Shirt measuring guide


Looking for a shirt measuring guide?  Below you’ll find the information you need. To obtain the correct measurements you can either A) measure yourself or B) use an existing shirt that fits well and measure that shirt. I explain both methods below. You’ll need a measuring tape. They are available on Amazon here.

A. Shirt Measuring Guide – Measuring Yourself

  • Collar – Measure around the fullest part of your neck where the collar would sit. Keep two fingers between the tape and your neck to ensure the collar will not be too tight when you wear the shirt.
  • Arm Length – This is a measurement you can’t take yourself. You will need someone’s help. Measure from the center of the back of the neck, across the shoulder and down the arm to where you want the cuff to sit.
  • Chest Size – Measure around the widest part of the chest, keeping the tape measure parallel to the ground. The widest part is usually around one inch (2.5cms) below your armpits and you should measure there and don’t pull the tape measure up so it’s sitting tight under your armpits. Measuring the widest part of the chest gives you a “to fit measurement”.  You can add four inches if you want to translate that into a garment measurement for a relatively tight fitting shirt.  Add five inches for a more typical fit and six inches for a more relaxed comfortable fit. To give an example: if your chest measurement is 46 inches, then a shirt with a 52 chest measurement will give you a relaxed and comfortable fit.
  • Waist – Measure around the waist at the belly button. Typically you should add around four inches to obtain a garment measurement, three if you want the shirt to fit relatively tightly.
  • Back Length – Again you’ll need someone’s help with this. Measure from the center of the back of the neck down to the bottom of the bottom.

B. Shirt Measuring Guide – Using a shirt to obtain garment measurements

First, find a shirt that fits you well. Then take the following garment measurements.

  • Collar – Open up the shirt and measure on the inside of the collar the distance between the button and the outside edge of the button hole on the other side.
  • Arm Length – Place the shirt face down on a table and straighten out one of the arms. Find the center point where the base of the collar joins the rest of the shirt. Measure from here to the end of the cuff of the shirt. If you are measuring a shirt with a french or double-cuff remember to fold over the cuff when you take the measurement and measure to the fold.
  • Chest Measurement– Take the shirt and measure the chest from seam to seam, about an inch (2.5cm) below where the bottom of the sleeve of the shirt meets the body of the shirt. Double this to get the circumference of the shirt.
  • Waist Measurement– Measure the shirt from seam to seam at the waist area, where the shirt would be around your belly button. Then double this measurement.
  • Back Length – Place the shirt face down on a table. Find the point where the base of the collar joins the rest of the shirt. Measure from here to bottom of the shirt.


Can’t find what you’re looking for? Try the shirt search engine to find a shirt that fits you.

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