How to Measure Sleeve Length for Shirts and Jackets

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Man measuring sleeve length with measuring tape
Scroll down to find three easy steps for accurately measuring your sleeve length (Gif via Groupon)

you want to look sharp in a shirt or jacket, knowing how to measure your sleeve length is crucial.

Whether you’re having a custom shirt made or just trying to get the right size when buying one online, fit is king.

Measuring your sleeve length isn’t difficult, but it is something that a lot of people get wrong.

In this post I’ll show you a quick, easy and effective way to measure you sleeve length, so you can make sure your shirts and jackets fit like a… well, a perfectly-fitting shirt or jacket.

How to Measure Sleeve Length Accurately

These Three Steps Make Measuring Sleeve Length Easy

Step 1:

Measure Neck to Shoulder

Measuring from the neck to the shoulder

Most people who end up with an inaccurate sleeve measurement get it wrong because they skip this crucial first step.

Measure from the nape of your neck (the center point of your neck, at the back) down to where shoulder meets the top of your arm. This is where the should seam should hit on a shirt that fits properly. Record that number.

Step 2:

Measure Shoulder to Wrist

Measuring from the shoulder to the wrist

Next measure from that same spot, down to your wrist.

Important: Make sure you bend your elbow slightly when taking this measurement. If you keep your arm perfectly straight, you’ll end up with a measurement that’s too short, and your sleeve won’t have enough length to move with your arm.

Step 3:

Add ‘Em Up

The two key measurements for a shirt sleeve

Once you’ve properly taken the two measurements above, add them up to calculate your proper sleeve length.

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More Men’s Style Advice from Irreverent Gent:
More Advice on How to Measure Sleeve Length From Around Ye Olde Interwebs:

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Dave Bowden


Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden is a men’s style specialist, an Amazon bestselling author, an unrepentant introvert, a long-suffering (but very patient) Toronto sports fan and the husband of a wonderful (and thankfully even more patient) wife.

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