How to Measure Body for Ao Dai

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Use a tape measure to make accurate measurements.
Use a tape measure to make accurate measurements. (Image: tape measure image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com)

The ao dai, literally "long dress," is the national dress for Vietnamese women. The traditional ao dai has long sleeves and a high collar with hidden buttons, according to Gia Long Alumni Association of Seattle, and the dress slits into a front and back flap at the waist. It is normally worn with loose-fitting trousers. Women wear variations on the traditional ao dai style, but the process of measuring the body to fit an ao dai does not vary, regardless of style.

Things You'll Need

  • High-heeled shoes
  • Soft, thin, sleeveless clothes
  • Well-fitting bra
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil and paper
  • Thin ribbon, 3-foot length

Measure the neck by starting at the top of sternum. Loop tape around the back of the neck to return to the top of the sternum.

Measure over the chest by looping the tape from the top of the chest behind the back, ensuring the tape sits under both armpits.

Measure the chest by determining the widest point and then loop the tape behind the back.

Determine the chest length by measuring from peak of breast to peak of breast.

Measure below the chest by placing the beginning of the tape at the lower neck (this is the point where neck and shoulder meet) and then bring the tape down to meet the peak of the breast.

Measure above the waist by finding the narrowest part above the hipbone and then looping the tape around the back.

Tie a ribbon around the waist as a reference for later measurements.

Measure below the waist by looping the tape around the back so that it sits directly on top of both hipbones.

Measure the waist length from nape of neck to the ribbon you tied around the waist in Step 7.

Measure the distance from the neck to the waist by starting at the lower neck and finishing at the ribbon.

Measure the armpit by looping the tape over the shoulder and under the armpit. Do this with the arms relaxed by the side of the body.

Measure the biceps at the widest point, keeping the arm relaxed by the side of the body.

Measure the elbow at its widest point, keeping the arm relaxed by the side of the body.

Measure the arm length from the point of the shoulder to the wrist.

Measure the distance from the point of one shoulder to the point of the other shoulder.

Measure the entire dress length by starting at the nape of neck and finishing at the ankle, while wearing high-heeled shoes.

Measure the trouser length by starting at the waist ribbon and finishing at the ankle, while wearing high-heeled shoes.

Measure the sleeve length by starting at the nape of the neck and finishing at the wrist. To obtain the correct measurement ensure the tape goes across the shoulder and down the arm.

Measure the hips by looping the tape around the fullest part of both hipbones. Keep the tape parallel to the ground while passing around the buttocks.

Measure the fullest part of the thigh.

Measure the fullest part of the knee.

Determine height by making a mark at the top of the head against a wall or door frame and then measure down to the floor.

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