It's always preferable to give the actual measurements of a garment.
Below are some useful points for preparing your listing when you sell clothing.
BUST: Measure beneath the arms or at the widest point. Remember, ladies' garments are usually wider around the front to take into account the fullness of the bust. Try to follow the natural curve to achieve an accurate measurement.
WAIST: Obviously the narrowest part of most garments.
HIPS: The hip-line is usually measured between 7 and 9 inches below the natural waistline when measuring an actual person. Manufacturers cannot cater for every woman because, of course, all women are unique, so measure the widest part of the garment.
LENGTH: Measure from the neck of the garment to the bottom of the garment.
SLEEVE LENGTH is important to some buyers. Underarm length is more useful than outer sleeve length. Measure from where the arm seam joins the body to the edge of the cuff.
TROUSERS & JEANS: Give the inside leg measurement rather than the outside leg measurement. Measure from where the leg seams meet the fork (hate that word 'crotch'!) down to the hem.
The same measurement as ladies' garments except for shirts. Whilst inner sleeve measurement is still important, some buyers still use the old style method of measuring the outside sleeve measurement. This is measured from the centre of the neck, then across the shoulder to the arm seam then onwards to the edge of the cuff.
Don't say, 'I'm a size 12 and this is a bit tight on me'. You may have had a little more to eat than you realised.
Don't say, 'This would look lovely worn with...' Everyone's tastes are different - what suits you might look awful on someone else. It's patronising to suggest that you have better taste than your buyer.
Don't say, 'This skirt/dress comes down to the knee when I wear it'. You may be 5' 2" and your buyer may be 5' 6"
Taking the time to take a few simple measurements will help your buyer enormously and possibly reduce returns from unhappy customers.
Get that tape-measure out!.