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 underneath the tape to make sure 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 along the arm to where you want the cuff to sit. Thomas Pink have a visual guide here (you will need to click on sleeve when you get to the page).
  • 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. Don’t pull the tape measure up so it’s sitting tight under your armpits. This 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.
  • Waist – Measure around the waist at the belly button. Typically you should add around 4 inches to obtain a garment measurement.
  • 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 bum.

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 – 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. To translate this into a body measurement subtract four inches if you want the shirt to fit relatively tightly for a slimmer fit and five inches if you prefer a more typical fit. To give an example: if the measurement across the chest of the shirt is 25 inches then double this to give 50 inches. Then subtracting 4 inches to give 46 inches means this shirt would fit relatively tightly on a man with a chest measurement of 46 inches. Subtracting 5 inches to give 45 inches means this shirt would fit more loosely on a man with a chest measurement of 45 inches.
  • Waist – Measure the shirt around the waist area, where the shirt would be around your belly button.
  • Back 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 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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