Friday ReBlog: Thrifting with a Tape Measure

Sheila over at Ephemera had a great tip embedded in a funky outfit post (which in and of itself will be good inspiration for anyone wanting to rock bright colors and skirts but stay warm).  She scored the featured skirt without trying it on but it fit like a glove.  Her secret?  Shopping with a tape measure!

Knowing your clothing measurements in inches/cm allows you to figure out if a piece you can’t (or don’t have time to) try on will match your body.  Vanity sizing combined with the vast range of brands/eras represented at the thrift store also makes this a very handy tool when those pants look suspiciously like a great fit even though they’re not labeled as your size…

I inherited a bright blue portable tape measure from my mom that I often tuck in my bag when I’m thrifting photo frames or furniture, but it hadn’t occurred to me to use a tape measure for clothing (duh).  This obviously requires a little bit of homework – namely measuring yourself at home and writing down (or memorizing) your measurements.  I suppose if you don’t mind marking it up, you could even record your measurements on said tape measure case with a fine tip permanent marker for quick reference.  Waist or bust size may need re-inscribing as size fluctuates, but inseam isn’t likely to budge much.


What are your favorite tools for thrifting?  Happy weekend, Thrifters!


4 thoughts on “Friday ReBlog: Thrifting with a Tape Measure

  1. What a lovely surprise to see this in my inbox! Thank you so much for mentioning me and for linking!

    I have a teeny little tape measure and it’s so handy for checking waist and hips (skirts) and across the bust (blouses/jackets). Most of the time I’ll try things on but when I find something like that skirt – I couldn’t try it on (fitting rooms all busy), so I crossed my fingers and measured.

    Thanks again – love your blog!

    1. Sheila, you’re welcome – it’s always a pleasure to read your blog! And thanks for your kind words.
      The closest I come to what you do when I can’t try stuff on is to guess based on the fit of the same size in the same brand for something I already own – which circumstance doesn’t arise very often! I’ve stayed away from complete non-try-on stores before but the tape measure could help make that work…

  2. A good friend of mine taught me how to determine if the waist will fit – wrap the garment around your neck. If it touches in the back it will fit. If there is a gap it is too small. This doesn’t help with thighs and hips, but it works for the waist. I often do this to help limit the number of items I actually try on.

    1. What a cool, simple hack! I’ll have to try that next time I’m in the thrift store trying to sort through possible try-ons. Thanks for sharing, Kathleen!

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