How to Take Your Own Measurements (for men)

The Basics: 

Black Man Measured for SuitClothes do not make the man, but having clothes that fit right and match your style make a statement to the world about who you are and how much you care about your appearance.   When applying for a job, going on a date, or attending a special event most people want to put their best foot forward and this usually includes wearing gear that make you feel comfortable and confident.

Buying off the rack is fine and works for many people, but you may be one of the millions of people where this option just doesn't work well.  Maybe you have very broad shoulders from working out, or maybe a little gut from not working out enough.  In either event custom tailored shirts, pants and suits will guarantee that your clothes fit you the way you want them to.  If you are one of these people you need to buy custom tailored clothes, and the first thing you need to do this is to take your measurements.

Why Should You Take Your Own Measurements?

There are several reasons you should know your measurements, but the most important is so that you can buy clothes that fit well.  Knowing your measuements before you go the store saves you loads of time when shopping for shirts, jackets, pants and suits.  If you are buying clothes online, knowing your measurements is mandatory as you will need to input them to complete your order.  Finally, it is important to know if your measurements are changing so that you can either buy new clothes or lose the weight to get your size back to something you are comfortable with.

How to Take Your Own Measurements?

Most clothing stores will take your measurements for free, but if you don't have time for that you can easily do it yourself.  The following is a step-by-step guide on taking your measurements (courtesy of the Men's Wearhouse).  Any item marked with an asterisk (*) will require the help of a friend.

Shirt Measurements


1. Measure the circumference of the neck just above the base and around your Adam's apple.

2. Place two fingers between your neck and the tape measure (makes sure the collar is not too tight).

3. The number of inches on the tape measure is your neck size.


1. Bend your arm slightly.

2. Start at the vertebrae in the center of the neck where the neck meets the shoulder. Run the measuring tape across the shoulder, down to the elbow, then to the break in the wrist.

3. The number of inches is your sleeve size.

Jacket Measurements

Child in Big SuitChest*:

1. Place the tape well up under your arms and over the shoulder blades in back, and the chest in front.

2. Look to make sure the tape is horizontal to the ground.

3. Breathe normally, and have your friend insert a finger between the tape and your body to ensure enough ease.

4. The number of inches is your chest measurement.


1. With arms at your sides, measure around the broadest part of the shoulders and upper arms while keeping the tape measure level at all times.

2. Place two fingers between the tape and your body.

3. The number of inches is your over-arm measurement.

Slacks Measurements


1. Measure around the belly button area or the broadest section of your waist.

2. The number of inches is your waist size.


1. Take a pair of pants that fits you well (hint: without shoes on, your hem should just touch the floor).

2. Measure from the crotch seam to the cuff.

3. The number of inches is your inseam.

For those that are more visual, here's a 2 minute video:

In our next Clothing Survival Guide post we will give you some places to test out your new measurements as we feature some of the best places to buy your clothes online.

What you need to know: 

Dress slacks are almost always one to two sizes larger than jeans.

To insure that you get the right neck size for a shirt slip two fingers between your neck and the tape (or else your colloar may be too tight).

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