Understanding dress shirt sizes?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Brian, May 22, 2007.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest


    I bought a dress shirt from Macy's last month for my job interviews. It is a
    Kenneth Cole REACTION brand, and the size on the tag reads:
    15 1/2

    I went back to Macy's to get a few more dress shirts, only to find out their
    sales were over, and the good selection of shirts that were normally $50 on
    sale for $20-25 were full priced again. so I went to Sears and picked up a
    dress shirt.

    I thought I could just match up the size from the Macy's shirt but found the
    tags for different brands were pretty different in terms of listed
    sizes/numbers. I got a medium shirt by Structure, but the numbers are 38/40.

    Can someone tell me what the importance of these numbers are in terms of
    size? From what I can tell, the Sears shirt seems to have sleeves a hair
    longer, but not much, less than an inch, and maybe an inch tops shorter at
    the bottom of the back.

    If anyone can shed some light on these numbers I'd be much obliged!

    Brian, May 22, 2007
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  2. Brian

    Gordon Guest

    Collar size
    chest size (presumably.....does it fit? Are you a 32/22 chest?)
    Medium....differs from manufacturer to manufacturer
    Gordon, May 22, 2007
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  3. Brian

    Fred Guest

    M = medium size which should measure in the following range
    15 to 15 1/2 inch neck
    38 to 40 inch chest
    32 to 34 inch waist
    33 1/2 to 34 inch sleeve
    Fred, May 22, 2007
  4. Brian

    dadiOH Guest

    Neck circumference
    Sleve length
    Chest diameter

    As long as I've been buying shirts - I'll be 74 soon - dress shirts
    have been sold by neck size and sleeve length. Sports shirts have
    generally been S/M/L/XL but sometimes marked as are dress shirts; I
    have never seen one sized by chest...that's the way coats are sizes.

    It used to be that one could rely on S/M/L/XL to buy a shirt that fit
    well. No more. In my experience they vary widely from manufacturer
    to manufacturer. Oh, well, used to be able to buy properly sized and
    well made leather shoes too.



    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
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    dadiOH, May 22, 2007
  5. Chest? Those numbers (32/33) would be the sleeve length in inches. My
    shirts are 15½/33, and my chest is 'round 40. Look at a short-sleeved
    shirt; they don't have those numbers on the label. <g>
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, May 22, 2007
  6. Brian

    Gordon Guest

    hells bells - are we talking gorilla sizes here? I'm 5 ft 10" tall and my
    sleeve length (from point of shoulder to end of cuff) is 21".......
    Gordon, May 22, 2007
  7. Sleeve length is measured from the nape of the neck to the wrist. That
    would be the center-point of the back of the collar. Or so I remember
    from workin' in my daddy's department store 50-some years ago.
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, May 22, 2007
  8. Brian

    Mike Easter Guest

    The 15.5 is inches neck circumference; the 32/33 is inches from the
    shoulder to the cuff; the M stands for medium as opposed to S small L
    large XL extra large etc.
    38/40 is typically the way men's jacket/coats are sized where the number
    is inches based on the chest, and which M 38/40 would be expected to
    correspond to 15-15.5 neck & 33 sleeve

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_standard_clothing_size#Men.27s_sizes US
    standard clothing size - Men's sizes
    Mike Easter, May 22, 2007
  9. Brian

    Mike Easter Guest

    The normal way of measuring the sleeve length is from the shoulder to
    the wrist with the elbow bent.

    If your sleeve length is 21" and your height is 70", you have very short
    Mike Easter, May 22, 2007
  10. Brian

    Mike Easter Guest

    That's what is referred to as 'full sleeve length' - which is measured
    from the 'spine' to the wrist with the arm bent.

    Men and Women's Sizes: (Discussion and Estimator)
    Mike Easter, May 22, 2007
  11. Hopefully, the spine will be on the same vertical line as the
    center-point of the collar. <g>

    I remember my daddy having a tough fabric tape measure hanging around
    his neck all the time. He would measure from neck to wrist with
    customer's arm outstretched. Perhaps he added a fudge factor to the
    result to handle the bent elbow.
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, May 22, 2007
  12. Brian

    Mike Easter Guest

    There definitely needs to be a fudge factor in all directions from a
    tailoring point of view - how the coat is going to be hanging and how
    the client wants the sleeve length to hit - with the arms down by the
    side vs with the arms bent and whether the client is going to stand
    erectly with shoulders back and chest out or stooped/slumped over. Is
    the coat worn by a slumper supposed to have its bottom length hanging at
    an angle front vs back or straight across even when accommodating the
    humped slumpers back?

    Since I only buy T-shirts and the occasional bogus fleece sweater, I
    don't really worry about all of that tailoring business.
    Mike Easter, May 22, 2007
  13. Okay, that's twice. No, sleeve is from the neck (spine) over the
    shoulder and to the wrist. C'mon, Mike -- are you really 30-some inches
    from your *shoulder* to your neck? Report back. :)
    Blinky the Shark, May 23, 2007
  14. Brian

    jovstar58 Guest

    jovstar58, May 23, 2007
  15. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Thanks for all your replies. I'm not fully satisfied with any answer,

    The first shirt is 32/33, and the second is 38/40. Common sense tells me
    that neither of these are sleeve length, because the second shirt is close
    to the first in sleeve length, only an inch longer tops. There is no 6-7
    inch difference in the sleeve lengths, so neither number can represent the
    length of the sleeve.
    Brian, May 23, 2007
  16. Then you're not paying attention.
    I'd say your common sense contains none.
    So the first is marked with sleeve length, as people have mentioned, and
    the second is marked with chest size, as people have mentioned.
    Blinky the Shark, May 23, 2007
  17. Brian

    dadiOH Guest

    Yes, one of them does.

    HTF old are you, anyway? Have you never before bought a dress shirt?
    A suit?



    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
    dadiOH, May 23, 2007
  18. ITYM chest circumference. Someone with a chest diameter of 38-40 inches
    would be one *big* SOB..

    The Old Sourdough, May 23, 2007
  19. No, it's from the nape of the neck to the wrist.

    The Old Sourdough, May 23, 2007
  20. Brian

    Mike Easter Guest

    You are correct - I said wrong. While there are all sorts of clothing
    measurements for custom fits, including the shoulder to wrist/cuff, the
    'typical' shirt size of 15.5" neck 32/33" sleeve is referring to the
    'full length' sleeve which is from center of back of neck across to
    shoulder and down the arm around the bent elbow to the wrist.
    Mike Easter, May 23, 2007
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