would need a size 12 as a Boux Avenue 10 would be too tight.


The waist, what about cup size? Well, we have a perfect article on that too! Please see: How to Measure Cup Size


Now that you have your measurements, you can feel confident that our lingerie surprises will be the perfect fit!


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