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How many times have you gone on an online shopping spree, looking for a new shirt, but the only ones you like are for men, or vice versa? 

We’ve all been there. Shopping for clothes isn’t always fun!

Sometimes, it’s frustrating when we can’t find items we like. That’s why you should broaden your horizons and consider buying clothes that target the opposite sex.  

It’s not as easy as it sounds, though, due to sizing differences

So, today, we’ll explore the differences between men’s and women’s shirt sizes to help you find the right fit for your needs. 

Male and female wearing t shirts

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What Are the Size Differences in Men’s and Women’s Shirts?

We can’t give you accurate numbers of both genders’ shirt sizes, as they depend on the brand and the country. However, we can offer a calculated estimation to give you a general idea.

Women’s Shirt Sizes

SizeBust (inches)Waist (inches)Hips (inches)
XXS302433
XS32-332634.5-35.5
S342836.5-37.5
M36-3729.5-30.539
L383241
XL40-413443
2XL42-433644-46

Men’s Shirt Sizes

SizeNeck (in)Chest (in)Waist (in)Arm length (in)
XS1535-3629.5-30.532
S15.536-3831.5-32.532.5
M1638-4033.5-34.533
L1740-4236.5-3933.5
XL17.542-4441.5-43.533.5-34.5
2XL18.544-4645.5-4834.5-35

Why Do Men and Women’s Shirts Have Different Measurements?

After reading the previous charts, you’re probably wondering why both genders have different shirt measurements. Well, because men and women have different physiques. 

For example, most males have wider waists, shoulders, and necks. These are the most body-defining features influencing their shirt sizes. On the other hand, females’ defining characteristics are their busts, narrow waists, and wide hips.

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So, the factors that influence both genders’ shirt sizes are different. Naturally, manufacturers make clothing items that cater to these physical differences.

males and females wearing white tshirts

How to Switch From Women’s to Men’s Shirts and Vice Versa?

Identifying your size takes a bit of effort, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. 

All you need to know is how to take accurate body measurements so you don’t end up with an oversized shirt. 

Here’s how you should go about it:

  1. Measuring Your Neck

The first step in identifying a proper shirt size is to measure the collar. So start by wrapping the tape around your neck. Before you take your measurements, though, put three fingers between the tape and your neck.

You see, over time, your shirt is bound to shrink. Putting your fingers adds more breathing space, so you don’t get a tight collar when it shrinks.

  1. Measuring Your Shoulders

Measure your shoulders from the back side of your body. Place your tape on one side of your shoulders and pass it through the back of the neck to the other side.

Make sure to place the tape on the shoulder seam. That’s the corner between the shoulders and the arms.

Young beautiful female shop assistant taking measurements of a modern young handsome businessman in the suit shop
  1. Measuring Your Chest   

Pass the measuring tape under your armpits and around the highest point of the chest. The tightness of the wrap should depend on how tight you want the shirt to be.

Make sure to relax your arms and use the three-finger method to create breathing room.  

  1. Measuring Your Waist

For the waist, you want to wrap the tape around your belly button, the natural waist point. 

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Pro tip: Take a deep breath before taking your waist measurements. As your stomach expands, you ensure your shirt won’t be too tight.

  1. Measuring the Sleeves

When you measure the sleeves, bend your arm by putting it on your waist. If you measure with your arms straight, the sleeves will be too short, and you won’t be able to comfortably bend your arms. Pass your measuring tape from the shoulder seam to the elbow, then to the wrist. 

Now, you want to measure your biceps. You don’t want your shirt to be too tight, do you? 

Take the highest point in your biceps and wrap the tape around it. We recommend taking that measurement in your dominant arm because the bicep might be bigger. 

  1. Measuring the Length

At this point, you want to identify the ideal length for your shirt. So, place one side of the tape at the base of your neck and the other side where you want the shirt to end.

A porttrait of a fashion designer or Tailor working on a design or draft, measuring on a dressmakers dummy
  1. Compare Your Measurements

Now that you have your measurements down, it’s time to compare. 

Grab the size chart of the targeted gender. Brands and retailers usually post these online. See which one fits your measurements and enjoy your new shirt.

Wrapping Up

Men and women have different body structures. So, manufacturers produce different shirt sizes for both genders. That doesn’t mean women can’t wear men’s shirts, though, or vice versa. 

Simply take proper measurements and take note of design differences, and you’ll find a suitable shirt with ease. 

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