How To Measure Chest Size by Tapered Menswear

How To Measure Chest Size

Figuring out how to measure chest size doesn't have to be a complex undertaking. 

Whether you're gearing up to tailor a custom suit or simply aiming to update your wardrobe with well-fitted clothing, the first step always involves taking accurate chest size measurements.

At Tapered Menswear, we've honed various chest size measuring techniques that ensure a perfect fit.

So how do you measure your chest size? To measure your chest size, wrap a flexible tape measure around the fullest part of your chest. Do this under your armpits and across your shoulder blades. Make sure the tape is level and firm, but not tight.

Let me guide you through how to your measure chest size to achieve accurate measurements every time. Not only that, I'll show you the best fitting shirts for guys with a larger chest.

perfectly fitted shirts at the chest by Tapered Menswear

Where Should Men Measure Chest?

When calculating chest size, make sure you position yourself correctly, because understanding precisely where to measure is crucial. It's commonly recommended  to measure at the broadest part to account for the fullest chest area.

This typically means you need to extend the measuring tape across your shoulder blades, under your armpits and place it over your nipples—the points that tend to protrude the most on a man's torso.

Accounting for unique body features is important. For those  who may have a more prominent belly, it's essential to separate chest measurements from waist or belly measurements.

Your focus should strictly be on the horizontal span around the chest at nipple level. This practice ensures that shirts and jackets fit comfortably without being too tight around any specific area, which can lead to a more flattering silhouette.

measuring chest size on a model at Tapered Menswear

How To Measure Chest Size For Shirt

To get that perfect fit, understanding how to properly measure my chest size is the first step.

Before reaching for the measuring tape, make sure the tape lays flat and evenly beneath your armpits, and span across the peak of my chest, typically across the nipples.

When measuring, its best to do this topless or with a thin t-shirt. A thick undershirt will add unnecessary bulk and give you inaccurate measurements.

How Can I Measure My Chest Size Without Measuring Tape?

In instances when a measuring tape isn't on hand, I've learned a few chest measurement guide tricks to still achieve a close and reliable figure.

For an easy way to measure chest size, take a length of string, a phone charger, or even a shoelace will do.

I wrap it around my chest following the same path a measuring tape would. It's important to keep the string snug but not tight.

Once the starting end meets the rest of the string at full circumference, I carefully mark the spot with my finger or a piece of tape.

Now, for the next step in this chest size measurement tip, I lay the string flat against a ruler or any stiff measuring device to read the length. This distance represents my chest size. It's a simple technique without traditional tools.

Remember, while this method provides a good estimate, particularly when determining shirt sizes, it may not be as precise as using a flexible tape.

measuring tape to measure chest

What Is Considered A Big Chest For A Man?

Before discussing what constitutes a "big" chest for a man, it's essential to consider the variance in body types and individual build.

Chest size often employs broad categories such as small, medium, large, and extra-large.

For instance, a 36-inch chest circumference might be branded as a small size. On the flip side, when a chest measurement soars above 46 inches, it falls into the extra-large or "big" bracket.

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But remember that these categories are simply a reference point and that accurate chest size measurements should be taken using a measuring tape, check my method above on how to do this accurately.

perfectly fitted shirts with more room in the chest by Tapered Menswear

Ultimately, the perception of what makes a chest "big" varies greatly among individuals. What one person may view as a large chest measurement, another may see differently.

What Chest Size Is 42 Inches?

In my experience, this measurement typically corresponds to a 'Large' on the standard size chart.

But remember each brand is different and relying solely on this number without considering a tailored approach can lead to less than perfect fit.

This is particularly true for brands like us here at Tapered Menswear, where precision in fit underscores our ethos.

My mantra for perfect attire aligns with executing accurate chest size measurements. To do so, I employ reliable chest size measuring techniques that factor in the broadest part of the chest while maintaining a natural posture.

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My advice to those standing at the 42-inch mark is to always check the brands size chart. Because one brands large might be another brands XXL.

Check out our very own size calculator to help find your perfect fit.

Average Chest Size For Men

This table presents the average chest size for men across different regions. The measurements are categorized by region, highlighting the typical chest circumference in inches.

The average chest size varies due to factors like ethnicity, physical activity, and body composition. This concise summary provides a quick reference to understand the differences in average chest sizes among men in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Region Average Chest Size (inches)
U.S. 40-42
Europe 38-40
Asia 35-37

Chest Size Measurement Chart

Below is our size chart for our dress shirts here at Tapered Menswear. This gives a good idea on chest width size.

Size Chest (in) Waist (in) Bicep (in) Shoulder Width (in)
S 20.1 16.3 7.1 8.3
M 21.1 17.1 7.3 8.7
L 22.4 18.3 7.5 9.1
XL 23.4 18.9 8.1 9.4
XXL 24.4 19.9 8.5 9.8
3XL 25.4 20.9 8.9 10.2
4XL 26.4 21.9 9.3 10.6


Size Chest (cm) Waist (cm) Bicep (cm) Shoulder Width
S 51 41.5 18 21
M 53.5 43.5 18.5 22
L 57 46.5 19 23
XL 59.5 48 20.5 24
XXL 62 50.5 21.5 25
3XL 64.5 53 22.5 26
4XL 67 55.5 23.5 27


Best Shirts for Guys with a Big Chest

Finding the right shirt can be a challenge for those of us with a larger chest size.

My goal is to guide you through the process with practical advice that combines proper chest measurement methods and the selection of shirts that cater to a more generous build.

A chest measurement guide can help you determine your correct size, but the real magic happens when you choose shirts that complement your physique.

black fitted shirts at the chest by Tapered Menswear

At Tapered Menswear we have mastered this concept, offering shirts with a tapered fit that not only highlight your chest and broad shoulders but also ensure a smooth, flattering look all the way down to your waist.

But the buck doesn't stop at chest size only, look for shirts that integrate stretch materials to give you comfort.

Addressing neck size and sleeve length is also paramount for achieving that bespoke feeling.

In my experience, the best shirts not only fit well but move with you and feel like they were tailored specifically for your body.

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All of our fully fitted shirts are expertly cut close to the body. Arms are closely fitted in the biceps at an optimal length to flatter the bicep peak. While the cut of our shirts also sit snug on the shoulders and chest.

Our v-tapered shape cut equally helps to reduce the amount of material around the midsection to give you your guaranteed dream shape.

Meaning, no more annoying material where you really don’t want it. We believe that we have solved an age-old problem that many men with bigger builds have faced.

best fitting clothing for men by tapered menswear

Not only that, they’re also completely comfortable. Made from 100% cotton, that moulds effortlessly to your shape, you can work and play in our shirts and expect comfort all day long.

We have also recently added the classic Henley shirt to our range for even more choice. Why not give Tapered Menswear a chance. No more ill-fitting shirts. No more money spent on a tailor.

Available in both long sleeve and short sleeve muscle fit shirts.

Check out Tapered Menswear today and see for yourself.

Our revolutionary cut provides a 10" drop from chest to waist.

Fully fitted in chest and shoulders whilst tapering sharply down, giving a tailored look. No more bagginess in the waist.

Enhanced Darts

Expertly tailored darts at the back, for the perfect fit.

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Stretch Cotton

Super soft, breathable and allows complete freedom of movement.