How to Measure Shoulder Width: A Men’s Guide

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

How To Measure Shoulder Width

For Men

Knowing how to measure your shoulder width will be a valuable tool in getting sizing right for online shopping and also working with a tailor. These are three ways to measure your shoulder width:

  1. You can grab a friend to help
  2. You can use a shirt you own
  3. You can make marks on a wall

This is How to Measure Shoulder Width: A Men’s Guide.

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. Use an Old Shirt

  1. Using a shirt from your closet, place your shirt on a flat surface with the back facing up.
  2. Smooth out the fabric of the shirt.
  3. 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 Freind

  1. Grab a friend. Stand tall and make sure both your feet are flat on the ground.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Allow the measuring tape to follow the natural shape of your back.

3. Use a Wall

  1. Stand against a wall with both feet planted flat on the ground and your head held high.
  2. 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.
  3. Place the pencil in your left hand, reach over your right shoulder and mark a spot on the wall above your right shoulder joint.
  4. Last step, take your measuring tape and measure the distance between the two markings.

'How to Measure' Guides

The need to know the exact size of specific parts of your body is important to get that perfect fit when ordering online. Allow our guides to help you.

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:

Regular Men's Size Chart

Size Chest Waist Neck
XS 32 - 34 26 - 28 13 - 13.5
S 35 - 37 29 - 31 14 - 14.5
M 38 - 40 32 - 34 15 - 15.5
L 41 - 43 35 - 37 16 - 16.5
XL 44 - 46 38 - 40 17 - 17.5
XXL 47 - 49 41 - 43 18 - 18.5

Tall Men's Size Chart (6' 3" and up)

Size Chest Waist Neck
LT 42 - 44 36 - 38 16 - 16.5
XLT 46 - 48 40 - 42 17 - 17.5
2XT 50 - 52 44 - 46 18 - 18.5
3XT 54 - 56 48 - 50 19 - 19.5
4XT 58 - 60 52 - 54 20 - 21
5XT 62 - 64 56 - 58 22
6XT 66 - 68 60 - 62 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.

  1. Start by measuring you shoulder width.
  2. Stand against a wall with both feet planted flat on the ground and your head held high.
  3. With the pencil in your right hand reach across your left shoulder and mark a spot on the wall directly above your shoulder joint.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Final Thoughts

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.

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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