Describing and Measuring Clothing for eBay

When a buyer is looking to purchase clothing, measurements of that clothing couldn’t be more important.

When listing clothing, an accurate description of the item; color, condition, size, and style are important, but because all brands of clothing use their own size charts, measurements of the item are of utmost importance.

Listing tops

When listing tops or dresses, there are several measurements you’re going to want to put into the description. With the top lying flat, you need the measurement across the chest, (armpit to armpit). When you put that into your listing, be sure and say that the measurement was taken while the top was lying flat. The measurement from the nape of the neck to the hemline, and the measurement from the armpit to the cuff, are both appropriate measurements. Now that you have the measurements, you want to describe it

Brand, color, material and washing instructions, style, (blouse, tank, polo, etc.). Crew neck or V-neck? Does it have buttons? Pockets? Is it long sleeved or short? ¬†Whether it’s new with tags or pre-owned. I simply start from the top of the shirt or dress, and describe exactly what I see as I look from top to bottom. If it is pre-owned, any flaws, stains or holes need to be described, and photographed. Color can sometimes be subjective. What I deem is dark green may be just green to you. Make sure that your photos accurately depict the true color of the item.

Listing bottoms.

When listing bottoms, like pants, skirts or shorts, a different set of measurements is needed. Lay the item down flat and measure across the waist.


For a skirt, then measure from the waist band to the hemline, and then across the hemline to show the flair of the skirt. After measuring the waist band of pants or shorts, measure the rise. The rise is the area from the crotch seam of the bottoms to the waistband. This tells a buyer how high up this item will sit on them. On pants or shorts, you also need to measure the inseam. That is the measurement from the crotch seam to the hem of the leg. I also like to measure across the hem of the leg. Again, a complete description should be given. Besides the aforementioned items to describe for a top, belt loops, zip or button fly, and leg cut are important factors to add, (boot-cut, straight-leg, etc.) It is called factory-frayed if they are made with the fray, and factory-destroyed if made with holes.


Providing an accurate description, and measurements, could be the difference in whether you make the sale, and not have to deal with a return later. If you have given all of the measurements, you avoid the IND (item not as described) return.

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