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How to Measure Your Shoulder Width

Knowing how to measure shoulder width ensures that you’ll get better-fitting clothing. Whether a blazer, dress shirt, or jacket, your shoulder width plays a significant role in the fitment of your clothes.

The best part is that measuring your shoulder width is quick and easy. In fact, we’re going to walk you through the process step-by-step. By the end, you will be equipped to take an accurate measurement of your shoulder width.

Getting Started

When taking measurements for clothing, it’s almost always better to have a helping hand. This is especially true with shoulder width. While it’s possible to measure your shoulders from the front, your measurement will be more accurate when it’s taken from the back.

As such, you’ll likely need some help to complete this process. When you’re ready to proceed, follow Step 1 to get started.

mens shoulder width example

Step 1

Unlike measuring your chest size, you don’t need to be shirtless to measure your shoulder width. In fact, the opposite is true. Wearing a good-fitting dress shirt will actually assist you in getting an accurate measurement.

It’s certainly not a necessity, but the shirt can be used as guide points, thereby making measuring easier. 

Step 2

Before taking any measurements, it’s important to make sure your shoulders are relaxed and in a natural position. Also, your back needs to be straight without tensing your shoulders.

If this position doesn’t come naturally to you, relax your shoulders as best you can. When you keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, you are sure to get the most accurate measurement possible.

The slightest arching or tensing will only serve to throw off the placement of your tape, thus affecting your true shoulder width. 

Step 3

When ready, you want to find your shoulder points. Known as the acromion bones, these are the pointy parts of your shoulders. It’s also the point where your arms meet your shoulders.

Once again, your shirt can serve as a guide for finding these points as long as it fits well. Dress shirts are marked with stitching where the shoulder points are located. What’s more, there should be seams on the back of your shirt that match up with the shoulder points.

If the shirt you’re wearing doesn’t provide the best fit, make the necessary adjustments until the shirt is just right. Then, you can use your tape measure to record the proper length. 

Step 4

When you’re ready, measure the distance between your two shoulder points. The person taking the measurement needs to place the tape flat against your back. Be sure that the tape lays flat the entire time, as this will ensure an accurate measurement.

Next, place the starting end of the tape measure on top of one shoulder point and stretch the tape across your back to the other shoulder point. You now have your shoulder width.

Step 5

Before you record your measurement, there are a couple of things to consider. When measuring, it’s important to make sure that the tape follows the upper portion of your back.

As such, the tape is likely to curve outward slightly. This is because it should be following the broadest point between your shoulders. If you need help finding the right section of your back to measure across, try measuring one to two inches below your neckline.

Step 6

With your tape on each shoulder point, you now have your shoulder width measurement. This method is ideal for ensuring that your upper articles of clothing fit comfortably. 

Be sure to save your measurement, as it will come in handy when you shop for new clothes. Combined with your other measurements, you can look forward to wearing clothing that complements your body perfectly. 

mens shoulder width

Alternative Method

You can also get a relatively accurate shoulder width measurement with one of your shirts. Simply lay your shirt on a flat surface with the back facing up. Using the same steps from above, measure the distance between shoulder points and record your total.

When measuring with this method, your tape should be perfectly flat against your shirt. Furthermore, you want to make sure that your tape remains level throughout the process. 

If one side is lower than the other, it will result in you getting an inaccurate measurement.

Conclusion

With your shoulder width in hand, you can now invest in the proper clothing based on your exact measurement. Blazers and shirts will look better than ever while providing you with a comfortable, precise fit.