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How To Measure Dress Shirts: A Simple Guide

Lloyd Hughes

Learn How to Measure Dress Shirts in 9 Simple Steps

How to measure dress shirts: The tape measure

Buy­ing a dress shirt off the rack can be a gam­ble. Man­u­fac­tur­ers cre­ate their siz­ing accord­ing to cer­tain “aver­age” mea­sure­ments that may vary from brand to brand. In this guide, we will go over how to mea­sure dress shirts, in detail.

The prob­lem is, most of us don’t actu­al­ly fall into those aver­age size ranges. Get­ting the right dress shirt mea­sure­ments is key.

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, you went to a tai­lor and he’d take all the mea­sure­ments for you while you stood patient­ly wait­ing for him to fin­ish. He’d mea­sure around your neck, down your arms to deter­mine the sleeve length, and around your chest and waist.

Along with those mea­sure­ments, your tai­lor would add cer­tain allowances for cut and fit accord­ing to what suits your per­son­al style.

Through this process, you could guar­an­tee your­self a per­fect fit through tri­al and error. But what if there was a way to repli­cate the process with­out phys­i­cal­ly step­ping into a shop? With so many online cus­tom shirt­mak­ers, now you can.

Comparing & deciding between dress shirt measuring techniques online.

With so many choos­ing to go online for cus­tom offer­ings, how do you ensure a per­fect fit? Allow us to explain the best method in get­ting your fit per­fect­ed.

When you order a dress shirt online, some man­u­fac­tur­ers use an algo­rithm (such as Qsiz­ing from Deo Ver­i­tas) to help get the right fit with­out actu­al­ly tak­ing mea­sure­ments. Through a series of ques­tions, the algo­rith­mic sys­tem can hone in on the right dress shirt mea­sure­ments to fit your body pro­file.

You can also take your own mea­sure­ments with a mea­sur­ing tape, but it’s tricky to do accu­rate­ly on your own. Even with some­one else doing the mea­sure­ments for you at home, there can be mis­takes that can affect the fit of your shirt.

Rather than have an ama­teur mea­sure you, the next best thing is to find a pro­fes­sion­al who under­stands the process and can pro­vide you with accu­rate mea­sure­ments. But there is an even bet­ter method; mea­sur­ing an exist­ing shirt.

Finding that “perfect” dress shirt to measure from.

Like most men, you’ve prob­a­bly got at least one or two shirts in your clos­et that fit per­fect­ly. And a whole bunch that don’t. There are many vari­ables to take into account, and get­ting a prop­er fit involves a num­ber of dif­fer­ent mea­sure­ments.

You want a shirt that gives you a slim pro­file, with just enough room that it doesn’t pull at the but­tons when you move, or keep slid­ing out of your waist­band over the course of a day.

Every once in a while, you may luck into a great fit­ting shirt off the rack, only to find out that it’s been dis­con­tin­ued, or you can nev­er find the brand name or right size ever again.

Replicating your perfectly fitting shirt.

If you have a favorite shirt that fits just right, you can actu­al­ly dupli­cate that fit by using the same mea­sure­ments. This dras­ti­cal­ly reduces the num­ber of iter­a­tions need­ed to get that per­fect fit, as you’ll effec­tive­ly be try­ing to clone this shirt.

How to measure dress shirts.

Mea­sur­ing your shirt is actu­al­ly quite sim­ple, as you have the exact ref­er­ence points to mea­sure from. Just fol­low the 9 steps below, and you’ll get accu­rate mea­sure­ments that can be pro­vid­ed to any online cus­tom shirt­mak­er.

Before you begin, remem­ber to make sure that any part of the shirt you mea­sure is lay­ing flat on a table or oth­er hard sur­face, so that you’re get­ting as accu­rate a mea­sure­ment as pos­si­ble.

Don’t add any extra allowances for shrink­age as most man­u­fac­tur­ers take that into account already.

1. First, mea­sure the full length col­lar from one side to the oth­er, or but­ton to but­ton­hole.

2. Then but­ton the shirt and lay it on its back. Mea­sure across the shirt body from one under­arm to the oth­er.

3. Now, find the nar­row­est part of the tor­so at the waist­line, and mea­sure that all the way across.

4. Take the mea­sure­ment across the bot­tom of the side seams from one side to the oth­er.

5. For the sleeves, you’ll need the length, mea­sur­ing from the top of the shoul­der straight down to the bot­tom of the cuff.

6. You’ll also need the width of the sleeve, which you can get by mea­sur­ing across the widest part at the arm­hole.

7. For the cuffs, you’ll get the length by mea­sur­ing the dis­tance from the out­er edge of the but­ton hole on one side to the cen­ter of the but­ton on the oth­er.

8. Flip­ping the shirt so that the but­tons are on the bot­tom, mea­sure across the shoul­ders from one arm­hole seam to the oth­er.

9. Last, you’ll get the over­all length by mea­sur­ing the back from where the col­lar joins to the shirt down to the very bot­tom of the hem­line.

Getting a perfect fit from your existing dress shirt.

Using the mea­sure­ments of your own per­fect dress shirt, a cus­tom shirt mak­er can eas­i­ly dupli­cate the results. And once the tin­ker­ing is com­plete, you’ll land your­self a per­fect­ed cloning process, result­ing in the best dress shirts you’ve ever bought (and owned).

Measure Dress Shirts