How To Measure Shoulders

Welcome to our guide on how to properly measure your shoulder width for a perfectly fitted wardrobe. Your shoulder width plays a critical role in the fitting of clothes, and knowing how to measure it correctly is key to ensuring a comfortable fit that looks great.

Why is Shoulder Width Important?

Your shoulders are the broadest part of your upper body and are often the starting point for measurements when it comes to clothing. Knowing your shoulder width can help you find the right fit for everything from shirts to jackets to coats. The right fit results in clothing that looks natural, feels comfortable, and moves with you.

Shoulder Width Measurement

Without a proper fit, clothes can be uncomfortable, distracting, and even painful. Many people report experiencing chronic aches and muscle tension from wearing clothing that doesn’t fit properly in the shoulder area. By measuring your shoulder width, you can avoid these problems and enjoy the benefits of a wardrobe that feels as comfortable as it looks.

How to Measure Your Shoulder Width

Measuring your shoulder width is a simple process that you can do yourself in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a tape measure and a willing helper.

How to Measure Shoulder Size

Begin by standing straight with your arms relaxed at your sides. Have your helper take the tape measure and place it at the edge of one shoulder bone, also known as the acromion. They should measure straight across to the edge of the other shoulder bone. Make sure the tape measure is snug, but not tight, against your skin.

Once your measurement is complete, take note of the number in inches or centimeters. This is your shoulder width measurement, and it will be an essential tool in selecting the right clothing for your body type.

How to Choose Clothing Based on Your Shoulder Width

Now that you know your shoulder width, it’s time to use that measurement to select the right clothing. Here are some tips to guide you in choosing clothes that fit well:

  • Shirts: Look for shirts that match your shoulder width measurement. The shoulder seam should align with the edge of your shoulder to ensure a proper fit.
  • Jackets: When selecting a jacket, pay attention to the shoulder seam location. The seam should sit at the edge of your shoulder to create the best fit.
  • Coats: Coats are often measured by chest size, so you’ll want to choose one that accommodates your shoulders and still allows room in the chest area.
  • Sweaters: Sweaters are available in a range of fits, but a sweater that fits in the shoulders will be the most comfortable and complementary to your body type.
  • Dresses: Shoulder width is less of a concern when it comes to dresses, but it’s still important to choose one that fits appropriately in the shoulder area for the most flattering look.

How to Adjust Clothing That Doesn’t Fit Your Shoulders

It’s never fun to purchase clothing only to find that it doesn’t fit as it should. Don’t despair; there’s still hope if you’ve found something that you love but it’s too big in the shoulder area.

One option is to visit a tailor, who can make alterations to the garment so that it fits correctly. A tailor can add or remove fabric in the shoulder area to adjust the seam line to match your shoulder width. This option will give you a perfectly tailored look, but it can be costly.

If you’re on a budget, you can also try DIY alteration techniques at home. Sewing tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest can provide plenty of inspiration for adjusting a garment’s shoulder area. Just remember that if you’re not an experienced seamstress, taking on a complicated sewing project can be a daunting task. Alternatively, you can use safety pins to secure the fabric in the shoulder area temporarily, leaving you free to enjoy your clothing until you decide on a permanent alteration solution.

Shoulder Width Frequently Asked Questions

Do Men and Women Calculate Shoulder Width Differently?

While men and women have different body types, the process for measuring shoulder width is essentially the same for both. The key is to ensure that you’re measuring across the top of your shoulder bones, rather than across your upper back or chest area.

What If I Have Uneven Shoulders?

Very few people have perfectly symmetrical bodies, and that’s okay. If you’ve measured your shoulder width and found that one side is wider or narrower than the other, use the wider measurement when selecting clothing for the most comfortable fit.

Can Shoulder Width Be Increased?

Shoulder width is determined by your bone structure, which means that it’s not something that can be easily changed. However, weight training can help to build muscle in the shoulder area, which can improve the appearance of your shoulders over time.

Can Measuring Shoulder Width be Done Alone?

Measuring your shoulder width is possible to do alone, but it’s easier and more accurate to have someone assist you. If you don’t have anyone to help you at the moment, it’s still possible to complete the measurement using a mirror and a steady hand.

Should I Measure My Shoulders with Clothing On or Off?

To get the most accurate measurement, it’s best to measure your shoulders with minimal clothing or without clothing at all. This allows the tape measure to sit snugly against your skin and gives you a true representation of your shoulder width.


Your shoulder width is a critical measurement to help you select clothing that looks good and feels great. We hope that this guide has helped you understand how to measure your shoulder width properly and how to choose clothing that fits well. Remember, a well-fitted wardrobe is an investment in your health, comfort, and mental well-being. Happy shopping!

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