Back Darts On A Dress Shirt – Yes or No?


Back darts on a dress shirt can be a divisive topic. While many swear by them, there are just as many that would snort at having darts on their dress shirt. Before we discuss the nuances of the back darts on a dress shirt and provide you with our opinion on the matter, we shall begin with an explanation to initiate the clueless.

Back Darts on a Solid White Shirt

What Are Back Darts?

Back darts are two simple straight seams, i.e. a fold and stitch on either side on the back of your dress shirt. What this means is that additional fabric in the back of the shirt is folded inwards and then stitched, leaving a pinch showing on either side of the back of the shirt.


Why Do I Need Back Darts?

Often times, when you purchase a slim-fitting off the rack shirt, you will find that it billows from behind when you put it on. This is because it is not shaped to fit your body exactly. By adding back darts, you essentially have the shirt fit the contour of your back and look much better fitted to the shape of your body. If you gain weight in future and find the slim fit pressing against your bulge, you can remove the back darts to allow more space for yourself.

Back Darts Fit The Contour of your Back and Eliminate Billow

If, at this point you’re thinking that back darts sound awesome and you want them for all your slim fitting shirts – we’re with you! We believe that a slim fit shirt should fit the contour of your body, and back darts help to accentuate the shape that your body has (shameless plug:  all Hucklebury slim fit dress shirts come with back darts). This brings us to the following question…

Why Are Back Darts Not Universally Loved?

Some men prefer a slim shirt which has been made slim by more subtle methods such as clever shaping of the side seams – which they feel tends to produce a higher quality garment. While this is disputable, you most certainly lose the option of increasing the space in your dress shirt if your girth increases in time.

Then there are men who feel that darts make a dress shirt look like a woman’s blouse, i.e. more effeminate. We feel pictures speak a thousand words so we will let the pictures in this post attest to how ‘effeminate’ darts look on dress shirts.Taylor Lautner In a Fitted Shirt with Back Darts

Some men don’t have an issue with back darts on solid shirts but are hesitant adding them to striped dress shirts or checked dress shirts because they are afraid the way it pinches would make the pattern look bad. This is a concern that we share and we take special care of when making Hucklebury shirts. If you are planning to alter a shirt you currently own to have back darts, we advice getting a professional tailor to do it if the dress shirt is patterned.

Finally, there are some who find back darts undesirable because they make ironing difficult since darts add curvature to the shirt and ironing is meant to press the shirt flat.


Having looked at all the reasons back darts are shunned by some, we can only point to the advantage it provides – a GREAT FITTING SHIRT – to reach the conclusion that back darts should be used when required.

Have any thoughts on the matter? Drop us a comment!

Image credit for this post to The Sartorialist, The Style Blogger and GQ respectively.


About Author

Dhawal Shah

Through Art of Style Club, Dhawal Shah is educating himself on lifestyle matters affecting everyday men and bringing a fresh perspective to answer their questions. He is also the co-founder of 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency, and an expert on web development, SEO, SEM, Marketing Automation & Social Media.

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