Meet Tape Measure – My Shopping BFF

woman over 50 dressed in an orange shirt standing in a closet using a tape measure on a jacket

Meet my shopping BFF Tape Measure.   What?  Why you ask?  I would rather shop online any day than go into a store to shop for clothes.  There are a few reasons for this.  The main reason is that most of the time when I go into a store to shop for clothes or shoes they don’t have my size in stock and it has to be ordered.  Instant gratification does not come frequently for me.  When I do get the things that I order most likely they have to go to the seamstress for adjustments.

Knowing your measurements is a must.  Keep reading to find out how I shop my measurements.  Remember you can click on any link to find out additional information about handy products or interesting reference articles.

Taking Your Measurements

It won’t take you long at all for this little exercise.  All you need is a soft tape measure like this that is used for sewing, a notepad and pencil to write down your measurements, and dressed in your bra and panties.   You will need to take these measurements:

  1. arms
  2. bust
  3. inseam
  4. hips
  5. shoulders
  6. waist

This article from Who What Wear has great illustrations.  The other option is that if you have a good relationship with your seamstress ask her to do it for you.  I would suggest to then write them down and tuck them into your purse or put them in your phone, as well as, keep them on your computer for easy reference.  I also like to go into my closet as the pictures above indicate and take measurements of some of my favorite pieces.  This is handy for jacket lengths, skirt lengths, and dress lengths.  You know what you look and feel your best in so why not try to purchase new things with similar cuts and fits.

How To Utilize Your Tape Measure Information

Now it’s time to go surfing for some new things.  Whether you are buying new, gently loved, or vintage the tape measure exercise will come in handy.  Why?  Not all brands size their things the same.  I am sure most of you will agree that you have at least 3 sizes of clothes in your closet and they all fit.  A little trick I use is I go to the brand’s website, not the department store’s and look at their fit information and then I apply it to the items I am buying. For gently loved and vintage items the sellers will usually provide you with the most important measurements.

I have always encouraged my clients to fit their bottoms thru their hips and then have the waist and length altered.  For jackets, the shoulders are the most important fit and then the length of the jacket to make sure that it is a good cut for your body type.

All three of the items that I am measuring and wearing were vintage pieces that I have purchased the last few months.  Because of shopping with my BFF I had very minor alterations done to them.  The jacket just needed the sleeves hemmed and the skirts just needed waistline alterations.  Both alterations are something that I have done on almost everything I purchase.


2020 and all of its curveballs has really changed the way many of us are shopping.  Hope this little tape measure exercise and information helps you with your shopping adventures.  Looks like the trend of shopping online is here to stay for a while.  Studies have shown that from 2019 to 2020 consumer shopping online is up and most people plan continue to shop this way.  Here’s a great article about the statistics Salesforce, Inc. found from around the world in July/August of this year conducted about shopping habits and how they have changed.

Thanks for reading.  Happy shopping.

Remember to always have a little SASs in your day.





Similar Posts


  1. It is so important to measure!! It makes the whole difference. You’re absolutely right of having at least 3 sizes that fit in your closet!! Thanks xx

    1. Yes, it’s a gamechanger when you start shopping this way. Comes in handy for those amazing vintage pieces too

  2. What an excellent idea, Beth. And I am sure just having my new BFF/tape measure and a list of my measurements will make a big difference in how easily (and successfully) I buy online going forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.