Western Show Clothing by Lisa Nelle

Taking Proper Measurements

May 31 2016

One of the most common questions we get from customers is how to take proper measurements. Buying without being able to try something on can be stressful, especially when investing in show clothes. But with your proper measurements available, we can help you decide if a particular garment will fit you well before you order.

After reading this post, you'll be armed with all the information you'll need to become a pro at taking measurements. Did you know that your hip measurement is not where you "put your hands on your hips?" Or that your natural waist is actually quite far away from the waistband of your jeans? We've even covered ways to take measurements without a cloth measuring tape (which you really should get, if you don't have one already...)!

If you still have questions about taking measurements after reading through this guide, just send us a message and we'll do our best to walk you through it.

How to Take Your Measurements

When taking your measurements, always use a cloth measuring tape*. For the most accurate results, have someone else measure you.  Also, make sure the tape measure is held snugly and firmly (not tightly) against your body and is always parallel to the floor for circumference measurements.

Remember to wear proper undergarments. If you wear a special support bra for riding, your measurements should be taken with that bra on.

We highly recommend measuring a properly fitted garment and comparing those measurements to the ones you take.

How to take your measurements

Shoulder Width:

Measure across the back from the corner of one shoulder to the corner of the other shoulder. For this measurement, I recommend measuring a jacket you already have that fits properly. Laying the jacket flat, measure from shoulder seam to shoulder seam.


Measure around the fullest part of the bust. This measurement is taken above the band of your bra, and may not be the same as your bra size.


Measure the smallest part of the waist. The natural waist is below the rib cage and usually above the bellybutton. Do not take this measurement around the waistband of your clothing.


The hip measurement is taken at the widest part of the hips (around your bottom!). Do not take this measurement around the waistband of your clothing, or where your hands fall when you "put your hands on your hips."


With one arm down at a slight angle, start from the corner of the shoulder and measure down to where you'd like your sleeve to end. You can also use a shirt that already fits you well. Just lay it flat and measure from the corner shoulder seam to the end of the cuff.

Center Front Length:

This measurement is taken from the base of the neck down to where you would like the jacket hem to end.


*If you don't have a cloth measuring tape, you can use a piece of non-stretchy string or fabric. Simply mark where your measurements fall on the string and then measure that length with a metal measuring tape, ruler or other item of known measurement (a standard piece of paper, dollar bill, etc.).



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