Welcome to our guide to measuring your chest size. 

Getting the correct measurement for your chest is essential when getting bespoke suits, shirts, t-shirts or sweaters made. Also, it is more relevant to the growing online e-commerce movement.

If possible, head to your favourite tailor to get the measurement taken. If that is not possible, then follow our steps below. 

Table Of Contents

How To Measure Chest Size

How To Measure Chest Size

Total Time: 5 min

Cost: $3.59

  • Buy your sewing tape measure for $3.59

Supplies & Tools

  • Sewing tape measure
this is a photo of a sewing tape used to measure chest size

Measuring your chest if possible to do by yourself, but it’s best done with a partner to make sure the tape is aligned properly.

If you are alone and need to do it yourself, measure your chest three times to make sure your get the same measurement each time.

1. Stand straight with arms and chest relaxed

Stand up straight, with your arms resting comfortably at your sides. Keep your arms and chest relaxed and neutral.

this is a photo of tall paul standing straight with his arms and chest relaxed

2. Wrap sewing tape under armpits

Take a sewing tape measure and wrap it under your armpits at the widest part of your chest.

this is a photo of tall paul with sewing tape wrapped under his arms to measure his chest

3. Keep sewing tape snug but not tight

The tape measure should be snug around your chest and shoulder blades but not so tight that it squeezes your chest. Wrap it around so the ends meet at the front of your chest. The number in inches is your chest size.

this is a photo of snug measure tape showing the size of a chest measurements

How to measure chest size: quick tips

  • For the most accurate measurement have a professional tailor measure your chest
  • If that is not possible, ask a friend to help you through these three steps.
  • Do not use the measuring tape from your toolbox; instead, use a sewing tape.
  • A sewing tape measure is made for these exact measurements with a flexible band to hug the contours of your body.
  • Wear minimal layers, or measure with your shirt off.

Find our other how to measure guides to help you make precise measurements as you grow your wardrobe.


A 42 inch men’s chest will put you into a Large shirt. Not all brands use the same guidelines so check the brands sizing guide before purchasing

Men’s chest sizes vary around the world. Between 38-40 inches is a normal chest size for a man living in North America.