So if I'm trying to buy clothes for a male friend, what measurements do I need him to tell me? Friend doesn't know, and I don't know either, because I have no clue about anything to do with clothes. I'm Not A Proper Girl.
Any dressmaking types or other sartiorial experts able to help me out here? Ideally, please tell me, so I can tell my friend, exactly how to obtain the relevant measurements, rather than just their names.
Oh, and GIP, while I'm at it. I've scanned the image from a random greetings card darcydodo picked out because it looks a lot like me. And there's a teapot!
Don't try and buy a jacket based on measurement alone. Thanks, that's useful advice. There isn't a great chance of being in the same place at the same time with the intended recipient, so it would be better for me to pick something that can reasonably be bought without the wearer needing to be present. I'll think about it.
Depends what 'type' of clothing :) Obviously leg size doesn't matter if you're buying a shirt. Typically though: For top half: (although for loose fitting clothes such as T-Shirts or sweatshirts, S/M/L/XL is usually enough) Collar size. Chest size.
For lower half: Waist size. leg length (inner typically)
... if I remember rightly, the correct procedure for measuring inside leg is as follows: Get hold of tape measure. Give end of tape measure to male friend/person being measured for costume. Say 'You hold the top end.' Gaze in bewilderment as measuree fails to understand that you want him to hold the tape measure where he wants the crotch of his trousers to come to, and not (as he seems to think) just hold it so that it doesn't get lost or something. Attempt to explain this delicately. If you're me, blush a bit during the process. Crouch down to his ankle height to take the measurement, and realize you've forgotten whether you should measure to the floor or to where you want the cuff of the trousers to come to. (I've just checked this one with my housemate, and he assures me it's the latter, or people end up tripping over their trousers.) Make note of measurement. Move on to next cast member.
Hope that helps.
PS. I do also remember being told on one occasion by one of the shop assistants at a formal-wear hire place that the correct way to take a collar measurement was to do so with two fingers (as well as a neck, obviously) inside the measuring tape. This helps to avoid strangulation.