How to Measure Sleeve Length by Tapered Menswear

How to Measure Sleeve Length

Understanding how to measure your sleeve length accurately is crucial in nailing your shirt fit. It’s often overlooked when you try on a shirt but the last thing you want to look like is you’ve time travelled from the 1890s.

So how do you measure sleeve length? To measure sleeve length, start at the centre of the neck or collar, extend the measuring tape over the shoulder and down the outside of the arm to the wrist. Make sure your arm is relaxed with a slight bent at the elbow for the most accurate measurement.

In this blog I’ll walk you through the process in more detail and show you the perfect fitting shirt sleeves, right here at Tapered Menswear.

perfect sleeve length shirts by Tapered Menswear

How to Measure Sleeve Length on a Dress Shirt

Measuring your sleeve length is a real straightforward process with only a couple of steps, but it does require a level of precision.

Start by placing one end of your measuring tape at the centre of the back of the neck. 

Extend the tape over the shoulder, and down along the arm to the wrist. For the most accurate measurement, keep your arm relaxed and slightly bent at the elbow. 

That’s pretty much it! By doing this you get the full length from the neck to the wrist, which will give the correct measurement necessary for a well-fitted dress shirt.

But one thing to note is that although the process is straightforward the most common mistake in sleeve measurement is because of posture and arm position.

Don't bend or stretch the arm too much and keep it in a natural, slightly bent position. Even if you have big arms.

How Do You Measure an Arm Sleeve?

Believe it or not the process for measuring an arm sleeve on a dress shirt compared to other garments does actually differ slightly.

The only difference is the placement of where you measure from. As mentioned for a formal shirt you measure from the centre of the neck or collar.

measuring sleeve length for shirts

For casual wear you measure from the top of the shoulder (where the shoulder seam of the shirt would be) and measure down to the wrist. 

This method focuses on the arm length exclusively, ignoring the neck area, which is more appropriate for outer and casualwear.

What is the Average Sleeve Length for a Man?

The average sleeve length for a man varies but generally it's between 32 - 37 inches. It's important to remember that these are just averages. Each individual's measurements will differ, and you shouldn’t rely on these averages. 

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How the Sleeve Length Should Fit

The perfect sleeve length complements not just your shirt, but your entire outfit.

For Dress Shirts

The ideal sleeve length for a dress shirt ends right at the break of the wrist. This ensures that when you bend your arm, the cuff doesn't slide too far up your wrist, and when your arms are straight, the fabric doesn't bunch up over your hand.

perfect sleeve length formal shirts by Tapered Menswear


A good rule of thumb is to have about 0-5-1.5 inches of the shirt cuff visible beyond a jacket or blazer sleeve.

For Casual and Outerwear

The sleeve length of casual shirts and outerwear can be slightly more forgiving. The end of the sleeve should still sit comfortably around the wrist area. It should allow for easy movement without too much excess fabric.

Fit and Comfort

Alongside length, the fit around the arm is also crucial. Sleeves should not be too tight, restricting movement, nor too loose, giving a baggy appearance. The sleeve should smoothly contour the arm all the way from the bicep to the wrist.

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Perfect Fitting Shirt Sleeves at Tapered Menswear

Measuring sleeve length correctly is a fundamental skill in men's fashion, crucial for achieving a polished and tailored finish.

Remember, while averages can guide, personal measurements are the cornerstone of perfect fitting shirts. 

Introducing Tapered Menswear...

Our TAPERED fit shirt has been developed by leading Tailors and industry experts to provide you with a revolutionary fit, you won’t ever need to take your shirt to a tailor again or give lots of different measurements.

Perfect for those seeking a muscular fit, or bespoke tailoring - ready to wear! For athletes looking for a perfect muscle fit shirt, considered the best shirts for a muscular build. 

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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.


Stretch Cotton

Super soft, breathable and allows complete freedom of movement.

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Perfect for the office. 

With our non obtrusive logo stitched subtly on the wrist makes our TAPERED Fit Shirt ideal for formal occasions.

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