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Men's Dress Shirt

A Man’s Guide to Measuring for a New Dress Shirt


3 Steps to a Perfect Fit: A Man’s Guide to Measuring for a New Dress Shirt

If you want to really enjoy the look of a new dress shirt then you must also love the way it feels. An improper fit can make even the most stylish garment look terrible. What’s worse is that clothing that’s too tight or too large could also hinder your ability to move, work or relax. To begin, make sure you have a cloth tape measure on hand. It is often easier to have a second person assist you when taking measurements.

Deciphering Men’s Dress Shirt Sizes and Cuts

If this is your first time shopping for men’s dress garments, then you may not be familiar with the size layout on the tag. The first digits refer to the shirt’s neck size. The next number indicates sleeve length.  It is important to keep this in mind as you shop for the perfect fit.

There are three general categories when shopping for shirts. The first is an athletic cut which features a tapered look. A regular cut provides a loose fit. This is the cut used when the garment’s packaging doesn’t indicate another style.  A full cut offers an even looser look that offers the most space in the body area.

Taking Your Dress Shirt Measurements

Follow the steps below to find out what size you need to buy when shopping for shirts.

Step One

The first step starts at the neck. Using the cloth tape measure, determine the circumference of your neck. Always take the measurement from the thickest area. This falls right around where your collar would normally rest when wearing a fully buttoned dress shirt. Collars are sized in half inch increments. If you are just below the half inch mark then round up to the next size.

Comfort should also be considered because each man likes to wear his clothing a different way. If you prefer a little more space in a collar, then add another half inch to an inch based on how much room you desire. If you want to get a better measurement, try adding a finger or two when measuring your neck size to automatically adjust the results.

Never determine a measurement with a shirt that isn’t completely buttoned. Even if you prefer to wear the top button loose, you should only purchase garments that fit correctly so you have the option.  When trying on garments, button them the whole way up to determine if you are getting the fit you want around the neck.

Step Two

The next step focuses on sleeve size. Your arms should be held at each side with elbows slightly bent. Place the tape measure behind the neck right at the center and measure from this point to the shoulder then down the arm ending with the wrist bone. Remember to trace the curve of your shoulder so you get the right length for your body. Add an extra inch to determine sleeve length. Always round your results to the next even number after adding the extra inch.

Step Three

Some garment manufacturers also include the waist size on the tag or package.  This is most often done with athletic styles but may also be available with other types of garments.  Using the cloth measuring tape, determine the circumference of your waist. Wear a shirt while doing this and measure on top of the fabric. Make sure you take this measurement where your pants would normally sit. Add one finger width as well before recording the results. This will be your waist size.

If you still need further assistance or have any questions, we are here to assist you.  Please contact us at or 718-898-0728.

Size Chart Help

Shirts, Leather Jackets, Blazers and Pants Size Chart

If you still need further assistance or have any questions, we are here to assist you.  Please contact us at or 718-898-0728.