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Vertical Body Proportions

You may need someone to help you do this exercise, or you can use a post-it note on the wall.

You require a long piece of string and a ruler, or much easier with a tape measure, plus pen and paper to take notes. It is a bit fiddly but worth the effort.

I shall take you through it step by step. You may find it easier to stand against a wall and place a post it note at the top of your head, your chin, waist, knees etc. Or you can measure as you go along.

Head to Body Proportions

Measure your height from the top of your head to your feet

Measure the length of your head

This will be from the top of your head to your chin.

Divide the height of your body by your head length

If your ratio is 8 then you have a proportional head and body height. If the answer is greater than 8, your head is proportionally short. If the answer is less than 8, your head proportionately long.

Upper Torso

Next measure from your chin to your waist

This is your upper torso. If the measurement is two heads lengths then your upper torso is in proportion. Less than two heads you are short waisted. More than two heads and you are long waisted. This is based on one head length being your height divided by eight.


Measure from your waist to your crotch

One head length is in proportion; less than one head length is a short rise, and more than one head length gives a long rise.


Finally measure from your crotch to your feet

Four head lengths gives you proportion. Less than four heads is short legs. More than four head lengths is long legs.

You can further split this down to determine if you are long or short in your thighs or shins

These sections are two head lengths each.

A lot if this information you might have already intuitively known but yet not fully realised why. It is most likely noticed when you buy clothing.

Are trousers always too long for you? Then you might be short legged? Are jeans always too low in the waist for you? You are likely to have a long waist.

There is nothing wrong with you. It is just that the fit model that has been used to design the proportions of clothing for a particular store, is different to you.

For example, the fit model for the UK store has proportionally long legs and a short rise and hence with my short legs and long rise, no matter what size of trousers I try, they are never going to be a good fit for me as the proportions are wrong for my vertical body shape.

If you find written instructions harder to follow than being shown how to do this, then take a look at the video demonstration on body proportions and follow that. You can always ask questions in the Facebook group if anything is a little confusing.

You might find the chart below helps you collect the correct measurements.

Body Proportions Chart

You can use imperial or metric however the calculations are usually easy if you take all measurements in centimetres. Alternatively, use the piece of string method. Aproximate if good enough.

NB: if you are not sure where your waist is exactly, bend over to one side and where the body dips under your rib cage, is your natural waistline.

++ If your bra is not as supportive as it might be, this puts your fullest part of your bust measurement lower down your body. If you continue measuring from here then you will get skewed results. A lower waistline usually makes your waist seem shorter. If you are proportional between the chin and the waist, adjusting your bra for a proper fit may put your waist and d├ęcolletage back into proportion.

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