Finding a well-fitted dress shirt can be tricky for all of us. Whether you are shopping online, bringing a shirt to the tailor, or getting one custom made, it will be very useful to know your measuremensts. To measure, you will need a cloth tape measur and a friend/cute queer.


Neck measurement (N): Wrap a tape measure around your neck, approximately an inch up from the base of your neck. Add half an inch to determine your dress shirt neck size. Neck sizes are based in half-inch increments (16, 16 1/2, 17, 17 1/2 etc.). If the neck measurement falls between sizes always choose the size up (e.g. 15 1/4 becomes 15 1/2.)

Sleeve measurement (S): Place your hand on your hip, creating a right angle with your elbow. Have your friend place the head of the tape measure between your shoulder blades, and measure out and around the elbow straight to your wrist. If the sleeve measurement falls between sizes, always size up. (e.g. 15 1/2 becomes 16)

Chest/Bust measurements (B): Wrap a tape measure around your chest at the widest point. If you normally wear a flattening sports bra or binder, keep that on while measuring.

Shoulder Width: Have your friend bring a tape measure from the end of one shoulder to the other while you stand up straight.

Torso Length: Have you friend measure your back, starting at the bone at the base of the neck and ending at the top of the hipbone. Make sure to include the curve of the spine.

Hip Length: Wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your hips while keeping it parallel to the floor.


Men’s shirt sizes are usually based on neck size and sleeve length. Most men’s shirts will base their measurements on N x S. For example, a neck measurement of 16 inches and a sleeve measurement 35 inches is 16 x 35. Female-assigned folks might find it helpful to base shirt sizes off of their chest and hips instead. Shorter folks should make sure to measure their torso length in case it needs to get shortened.



Women’s shirts are generally based on chest/bust size; sometimes referred to as “B.” The table above can help determine your size. Women’s shirts vary widely in length and fit, so think of this size as a ballpark before trying them on. We recommend taking all your measurements so that you can get adjustments made if necessary. Male-assigned folks may find that they will want to get a shirt based on shoulder width rather than chest size.

More from Equally Wed’s Dress Shirt Guide:

fabric options for dress shirtsThe Fabrics
An introduction to dress shirt fabrics to help make your shirt buying a little easier.


collar types for dress shirts
The Collar
Learn about all the variations in collars for a dress shirt.

Photo: Real Wedding Nikki and Carolyn, photography by Robert Godridge Photography