6 Measurements You Need To Know Before Going Shopping

There's no doubt that the most important detail in men's style is the way our clothes fit. You could be wearing a $2,000 suit that fits boxy or hasn't been tailored to your body and look worse than a guy in a $300 suit that actually contours to his body.

But even before taking the first step into the store there's 6 key measurements that every man needs to know.



Let's be honest, depending on where you go shopping the staff may not be as well informed as they need to be.

Have you ever walked out of a store feeling alright about your purchase and try it on again at home only to realize that it doesn't look or feel as great as it should?

Read this and you'll be sure to avoid that from now on. 

First of all you need measuring tape to get your proper measurements.


This one applies when you're shopping for dress-shirts so don't worry about knowing this for t-shirts. To avoid feeling like your shirt collar is strangling you, the best way to approach this is to wrap the measuring tape gently around your neck.

It should be roughly an inch under your Adam's Apple. To ensure a comfy fit you should be able to squeeze two fingers between the tape and your neck.


Measuring your chest is most important when shopping for suits and blazers. You'll also notice that in addition to the numbered measurement there's either a S,R, or, L. This indicates the length of the jacket.

If you're between 5'7" and 6' consider yourself a Regular. Anything above that and you're Long and of course anything below that is considered a Short.

Run the tape under your armpits and over the broadest part of your chest. Make sure that the tape is snug but not so tight that you're struggling to breathe.

Avoid puffing up your chest and stand relaxed to get the most accurate measurement possible.


Maybe it's rap music's fault but a common mistake men make is wearing their pants around their hips rather than their waist.

Getting away with this with a pair of jeans or chinos should be ok but when wearing a pair of dress pants it's not going to fly.

To get the most accurate measurement wrap the measuring tape near your belly-button and squeeze a finger between your body and the tape to give yourself some breathing room.

Keep in mind that if you choose to apply this measurement to your casual pants, they will fit looser than what you're used to.


Basically a fancy way of saying what the length of your pants will be. If you refer to last week's post you'll find that a quick fix to improving your style is to mind the 'break of your pants.'

Have you ever seen a very well-dressed guy who ruined his look by not having his pants either hemmed or cuffed? It sounds like a small detail but it can throw everything off when a few inches of fabric pool up at the bottom of your pants.

The best way to measure this is to take your shoes off, have somebody you're comfortable with run the measuring tape from the bottom of your crotch to your foot.

Sleeve Length:

Unless you're buying a t-shirt or custom made dress-shirt it helps to know your sleeve length since most off the rack shirts will vary in length.

Measuring this one is very simple. Just run the tape from your shoulder joint to your wrist. It's that easy!

Shoe width: 

You might be thinking, "The width of your foot?!"

Ya, it's an important one especially if you'll be on your feet or wearing your shoes all day. The last thing any of us want is to have our shoes cramping our style (literally and figuratively).

This one's pretty straightforward too. One thing to keep in mind is to measure your foot at the end of your day when it's most likely to be at its biggest and swollen.

That way you'll know that your shoes will be good from the minute you clock in to the moment you clock out.

Last Thoughts: 

I'll keep this one short and sweet...

Knowing your measurements before stepping into the store can save you a ton of time and headache.

Rather than having to run back and forth to the tailor you might just find a gem or two that meets your criteria.

Every once in a while you get lucky enough to find something off the rack that actually fits very well without having it tailored.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Make sure you’re well-dressed for any occasion by downloading this FREE style guide.

It outlines the 16 Essential Items Every Man Needs To Build The Perfect Wardrobe.