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Article: Precision Matters: A Guide to Measuring Dress Shirts


Precision Matters: A Guide to Measuring Dress Shirts

Every person who has worn a dress shirt even once in their life can confirm the fact that the fitting makes a huge difference. Like other garments, if the dress shirt is an inch too tight or an inch too loose, it will give a bad look, and the wearer will not look put-together and presentable, which is often the goal when picking this attire. There are certain rules to taking dress measurements, which one must adhere to to get a perfect result. We have different areas of the torso that need to be measured, as precision matters in measuring dress shirts. There is no need for you to hop on to YouTube and watch a ton of hour-long videos. All the important steps and guides on how to properly measure a dress shirt to achieve the perfect outfit have been shared in the article below.

Precision Matters: A Guide to Measuring Dress Shirts

How to Measure Dress Shirts Correctly

In order to take the perfect measurements of a dress shirt, you are going to need a tape measure. You are also going to need to ask the person to stand still so that you can take their measurements.

Neck Around

The first measurement that we are going to take is of the collar, which means measuring the neck of the person. This is the most important part of a dress shirt, as the collar can make or break the look of an outfit. Moreover, if the shirt length, fit, or sleeve length is not okay, a person can get them altered, but a collar can not be altered; this is why it is important to measure the neck carefully. Take the measuring tape and tie it around the neck where the collar lies. If you are having difficulty in deciding a position, then just place it right under the Adam’s apple of the person. Make sure not to pull the tape too tightly or leave it too loose. Add one finger behind the tape to get a snug fit and not a tight one.

Sleeve Length and Bicep

Knowing how to measure sleeve length for a dress shirt is also important. Hold the measuring tape at the base of the center of the neck at the back, bring it onto the shoulder, and then let it hang downward. Note the measurement where the tape is close to the wrist. For the bicep, you need to locate the meaty part of the arm, which is the widest, and then tie the tape around it. Do the same as with the neck measurement, and add a finger under the tape to make sure the fit is not too tight.

Shoulder Width

In order to measure the shoulder width, the person needs to stand very relaxed and not hunch forward or rigidly. This will result in the wrong measurements. Now, take the measuring tape and hold it on the one corner of the shoulder where the shoulder meets the arm, and drag the tape all the way across the shoulder blades to the other side.

Chest Measurement

The chest measurement is also very important in a dress shirt as it determines the fit of the shirt when the person is wearing it. Take the measuring tape and start wrapping it around the upper part of the chest of the person. Take it under the armpits and then bring it all the way to the front, making a full circle. Make sure that you are not wrapping the tape too tightly, or the result will be a dress shirt that will be pulling at its seams. In order to ensure that the snug is fit, keep it tight enough that one finger fits under the tape.

Waist Measurement

Similar to the chest measurement, you need to take the measuring tape and wrap it around the fullest part of the waist of the person. If you are having trouble determining the position of the tape, then hold it over the belly button, wrap it all the way to the back, and then bring it to the front again in a full circle.

Shirt Length

Hold one end of the measuring tape at the base of the neck at the back, and then bring the tape all the way down to the point where you want your shirt to end. The length of the shirt can be adjusted according to the preferences of the person and the style the shirt will be worn. For instance, if the shirt will be let out of the pants, it needs to be a few inches longer than the ones that will be tucked into the pants.

Wrist Around

The last measurement that we need to take to get the perfectly fitted dress shirt is the wrist measurement, which will determine the cuff size. Take the tape and wrap it around the wrist of the person, and then add two inches to the measurement for the perfect cuff size. That is it; now you know how to measure for a dress shirt.


What does 16.5 shirt size mean?

Generally, 16.5 shirt size means that the shirt is larger in size. This measurement denotes the collar size of the shirt in inches; 15 inches means small, 15.5 inches is medium, 16.5 inches is large, and 17.5 inches is extra large.

When choosing a shirt size, which measurement is most important?

When you are choosing a dress shirt size for yourself, the measurement of the neck is the most important one. The neck measurement determines the fit of the collar, so if the collar is too tight or too loose, the shirt will not look good. In addition to that, it is possible to alter the fitting of the shirt once it has been made, but the collar size can not be changed.


With that, the guide to measuring dress shirts is complete. It is important to measure a dress shirt properly, as even a quarter of an inch makes a huge difference in fitting, which then completely alters the look of a shirt. I hope the detailed guide provided in the article above helps you in measuring dress shirts accurately.

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