How to measure shoulder width for tall men

Learn how to measure your shoulder width. This will help in shopping online sizing guides.

In this blog I am going to show you three ways to measure your shoulder width. Knowing this measurement will help take the stress out of online shopping.

How to measure shoulder width

Measuring the width of your shoulders, whether you have help from a friend or you are doing it alone, is quick and easy.

There are 3 ways to measure shoulder width:

  1. Using a shirt from your closet, place your shirt on a flat surface with the back facing up. Smooth out the fabric of the shirt. Take a measuring tape and measure the distance from the outer edge of one seam to the outer edge of the other seam where the sleeves connect to the back body panel of your shirt.
  2. Grab a friend. Stand tall and make sure both your feet are flat on the ground. Pull the tape measure tight and lay flat along your back from the outer edge of your left shoulder joint to the outer edge of your right shoulder joint. You can use the seams of your shirt as a guide as well, measuring across your back from the seams where each of the sleeves attach. Allow the measuring tape to follow the natural shape of your back.
  3. Stand against a wall with both feet planted flat on the ground and your head held high. Now with the pencil in your right hand reach across your left shoulder and mark a spot on the wall directly above your shoulder joint. Place the pencil in your left hand, reach over your right shoulder and mark a spot on the wall above your right shoulder joint. Last step, take your measuring tape and measure the distance between the two markings.

How do you know if you have wide shoulders

The official term used to describe the width of your shoulders is called “biacromial breadth”. There are many factors that lend to your shoulder width; genetics, weight, body type and more.

So how do you know if you have wide shoulders?

The answer to this question is more a matter of perspective, but to get a general idea we can use garment standards.

Below is a size chart for off the rack and Tall (T) suit jackets to help you gauge, for yourself, if you have wide shoulders:

Size

XS

S

M

L

XL

XXL

Chest

32 – 34

35 – 37

38 – 40

41 – 43

44 – 46

47 – 49

Waist

26 – 28

29 – 31

32 – 34

35 – 37

38 – 40

41 – 43

Neck

13 – 13.5

14 – 14.5

15 – 15.5

16 – 16.5

17 – 17.5

18 – 18.5

Tall men shoulder width sizes (6′ 3″ and over)

Size

LT

XLT

2XT

3XT

4XT

5XT

6XT

Chest

42 – 44

46 – 48

50 – 52

54 – 56

58 – 60

62 – 64

66 – 68

Waist

36 – 38

40 – 42

44 – 46

48 – 50

52 – 54

56 – 58

60 – 62

Neck

16 – 16.5

17 – 17.5

18 – 18.5

19 – 19.5

20 – 21

22

24

Keep in mind, there hasn’t been any new official shoulder width (biacromial breadth) averages published in over 30 years and statistics show that men and women are getting taller and wider worldwide.

The CDC provides breakdowns of average height, weight, BMI, and other body measurements broken down by ethnicity, age, and height if you are looking for more information.

How do you measure your shoulders by yourself

A quick and easy way to measure your shoulders by yourself, all you’ll need is a wall, a pencil and a measuring tape.

Stand against a wall with both feet planted flat on the ground and your head held high. Now with the pencil in your right hand reach across your left shoulder and mark a spot on the wall directly above your shoulder joint. Place the pencil in your left hand, reach over your right shoulder and mark a spot on the wall above your right shoulder joint.

Last step, take your measuring tape and measure the distance between the two markings.

How do you measure shoulder and waist width

To measure your shoulder and waist width you will need a measuring tape, a pencil and a wall.

Start by measuring you shoulder width. Stand against a wall with both feet planted flat on the ground and your head held high. Now with the pencil in your right hand reach across your left shoulder and mark a spot on the wall directly above your shoulder joint.

Place the pencil in your left hand, reach over your right shoulder joint and mark a spot on the wall above your right shoulder joint.

Last step, take your measuring tape and measure the distance between the two markings.

To measure your waist, don’t hold your breath and don’t suck in your stomach. Take your measuring tape and wrap it around your stomach and in line with your belly button. Make sure to keep the tape measure horizontal.

How do you measure shoulder width for a suit

To measure your shoulder width for a suit you’ll need assistance. Find a friend, a dress shirt or T-shirt and a measuring tape. Stand tall and make sure both your feet are flat on the ground.

Pull the tape measure tight and lay flat along your back from the outer edge of your left shoulder blade to the outer edge of your right shoulder blade. You can use the seams of your shirt as a guide as well, measuring across your back from the seams where each of the sleeves attach. Allow the measuring tape to follow the natural shape of your back.

How to measure shoulder width bodybuilding

To measure shoulder width bodybuilding, ideally you will want to use help from someone else. Be sure to take measurements before you exercise and in an unflexed state. Take measurements on bare skin and not over clothing.

Start with both feet flat on the floor, standing tall and in a relaxed position.

Pull the measuring tape tight, keeping pressure against your skin, but not pinching or creating an indent in your skin. Ensure the tape is kept level and not at an angle.

Measure from the outer edge of one shoulder to the outer edge of the other across your back and in a direct path across the front of the chest.

How to measure shoulder width conclusion

Understanding how to measure your shoulder width will help in your clothing shopping. Take one of these three ways to successfully measure your shoulder width and keep this measurement written down, so you can always find it as you are looking for tops online or in a retail store.

Make sure all of your measurements are correct and read our article on how to measure sleeve length on a jacket properly.

And how to measure sleeve length on a dress shirt properly.

Tall Paul
Tall Paul
I am 6'7 (203cm) / 235lb (106 kg) model and ex-athlete. Since I was a teen I had trouble finding clothes. I was too tall for off the rack and was too lean for Big & Tall.

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