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How To Measure For A Dress Shirt On Your Own


Measuring someone for a custom dress shirt is usually a two-person job. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the person you’re measuring doesn’t even have to be in the know at all! Just find a dress shirt that already fits them well – how you do so is up to you and your sleuthing ways – and use that as a baseline. Let’s say you’re shopping for the perfect Father’s Day gift (hint hint) or looking to get something special for the snazzy dresser in your life. All you’d need is the aforementioned shirt procured in secret and a tape measure and voila! You’re all set to go! Here’s the run down on how to get their measurements just right to complete your clandestine custom shirt making mission.

Chest Circumference:

Lay the shirt down with the buttons facing up on a hard, flat, surface. Start your measurement at one corner of the seam under the armpit where the shirt body meets the sleeve. Hold one end of the measuring tape at this point and run it across to the opposite point. Make sure the shirt is fully laid flat and not wrinkling or bunching under the measuring tape. Round to the nearest ¼ (.25 inch) then multiply the full measurement by 2.

Waist Circumference:

This measurement is taken from the trimmest part of the shirt. Much like when measuring the chest, you want to make sure the shirt is laid flat with no wrinkles or bunching occurring under the tape, but not so taut that the buttonholes are stretching. Measure across from one end to the other. Multiply this measurement by 2.


Flip the shirt on its back. Locate the seam that connects the sleeve to the rest of the shirt. Trace that seam up to the very top of the shoulder area and measure from that point to the same point on the opposite side. This action should see the tape measure run between the nape of neck and where the upper shoulder blades sit.

Sleeve Length:

To measure sleeves, divide the shoulder measurement by half. Take that number and use it as the start point on the measuring tape. Measure from the shoulder seam to the tip of the cuffs.

Sleeve Width:

With the shirt laid flat and facing up, use your hands to spread any wrinkles from the sleeve. Once complete, start your measurement one inch below the armpit seam. Run the tape measure in a straight line the width of the sleeve you are measuring. The tape measure should form a 90-degree angle at the top of the sleeve.

Cuff Around:

With the shirt laid flat, spread the cuff out. Measure from the center of the button to the furthest end of its complementary buttonhole.

Body Length:

Start at the center back, just under the collar. Run the tape measure down to the bottom of the shirt. If the shirt is a rounded hem, this should fall squarely in the center of the “u” shape. Flat or straight hems are a little harder to eyeball, so make sure your tape measure is straight all the way through.


The collar measurement is taken from the inside of the collar band. Start by unbuttoning the shirt and laying it flat in a face up position. Flip the collar up and flatten it out so you have a shape that roughly resembles the picture below. Find the very first button on the shirt, the one that is fastened when wearing a tie. Look for the button stitching on the inside and start your measurement there. Run the measuring tape across to the furthest end of the buttonhole on the opposite side. Round to the nearest ¼ (.25 inch).

At Original Stitch, we offer a fully customizable collection (yes, even the collar type!) of premium quality shirts. Create one that is completely unique to YOU. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from and tailored in Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than regular button-up shirts.