Measuring our Actors

Today we had the opportunity to get a full tutorial on how to Measure our actors in a correct manor. We were taught how to measure for costume of people acting and moving around. We learnt different techniques and were even able to practice on one another before we got to meet our cast.

What to measure and how, when measuring for TV/Film.

Hip Bone – From each hip

The Waist – This is different for both men and women. Men’s being more difficult to measure. The belly button is where the waist is and men tend to have larger ones as some have bigger bellys. However, the belly button is where to measure and it should be in complete line ground.

Cup Fitting (Bra) – We didn’t have to worry about this much because nobody is doing an underwear scene however, you would usually measure under the bust and over. It is important that you are measuring women for underwear as women are bigger than they realise and they tend to have the wrong sizes.

Inside Leg – To make this as comfortable as possible, you must ask them to hold the end of the measuring tape to the top of the inside of the leg. They must be facing the front with their face straight ahead. The end of the measuring tape goes to the bottom, just where the heel begins.

Outside Leg – This is from the hip bone, to the floor. The actor/ess must be looking straight ahead. For women, you should also do the measurements from the waist to the floor because some have longer bodies and it can also give you a better understanding of the maximum length when buying or making a costume.

The Cross back – This is between the shoulder blades, not the top or the bottom. When measuring for jackets, always ask the person to push their arms up and lift forward.

Shoulder to Shoulder – This is from shoulder bone to the other shoulder bone

Nape to Waist – There is a little bone at the back of your neck called the nape, which may stick out sometimes. You start off from the Nape to where the belly button lines to at the back. (waist) You may also ask them to put their hands on their waist to give you a good guideline as to where it sits.

Arm length – Ask the person to bend their arms as you are measuring as this tends to be longer than the inside arm and lengths increase when moving around. Measure from the top of the shoulder right down to the wrists and add two fingers to the measurement.

Inside Arm – Again, to make this comfortable you must ask your actor to hold the end of the tape in their armpit and measure down to the wrists. The arm does not need to be bent as measurements stay the same when bent. You must also check that your actor is clean for hygiene reasons and so that your tape measure is not ruined.

The Neck Collar size – Most men know their shirt sizes when it comes down to this and they are always right. This measurement is quite preferential. Always ask and be a bit more generous (Two fingers maybe) when measuring. Most men prefer bigger sizes when acting as they get really hot.


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