How to Take Your Measurements for a Great Fitting Dress Shirt
So you’ve decided to get a made-to-measure dress shirt? Congratulations are in order. Not only are custom-fit dress shirts more comfortable to wear, but they are also far more flattering than most anything you’ll pull directly from the shelf of a department store. We’ve compiled a list of easy to follow video instructions to put you on the right track.
What you’ll need:
- A flexible cloth measuring tape
- A partner for those hard to measure areas (optional)
Measuring the Neck
To measure the neck, wrap the tape measure around the back of your neck. Bring it around to the front, just under the Adam’s apple, and leave room for fit allowance. You can mark this by leaving a bit of space between the neck and where you close the tape measure’s loop. The extra give here ensures a comfortable fit while giving you control of just how relaxed around the throat the shirt should be.
We recommend a 2-finger allowance.
Measuring for Long Sleeves
To measure for a long sleeve dress shirt, you’ll want to start in the middle of the neck. From there you'll measure down to the shoulder, and then from the shoulder to the middle of the back of your hand (or wherever you want the shirt cuff to stop). This is a 3-point measurement as demonstrated below.
An accurate chest measurement is crucial to the comfort of your dress shirt. To give yourself the best fit, find the most prominent part of your chest – usually across the nipples – and start there. Wrap the tape measure around your back and be sure the end result is level all the way around.
For the waist measurement, you'll want to find the area just above where your pant will sit. Wrap the tape measure around the circumference of your body and make sure the loop is level all the way around.
Measuring for Shirt Length
For the shirt length, you'll want to start in the middle of the neck, just under the collar. Run the tape measure down the spine and stop where you want the shirt to end. When in doubt, measure to the crease of the buttocks.
A common misconception here is to measure across from one shoulder to the other in a straight line. But your body is built to include curves. So, to get a more accurate measurement, start at the top of one shoulder, measure up to the middle bottom of the neck, then from there you go back down to the other shoulder. Like so:
Find the widest part of your hips, usually at the hip bone, and wrap the tape measure around the circumference of your body. As with the chest and waist measurements, be sure to keep the tape level all the way through.
To measure the bicep, put your arm straight out and then bend up to form a 90-degree angle at the elbow. Resist the urge to flex. Find the largest area of the bicep and measure the full circumference.
An accurate wrist measurement starts at the widest part of your wrist. Typically, this is the wrist bone. Wrap the tape measure around the circumference of your wrist.
Note: If your wardrobe revolves around watches, as some do, be sure to note a watch allowance. Generally, this allowance is either .25, .5, or .75 inches but will depend on the size of your watch. Add this measurement to the side you wear the watch on. If you’re opting for a wider cuff, then this may not be a necessity at all.