Selling Clothes on eBay: How to measure clothing

When listing your clothing items for sale on eBay using some simple measurements will a) help to sell the item and b) reduce the amount of returns you will get due to the item not fitting on receipt.  I made the mistake of thinking that women’s clothing didn’t need measuring, and the generic sizing label would be enough.  A few returns, and requests for sizing, later I quickly changed my mind on this. Every brand has slightly different sizing, despite the generic sizing given.  Without the luxury of trying an item of clothing on, extra measurements give a better idea of actual size and dimensions to fit the customer.

The most frequent sizing questions I received were for chest measurement and length.  I don’t include every measurement possible, just a couple of basic measurements to give the customer some extra information on the item:

Tops, T-Shirts, Jackets etc


Length – Neck to hemScreen Shot 2017-05-04 at 14.57.37

Chest – Arm Pit to Arm Pit – doubled

eg 22″ pit to pit = 44″ chest

It doesn’t matter if you use cm or inches







Yoke measuring:

from shoulder to shoulder

Sleeve measuring:

from the top of the shoulder to the cuff



Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 14.58.11Bust – Pit to pit doubled

Waist – measured from the narrowest part of the waist area

– measure across and double

Hips – measured from the fullest part (under the waist)

– measure across and double



Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 14.58.25Waist – measure across the waistband and double

For high waisted skirts you may want to add a hip measurement from the widest part of the hip

Length – measure from the waistband to the hem




Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 14.57.53

Waist – measure across the waistband and double it

Length – measure the inside of the leg




Describing a size…

When listing your clothing item the sizing label given may be a European or American label, or it may simply state S, M or L.  A google image search for size guides can help you to identify the UK size for your listing.  Some brands have their own size guides on their websites.  Below are two generic Male and Female size Charts:




Tape measures

It is best to use a tailors/dress makers soft tape measure to measure clothing as it is flexible and versatile, enabling accurate measurements:


Click here for a recommended good quality tape measure









  1. You left out the “rise” of the pants. That would be from the crotch seam up to the top edge of the pants. It helps people understand if the pants are low rise,mid-rise or if the waist goes up to the belly button area {high rise}.


  2. The chest size of a suit jacket is not double, it’s double minus 2 to 4 inches depending on the fit of the jacket, so a tailored fit jacket with a pit to pit measurement on 23 inches would be a 44 inch chest, 23×2 = 46 then 46 – 2= 44

    Liked by 1 person

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