How Dress Shirt Sizes Work
How Standard Sizing Works
Dress shirts rely on two measurements, neck size, and sleeve length. The neck size appears first, and increases by half inches range from 13" to 19". The second number is the sleeve length. Every shirt has two length options that depend on which of the buttons you are using on the cuff. A good dress shirt manufacturer will also provide a chest measurement range within a given size.
100 years ago, you (or your tailor) knew more than just your neck and sleeve length, but mass production needed a way to standardize sizes that maximize output for soldier's uniforms.
Manufacturers used the neck size and arm length to inform mean measurements for the torso and garment length to create the standard sizing we still see today.
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