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Shirt Fitting of Men’s Dress Shirts

Slim Fit Dress Shirts

Men who have a lean physique or an athletic build often find that slim fit dress shirts are more comfortable and more flattering.   Slim fit dress shirts are tapered at the sides, with less fabric around the waist.  If your shirts are baggy around the waist and bunch up in the back when tucked in, you will achieve a better shirt fitting with a slim fit dress shirt.  When a slim fit dress shirt is tailor made, it can be made to fit more closely around the torso and arms without being too tight.  For men who are naturally thin or who work out and take care of their bodies, slim fit dress shirts are a modern choice that provides a neat, well-proportioned appearance.

shirt fitting

Taylor Lautner from GQ

Regular Fit Dress Shirts

shirt fitting

Bradley Cooper from Style

Regular fit dress shirts provide a traditional fit that is neither form-fitting nor loose.  The fit is comfortable without being bulky, especially when worn with a suit.  The term “regular fit” is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to custom dress shirts.  When a shirt is custom-made for the wearer, the shape of the shirt conforms to the body and provides just the right amount of ease.  Mass-produced regular fit shirts, on the other hand, cannot possibly fit every body type and usually end up being too big in some areas for one man and too small for another.  The only type of regular fit dress shirt that really fits well is a tailor made one.

Loose Fit Dress Shirt

shirt fitting

Picture from

An interesting trend in men’s dress shirts has been towards shirts that are either slim fitted or loose.  While slim fit dress shirts are appropriate for a day at the office or an evening out on the town, loose fit dress shirts are a trendy look for casual wear.  Loose fit dress shirts are often worn tucked out, sometimes with a white or coloured t-shirt underneath.  The key is in the proportions.  A loose fit dress shirt’s arms and torso should provide plenty of ease without looking like billowing sails.  When a loose fit shirt is tailor made for the wearer, it can convey a feeling of relaxation and comfort without appearing sloppy.

Long Sleeve Dress Shirts

shirt fitting

Paul Smith

Dress shirts with long sleeves are still the norm for well-dressed attire, with short sleeves appropriate only for casual wear and in areas with extremely warm climates.  The length of the sleeves are one of the critical signs of a well-fitted dress shirt.  When the sleeves are too long or too short, they can give the entire shirt a somewhat ridiculous appearance.  One of the biggest problems with ready-made dress shirts is the sleeve length will be correct for only a limited number of men.  With custom dress shirts, the sleeve length is made to measure for the individual wearer.

Short Sleeve Dress Shirts

shirt fitting

Jil Sander

Short sleeve dress shirts are a great option for warm weather casual wear.  Short sleeves are appropriate for some businesses in warmer climates, though they are traditionally never worn under a suit jacket.  Since the goal in wearing a short sleeve shirt is keeping cool, it should be made from a high-quality, lightweight cotton or linen.   White and lighter colours are the best choices for warm weather since they don’t absorb light.  The synthetic blends that are used for many mass-produced shirts are not breathable and end up being uncomfortable when the temperature rises.  A tailor made short sleeve dress shirt will provide a custom fit and attention to detail that will really get noticed.

Dress Shirts for Short Men

shirt fitting for short men

Tom Cruise at 5'7 tall

Finding a dress shirt that fits correctly can be a frustrating experience for men who are shorter in stature.  It’s important for short men to seek out dress shirts that are proportioned correctly.  If the sleeves or torso are too long, they can make a short man look even shorter.  Because off-the-rack dress shirts are made for “standard” sizes, some part of the shirt will usually not fit correctly for a shorter man.  Custom dress shirts are the perfect solution for shorter men who have trouble finding shirts with a flattering fit.  When choosing fabric for a dress shirt, a short man should select solid colours and narrow vertical stripes which will contribute to an appearance of additional height.

Dress Shirts for Long Men

shirt fitting for tall men

Hugh Jackman at 6"2 1/2 tall

We may envy them their height, but men who are tall and have long arms often have a difficult time finding dress shirts that fit.  Like men who are short in stature, tall men need shirts that have the correct proportions.  No matter how expensive a dress shirt is, if the shoulders are too small or the sleeves too short, the effect is less than impressive.  Some tall men buy off-the rack shirts and have them tailored to fit.  Custom dress shirts are a more practical alternative than tailoring a readymade shirt.  A custom dress shirt can be made to fit men of any stature, including tall and long.

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