The fit is one of the most important characteristics of a great looking dress shirt. A bad fit can make a $200 dress shirt look sloppy. A great fit can make a $20 dress shirt look amazing, the fit is key. We’re going to discuss how a dress shirt should fit.
1. To start, let’s talk about the dress shirt collar. A collar job is to frame your face. If it can’t accomplish this, your whole outfit is going to look unbalanced. If the collar is too small, you’ll know it will pinch your skin and feel uncomfortable. If a shirt collar is too large, it will leave a noticeable gap enough to fit about four fingers in. A proper size collar will let two fingers fit comfortably between your neck and the collar.
2. Next, let’s go over the width of the dress shirt shoulders. If the shoulder point is hiked up your shoulder towards your neck, it’s too small doesn’t think of buying it. If the shoulder points hang down your arm, then the shoulders are too large. It’s not worth tailoring, so pass on this shirt. Perfect fitting shirt shoulders will lay-down comfortably on the shoulders and the shoulder points hit where the arm meets the shoulder, thus ensuring freedom of movement.
3. Now, let’s talk about the shirt midsection fat. If the chest or torso of your dress shirt is too tight, you’ll notice the buttons will pull, try a size larger. If a dress shirt midsection is too loose, the fabric is going to billow around your waist or your chest. Although you can tailor to adjust, you want to maybe try sizing down or try another brand to try to get the best fit possible. A perfect torso and chest fit will taper down the midsection following your natural silhouette. Very few shirts do this right off the rack. I advise working with the tailor to get your shirts adjusted to fit perfectly.
4. Next stop, let’s cover the sleeve width. If you find the sleeves are constricting your movement, they’re too tight, go for a regular or a looser cut. If the shirt sleeves are sagging around your arms with more than three inches of fabric, then they’re too loose and they need to either be brought in or sized down. The proper sleeve width will fit close enough to your arm to not restrict movement and have still about one to two inches of fabric.
5. Now, let’s go over the fit of the shirt cuff. If the shirt cuff fits tightly around the wrist, it’s too small. Consider moving the button or looking for a larger size. If you can easily fit your hand through the cuff when buttoned, you’ll need to size down or move the cuff button to tighten it. The proper size shirt cuff will fit close while not allowing removing your hand without unbuttoning it. If you normally wear a watch, size the coffin accordance with the watch.
6. Now, it’s time to talk about the sleeve length. If the sleeve ends above the wrist bone, it’s too short. You’re going to need to find a different brand that has long sleeves. If the dress shirt sleeves cover the heel of your hand, they’re too long you will need to get them shortened. The proper dress shirt sleeve length will just cover the wrist bone.
7. Now, let’s go over the length of the shirttails. If the shirt barely covers your belt line, it’s too short you’re going to need to find a different brand or size up on that shirt. If the dress shirt extends beyond your crotch, it’s too long, although not a serious problem; a tailor can shorten the shirt. The proper dress shirt length will end a few inches below the belt line, allowing the shirt to stay tucked in when you raise your arms. Notice that no shirt off the rack is probably going to fit you perfectly. Take it to a tailor and get it adjusted to fit your body.