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Place tape around base of neck (below adams apple). Measure neck snug, but not tight, then release tape 1/2″ for ease. Do NOT make any allowances for shrinkage.


CHEST (Measure over nipples, under arm and across back)

Place tape measure around the fullest part of the chest, high up under the arms and over the shoulder blades. Customer’s arms should be at their side in a relaxed stance. NO posturing, as this will affect sloping on shoulders as well as the true measures.

Note the actual skin measurement in the box marked “Chest” on the order form to the left of the plus (+) sign.

The preferred fit or allowance over skin is determined by the number of additional inches of fabric (the allowance) added to the actual skin measurement. If you desire finished measures enter “F”in the box to right of the plus (+) sign.

Example: a 42+8 in the chest box means the customer has an actual skin measurement of 42″ and desires a full cut of +8. The finished shirt will measure 50″ at the chest.

Additional Chest Information:

The skin measurement should be noted in full inch increments, not 1/2 inches.Round up to the nearest inch.

Keep in mind that shirts can be trimmed down to make chest smaller, but a new body must be cut to make larger. Always upsize if in a pinch.

You can adjust the fit on a reorder by changing the allowance. Do not change the actual skin measurement unless client has gained or lost weight and inches.


WAIST (Measured across the fullest part of the waist, typically the belly button)

The shirtwaist is right about where the belly button is – approximately 9″ below the armhole, and is the point where the shirt is most tapered.

It is helpful to note the customer’s height and weight in the appropriate box on the order form. The customer’s Height may influence the waistline position to be lowered (for tall) or raised (for short) on their respective patterns.

Remember that when seated, the waistline or midsection will expand and measure larger than when the customer is standing.

HIP (Measured approximately 2-3″ above where the shirt tail ends. Across the back pocket seams)



Have customer assume relaxed stance with arms by their side, place tape at same location as for chest measure, but measure over arms.


The tail is measured vertically down the front of the shirt. Place tape measure under the collar leaf, where the front panel, yoke and collar band intersect. Measure desired length.


The yoke is measured from the outside seam, where the yoke joins the sleeve, across the top of the shoulders (below the collar) to the opposite side. The yoke should fit comfortably on the outside edge of the shoulders. The tape should not drop below the prominent neck bone.

Your eye is the truest guide when determining the yoke size. Observe and measure the yoke of the dress shirt the customer is wearing, if it looks right, write that size in the yoke box on the order form. If it looks too small or narrow, increase by 1/4″ increments to desired fit. If it looks too large or big, (draping off the clients shoulders), decrease by 1/2″ increments. Yokes are made with 1/4″ additional allowance for shrinkage.


Measuring from center back; use the base of prominent neck bone as guide. Customer’s arms should be at their sides, with hands balled into fists. Extend tape down the outside of arm to pinkie knuckle. Subtract 1.5 to 2 inches depending on customer’s preference. Do NOT make allowances for shrinkage.

Sleeves are made with 3/4″ additional allowance for shrinkage measuring from center back.


Measuring from center back; use the base of prominent neck bone as guide. Customer’s arms should be at their sides and folded 90 degrees at the elbow. Measure to the point where the half sleeve should finish usually 2-3″ up from the elbow. Length of half sleeves is a matter of personal preference.


Have customer ball hands into fist and measure around the wrist and over the wrist bone to the nearest 1/4″. Add 3″ to this measurement for shrinkage allowance.

If the client wears an extra-large or thick sized watch, simply add 1/2″ to that cuff and order separate sized cuffs (right and left). Do not measure over the watch.

There should be no difference in size for French or Button cuff styles.

The cuff size ordered is the actual, horizontal measurement across the cuff, from outside edge to outside edge. Cuffs are to be ordered in 1/4″ increments.


How to determine allowance over skin