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Tailors Tape for Dress Shirt Measurements

Understanding Dress Shirt Measurements

A guide to finding your dress shirt measurements

The basics of dress shirt measurements are easy

Dress shirt measurements are based on your neck, arm, chest, and waist measurements. Below is a simple guide on how to properly take these critical measurements.

For menswear, companies typically offer shirts in alpha sizing (small, medium, large) or numerical sizing (based on your neck and arm length). The chest and waist measurements are standardized based on neck and arm length in relation to a company’s fit formula.

When taking your body measurements, it is best to use a soft measuring tape (tailor’s tape) since it is the easiest to wrap around your body. Ask a friend to help to take your measurements, or ask your tailor or personal dry cleaner to take your measurements if you are concerned about accuracy.

Pro tip: If you don’t have access to tailor’s tape you can use a piece of string, and then lay the string flat out on a tape measure.



Measure around the base of your neck where your shirt collar sits comfortably.
Pro tip: Add 1-2 fingers in-between the tape and your neck to ensure space for breathing.
Collar Dress Shirt Measurements

Sleeve Length

Start the tape at the center back of your neck, extend the tape over the top of your shoulder and down to the point where your hand starts to widen at your wrist. More on measuring sleeve length
Sleeve Length Dress Shirt Measurements


Wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your chest and back. Roughly this is right under your arms. Keep the tape measure parallel to the ground. Also take a breath in so the measurement is not constricting.
Chest Dress Shirt Measurements


Measure around your waistline which is the narrowest part of your waist. Roughly at the hight of your belly button. Stand naturally to get a correct measurement.
Waist Dress Shirt Measurements

Now, take the measurements you noted and compare them to the sizes listed in the fit guide size chart. The measurements should roughly match up. Every man's body is slightly different and clothing has ease built-in to allow for movement. Each company adds in a different amount of ease based on their specified fit. Examples of types of fits are: traditional, fitted, slim and extra slim. Fits are a matter of preference to the brand. Our Batch fit is similar to other brand’s slim fit except with a bit more of a tailored cut.

  • X Small

    Body Length: 29"
    Chest: 39"
    Your Sleeve Length: 34"
    You should wear Pant Size: 26 - 28"
  • Small

    Body Length: 29"
    Chest: 40"
    Sleeve Length: 34.5"
    You should wear Pant Size: 28 - 30"
  • Medium

    Body Length:  29.5"
    Chest: 42"
    Sleeve Length: 35"
    You should wear Jean Size: 31 - 32"
  • Large

    Body Length: 30"
    Chest: 46"
    Sleeve Length: 35.75"
    You should wear Jean Size: 33 - 35"
  • X Large

    Body Length: 30.5"
    Chest: 50"
    Sleeve Length: 36.25"
    You should wear Jean Size: 36 - 40"
  • XX Large

    Body Length: 30.5"
    Chest: 54"
    Sleeve Length: 36.75"
    You should wear Jean Size: 42 - 46"

Pro tip: Some companies measurements are of the garments, not based on your body measurements. This is where it can get confusing. If this is the case, then their shirts already have ease built-in around the chest and waist so the measurements will seem larger than usual.


Neck Size vs Collar Size
Neck size is the measurement around your neck without ease. Collar size has length built-in to it to allow you to breathe, and for the collar to sit on your neck properly. If in doubt, you can instead note the collar size of a shirt that fits well allowing two fingers to still squeeze between your collar and neck.

Arm Length vs Sleeve Length
Arm length is from the top of your arm to your wrist, this measurement starts at the shoulder and is often used for casual shirt sizing. Sleeve length for dress shirts are measured from the center of your back because dress shirts have a loose fitting shoulder and armhole that does not sit on your natural shoulder position. Shirts today are fitted more closely to the body and often the sleeve length could be taken from your arm length; however, the traditional measurement method still prevails in modern menswear. More on measuring sleeve length