Getting the fit right when purchasing a dress shirt can be an arduous process and one that could involve plenty of trips to the fitting room. We’ve put together this quick 3-step guide to help you determine the best fit for your dress shirt to make finding great dress shirts that fit you perfectly easy.
Fit 1: The Neck
Forget sizing yourself using ‘small’, ‘medium’, ‘large’. Get a tape measure out and measure the size of your neck (rounding it to the nearest half-inch). A rule of thumb if you can’t find shirts based on neck size – you should be able to fit 2 fingers (and no more) comfortably into your collar when it is buttoned up for it to be deemed the best fit.
Fit 2: The Body
If you tuck in your shirt and there is a lot of extra fabric sticking out all around near the waist – you have a poorly fitted dress shirt. If you’re slim or average build, we recommend going for a slim fit shirt. Even if you are large, a slim fit could still be the answer for you. For those with a much larger waistline, a regular fit shirt would do the trick of a snug fit. Check out our Right Fit For Your Body Type article for more details.
Fit 3: The Sleeves
When looking at the sleeves of a dress shirt, there are 3 things you should take note of.
The first is where the sleeve on your dress shirt begins (or how high the armhole is) – which is where your shoulders end and not 3-4inches below. This will show off your shoulders and not make you look like you’re drowning in a dress shirt too large for you.
The second is the width of the sleeve. A high armhole not only helps to define your shoulders when wearing the shirt, it also allows sleeves to be nicely tapered to reduce fabric on the sleeves. You want a little breathing room in your sleeves but not to the point where they start looking like flappy wings.
The third aspect of fitting for sleeves is the length. The sleeve should end just below your wrist bone. When standing straight, the cloth on the sleeves should not bunch up (too long) and neither should the lower part of your forearm be showing (too short). When wearing a jacket with the dress shirt, about a half-inch to an inch of your cuff should be showing beyond the point where your jacket sleeve ends as shown perfectly by the King of Pop in the image.
So there you have it. Just remember these 3 things – Collar, Body and Sleeves – to determine the best fit for a dress shirt the next time you decide to purchase a dress shirt.