I like to wear vintage clothes, especially dresses. In addition to combing local thrift stores, I scout for new looks online. Sellers often tell you the bust, waist and hip measurements in the listing, but they will give you more if you ask. Do you know your measurements? If not, keep reading :)
2. Chest:: Measure around the body, directly under the arms and across top of the breasts.
3. Diaphragm:: Measure around the body, halfway between the bust and the waist.
4. Waist:: Measure the thinnest part of your torso.
5. High Hip:: Measure 2" to 4" below your waist over top of hip bones.
6. Full Hip:: Measure at the fullest part of your hips. Measure from waist to full hip to establish "hipline" which is usually 7" to 9" from waist.
7. Back Neck to Waist:: Measure from prominent neck bone down center back to waist.
8. Back Width:: Measure across back from arm crease to arm crease.
9. Front Neck to Waist:: Measure from hollow between neck bones to center front waistline.
10. Bust Point:: To establish position of bust point (this would be useful if you were making a dress with darts), measure from prominent back neck bone and over shoulder to bust point, and from bust point to center front waist. Record both measurements.
11. Shoulder:: Measure from base of neck to shoulder bone (hinge). (tip: Etsy sellers often list shoulder length by measure from top of sleeve to top of sleeve with the garment flat. You might want to just measure a garment that fits you correctly this way to get the measurement for online shopping.)
12. Arm Length:: Measure from shoulder bone to elbow and on to wrist with arm slightly bent.
13. Arm Circumference:: Measure around fullest part of arm, often about an inch below the armpit.
14. Wrist Circumference:: Measure around wrist at bone.
15. Neck Circumference:: Measure fullest part of neck.
(tip: A lot of sellers measure the garments flat, so you have to double whatever they put for the waist, bust, hips.)
I recommend you keep a record of all of these measurements near your computer because many etsy sellers will not accept a return based on a bad fit. Having this resource makes online shopping so much easier.
For more tips on buying online check out Leigh Ann's series on Freckled Nest and this guide from Red Velvet.