How To Measure For eBay


February 17, 2013 by Ville Raivio

eBay is a wonderful source of tailored clothing for the frugal man. Most sellers have measured their listings, but not all give accurately describe how the measurements were taken. To help my reader in his online ventures, I’ve listed some common ways for measuring a jacket. The post can also be applied to coats with no troubles. The more measurements the seller is willing to give, the easier the task of finding out if the listing fits.

The most important point is the shoulder seam to shoulder seam measurement, as alterations for slimming any coat or jacket are most expensive on this section. All well-tailored jackets have additional fabric hidden inside all seams, but it’s up the bidder to ask for this info. Some jackets have been altered before adding them on eBay and nasty surprises are common. All jackets should be measured laid flat. In addition to these six points, jackets can also be measured for the girth of the sleevehead as well as girth of sleeve on the bicep and wrist. Sometimes I’ve asked for these on eBay, most sellers aren’t too keen on seeing the effort.

First up: shoulder seam to shoulder seam, measured from behind



Then: armpit to armpit, measured from behind


Third: girth on the waist, measured on the upper button on jacket fronts with two buttons, on the middle button on three-button jackets


Fourth point: jacket length, measured from the collar down to hem


Fifth point: length of sleeve, measured from the shoulder seam to sleeve end


Sixth point: length of sleeve, measured from the armpit to end of sleeve



  1. Edwward Watt says:

    When sellers only list

    XL etc.

    It would be nice to see some measurement ref.

  2. Ville Raivio says:


    The garment chest measurement is the armpit to pit times two. Just multiply and enjoy the ride.

    Where things get confusing is when a jacket is made to measure, and maybe has size 38” shoulders but a size 42” chest. So, how does one list such a jacket? I usually follow the shoulder size in cases like this because the shoulders are so difficult to alter. They better be right from the start.

  3. John says:

    Hello. This is all very helpful and I have diligently followed your instructions with a few jackets I wish to sell on eBay. The problem with the eBay sell templates is that when I put a jacket in as say 40 it allows me between 80-125cm for the chest size. Is this not based on an individuals chest size where one takes the entire girth of the chest? You suggest premumably Armpit to Armpit? So if this is 54cm do I multiply this by two to give the jackets true chest size? One is after all measuring the chest of a jacket not a human. I am now a tad confused! Clarification greatly appreciated. Many thanks!

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