What’s an Average Shoulder Width?
An average shoulder width is the width between two points on your body where you would expect to see the widest range of sizes. An average shoulder width is not necessarily a good or bad thing; it just depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your clothing choices.
The average shoulder width is a useful measurement because it allows us to compare different body types and clothing styles. If you have narrow shoulders, then wearing tight fitting clothes may actually make them appear wider than they really are. On the other hand if you have wide shoulders, then wearing loose fitting clothes will probably result in their appearing narrower than they really are.
How do I Measure My Shoulder Width?
There are several ways to measure your shoulder width:
1) Using a tape measure.
A simple way to determine your shoulder width is to wrap a piece of string around each arm and then hold the ends together. You can use this method if you don’t want to spend too much time measuring or if you’re having trouble getting an accurate reading from a ruler.
2) Using a cloth measuring tape.
If you want to take the most accurate measurement of your shoulder width, then you should use a cloth measuring tape. These are available at most fabric stores and home centers. All you need to do is measure from the base of your neck, over the tops of both shoulders and back to the starting point.
3) Use a tailor’s measuring tape.
The most accurate way to find your shoulder width is to use a tailor’s measuring tape. These tools are available online and in some home centers, but they can be difficult to find.
Measuring Your Shoulders Tricep-to-Tricep
The average shoulder width measurement doesn’t include the width of your shoulders at the tricep. This is simply because this measurement cannot be taken when you’re clothed. As a result, most clothing manufacturers don’t provide this figure when they give you their sizing information.
You can measure your shoulders tricep-to-tricep by using a cloth measuring tape and having a friend help you. All you need to do is measure from one side of your shoulders to the other at the back. If you don’t want to go to any specialty stores then you can measure across the back of your existing shirts and sweaters. Just make sure you do it carefully.
Measurements, Sizes and Conversion
The average male shoulder width is about 46 cm.
However, the size of the clothing that you buy is not based on this figure because there is no standard method for measuring clothing sizes. As a result, sizes can be completely different between various clothing manufacturers. Even clothes from the same store can be sized differently depending on the type of garment.
Most men do not know any of this and will buy a size of shirt that fits them comfortably.
If you’re used to buying ready-to-wear and you find that your existing shirts are starting to feel a bit tight, then chances are you may need to increase your clothing size. If you prefer to buy clothes online or in specialty stores, then make sure to take your measuring tape with you. But remember that clothing sizes can vary between different manufacturers.
Converting Between Sizes
Making clothing is very much an inexact science. As a result, there is no mathematical conversion between the different sizing systems used by various clothing manufacturers. You are strongly encouraged to measure your shoulder width in centimeters and then look up your size according to the chart below. If you’re looking for international sizes such as US or UK, then you should continue to use the chart below and convert the size from centimeters to the respective country’s standard size.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of lane width, shoulder width, and shoulder type on highway safety by CV Zegeer, JA Deacon – State of the art report, 1987 – onlinepubs.trb.org
Relationship of accident rate to highway shoulder width by ET Perkins – Highway Research Board, 1956 – onlinepubs.trb.org
Eccentric reaming in total shoulder arthroplasty: a cadaveric study by R Gillespie, R Lyons, M Lazarus – Orthopedics, 2009 – healio.com