Outplay model taking her hip measurements with a tape measure - front view

How to Take Your Hip Measurements


When you're looking to find the best size for any swim bottoms, swim trunks, or sportswear bottoms, you need a couple of measurements to help guide you. Depending on the bottom you're looking to get, you might just need one measurement. We're going to show you what all the different measurements you may need when looking to get the best fit for you. 

Every body is unique and different so what looks good and fits one person, may look and fit quit differently on someone else. Depending on how tight or loose the piece of clothing fits, or how you prefer they fall on your body, you would chose a different size based on your measurements. By knowing your body measurements, you'll be able to find the best size for you much easier. 

What do you need to get your measurements as accurately as possible? Very simple, you'll need something to take your measurements with, like a tailor's tape measure, a pencil and a piece of paper. If you don't have a tape measure, you can use a piece of string and later measure the string against a ruler. This can be a bit more complicated and might not be as accurate due to the ease in human error, but you can get a very good sense of your measurements to help choose the best size for you. 

Flexible Tape measure used to take body measurements



Now, onto the measuring! Most of the time, you can measure yourself, but you can also have someone assist you if you prefer. Sometimes it’s physically easier too and the measurements are a lot more accurate when you have help.

If numbers are triggering for you, try measuring using a system that is less familiar to you. For example, if you have grown up using inches, try using centimeters or vice versa. When measuring we recommend you do not wear restricting, or overly bulky or thick clothing.  Wearing panties, briefs, or boxers work perfectly if you're able to take your measurements without additional clothing on. If you typically pack, pad, or use any prostheses, then you should be wearing those too. Keep in mind that clothing may fit differently if your body shape changes a lot with your undergarment choice, so if you vary your shape from day to day, you may end up making what we could refer to as underwear-specific garments. All measurements should be taken standing if you typically stand, unless otherwise specified. If you do not stand typically, then take the measurements in your most usual position (e.g. in your wheelchair).

When we're looking for measurements for bottoms, you're going to typically look for waist and hip measurements. In some cases you may also benefit from taking additional measurements. 


Most people think their natural waist is the mid-point of their torso, which isn’t always true. If you have a high waist, your “natural waist” will be closer to your chest. If you have a low waist your “natural” waist will be closer to your hips. 

Finding your waist and getting the most accurate waist measurements is simple. Grab your tape measure and place it around your middle torso. Then bend your body to the side. You can go either left or right — which ever is easier for you. Then feel for a crease/indentation or fold below your chest, but above the top of your hips. If you have what we call love handles, look for the fold closest to the the top of your hips. Now move the tape measure to where that fold occurs on your body. That's your natural waist and the tape measure will give you your waist measurement. Don't pull the tape measure to a point where you're holding it so tight you're creating an unnatural size. Always make sure to have it tight enough where the tape measure doesn't fall but is loose enough you can still move it side to side with some ease. 


Outplay model taking waist measurements

Lower Waist

Depending on the garment you're taking your measurements for, it may help you get your low waist measurements as well. Your lower waits is between your natural waist and your belly button. The easiest way to find your lower waist is to put your pointer finger on your natural waist, then add your middle finger and index finger. The point where your index finger lands is your lower waist.

 Outplay model taking her lower waist measurements with a tape measure



Your hip measurements are taken right over the largest part of your buttocks, or smack in the middle of your bum, all the way around. You can also use your femur bone as a guide by feeling where your femur bone joins your hip bone. This is usually the fuller part of your lower body. 


Outplay model taking her hip measurements with a tape measure - front view


Always make sure you place the tape measure at a perpendicular level to the ground, so its not dropping on one side or laying to high on your body on another.


Outplay model taking her hip measurements with a tape measure - side view - keeping tape measure straight


Please note – the position of these measurements does not change according to the style of the garment. For example, you might be making a low rise pair of shorts or pants where the waistband sits well below the waist, closer to your lower waist or lower. In this case, you would still take the waist measurement and compare it to the size chart. The finished waistband measurement in this case may be larger than the waist on the size chart since the bottoms are designed to sit on what may be a fuller part of the body, closer to your hips. 


The inseam is a measurement that can help you get a better idea of how long a pair of bottoms will fit. It can be a bit misleading to take since it's the one measurement where the finished garment measurements should be used as the guide, not really your body. Keeping that in mind, the fit of the crotch will determine how long the effective inseam on a garment is. To measure your inseam place one end of the tape measure at your crotch. Ensure you’re wearing the underwear you prefer and any packers, padding etc. to ensure the vertical crotch position is accurate. The end of the tape should be slightly below grazing the lowest part of your body in that area. The inseam measurement should not take into account any preferences about crotch length or fit, but you do need to ensure there is enough space for your genitalia. The measurement will go between your crotch and your inside ankle bone. This measurement is much easier taken by a friend since any bending at the waist will change the measurement and give you an inaccurate reading.  If you don't have anyone who can help at the moment, take this measurement in front of a full-length mirror and use the mirror as a guide so you can make sure you're standing straight and the tape measure is kept straight by your leg as well. 


If you need any additional help or want help finding the best size for you based off of your measurements, feel free to reach out to us via email at hello@shopoutplay.com

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