Measuring Shoulder Width – A Comprehensive Guide

how to measure shoulder width


Shoulder width is an important measurement when it comes to clothing, fitness, and even assessing one’s body proportions. Whether you are a fashion enthusiast, a fitness fanatic, or simply curious about your own body, knowing how to accurately measure your shoulder width is a valuable skill. In this article, we will guide you through the process of measuring your shoulder width with precision, explaining why it matters and offering practical tips for doing it right.

The Importance of Shoulder Width

Understanding your shoulder width can be essential for various reasons

1. Clothing and Fashion: Whether you’re buying a tailored suit, a wedding dress, or simply choosing the right T-shirt size, knowing your shoulder width is crucial for a proper fit.

2. Fitness and Body Proportions: Fitness enthusiasts use shoulder width to assess symmetry and proportions when designing workout routines, and it can be a valuable metric for tracking progress.

3. Health and Posture: Shoulder width can influence your posture and comfort, as it affects the way you carry yourself and the ergonomics of your daily activities.

4. Injury Prevention: Athletes and physical therapists may measure shoulder width to identify potential issues and design exercises to prevent injuries.

Now, let’s dive into the steps for accurately measuring shoulder width.

Measuring Shoulder Width

To measure your shoulder width, you’ll need a few basic tools and a helper if possible


  • A flexible measuring tape
  • A mirror (optional, but helpful)
  • A friend or family member (if you don’t have a self-measuring tape)

Find the Right Posture: Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Ensure your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed.

Locate the Bony Landmarks

  • To identify the acromion, which is the outermost point of your shoulder, extend one arm to the side, palm facing down. The acromion is the bony prominence at the tip of your shoulder, where the shoulder and upper arm meet.
  • Use your finger to mark the acromion point, as it will serve as the starting and ending point for your measurement.

Measure Across Your Back

  • If you have a helper, stand with your arms relaxed at your sides. Have your helper place one end of the measuring tape at the marked acromion point and stretch it across your back to the other acromion point. Read the measurement.
  • If you’re measuring alone, use a mirror to ensure the tape is level. Start by holding one end of the measuring tape at the marked acromion point on one shoulder. Bring the tape across your back to the other acromion point, using a mirror to ensure that the tape is parallel to the ground. Once in position, read the measurement.
  • Record the Measurement: Note down the measurement in inches or centimeters, depending on your preference. It’s a good practice to take multiple measurements to ensure accuracy, and then calculate an average for the most precise result.
  • Maintain Consistency: When measuring shoulder width for fitness purposes or clothing, it’s essential to maintain a consistent technique to track changes accurately.

Practical Tips for Measuring Shoulder Width

1. Use a flexible measuring tape: A flexible measuring tape allows for a more accurate measurement compared to a rigid ruler or a non-flexible tape.

2. Wear snug-fitting clothing: To ensure the most accurate measurement, wear form-fitting clothing, such as a T-shirt, as loose or bulky attire can lead to imprecise results.

3. Double-check your measurements: For the most accurate result, repeat the measurement a few times, and calculate the average. Small variations are common, and an average helps to minimize errors.

4. Seek assistance: If possible, have someone assist you with the measurement, especially if you need precise measurements for tailoring or fitness purposes.


Is 21 inch shoulders wide?

For a man anything over 21 inches, for a woman, 17. It’s genetics, if your clavicles are long then your shoulder girdle will strut out like below’s example.

What is the width of the shoulder?

You can measure your shoulder width by measuring the distance between the two acromion bones (the bony points at the top of each shoulder). You can use a tape measure to get an accurate measurement.


Measuring shoulder width is a simple yet valuable skill with applications in fashion, fitness, health, and posture. Knowing your shoulder width can help you make better clothing choices, design effective fitness routines, maintain good posture, and prevent injuries. By following the steps outlined in this guide, using the right tools, and maintaining consistency, you can confidently measure your shoulder width with accuracy. Remember that precision matters, and it’s always a good idea to double-check your measurements to ensure reliable results.

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