How to Measure Your Body for Dress Shirts

If you’re ordering a custom dress shirt, one way to create your custom size is to measure your body.  The following explanations and videos will show how to measure for a dress shirt and create your custom size.  However, before you get started, these links may be helpful.

  1. If you want to follow these instructions and simultaneously enter your measurements into your Proper Cloth account you can do that here.
  2. If you prefer to measure a dress shirt directly, that can also be a great way to create your first custom dress shirt size.  Click here for how to measure a dress shirt.

Neck Around

Place the measuring tape around the neck at the height where the collar would normally rest. This will be just below your Adam’s apple. Stand relaxed. Do not crane your neck out or squeeze your chin down. The tape should be resting lightly on the skin, not squeezing it. Hold one finger under the tape measure to ensure some room for comfort. Do not try to account for shrinkage by adding extra here. We will do that for you. Click here for more details on how to measure your neck.

Sleeve Length

Measuring your body in this way will require a partner. If you don’t have a partner, measure a shirt with sleeves that are the right length. Place one end of the measuring tape at the base of the center of the back of the neck. Run the measuring tape over your shoulder, and let it hang down to your hand. Measure to the center of the meaty part of your palm. Do not adjust for shrinkage. We will do that for you. Click here for more details on how to measure your sleeve length.

Shoulder Width

This measurement will require a partner. If you don’t have a partner, measure a shirt directly. Either way, it’s helpful to refer to a shirt that fits well in the shoulders. Start the end of the tape on the outside edge of the shoulder where you want the yoke of the shirt to start. This is where the horizontal part of the shoulder meets the vertical part of the arm. Measure up over the curve of the shoulders and to outside edge of the other shoulder.  Click here for more details on how to measure your shoulder width.

Chest Around

Run the measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest, tight up under your armpits and over the shoulder blades. Let your arms hang down in a relaxed, natural pose. Do not puff out your chest or arch your back in any sort of pose that isn’t natural or sustainable.  Click here for more details on how to measure your chest around.

Waist Around

This is slightly different than the waist measurement you use when you buy pants, so don’t assume you know this. It’s important to stand in a relaxed, normal position (unless you’re able to suck in your stomach and hold your breath all day long). Run the tape around the fullest part of the belly. This is usually around the level of the belly button. The measuring tape should be snug on the skin, but not squeezing in. Click here for more details on how to measure your waist around.

Shirt Length

We need to know how long you want the shirt to be. Put the first end of the measuring tape at the base of the back of your neck and measure down your back to the point where you’d want the shirt to be. This point is usually the bottom of the buttocks, although you may want to go slightly longer if you plan to always tuck the shirt in, or slightly shorter if you plan to wear the shirt un-tucked. Click here for more details on how to measure your shirt length.

Bicep Around

With your arm hanging at your side and relaxed, measure around your bicep at its fullest point. This is probably pretty close to your armpit. Make sure the tape measure is not too tight. Round up to the nearest half-inch. Don’t flex. Fine, flex. Done? Ok, now take the measurement.  Click here for more details on how to measure your bicep around.

Wrist Around

Measure around your wrist around the wrist bone. Hold the tape measure tight to your skin, but do not squeeze your wrist. Round up to the nearest quarter inch. We will add 2 inches to this measurement when we calculate your cuff circumference.  Click here for more details on how to measure your wrist around.

Type of Fit

For most men, we suggest starting with our standard or “office appropriate” Slim Fit. It will be nicely fitted to you, yet still comfortable and not too tight. However, if you prefer a particularly tight fit, dislike any excess fabric around the chest, waist and arms, and are not bothered by slight tightness or limited range of motion, consider the Super Slim Fit. Conversely, if you appreciate a generous, roomy fit that does not hug your body, then select the Classic Fit. This will be looser around the chest and arms and boxier through the stomach. Click here for more details on how to choose the right type of fit.