Getting the correct fit is more important than any other aspect of shirt shopping. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the fabric, how cool the colour, or how fantastic the brand, if you’re wearing a shirt that simply looks ridiculous because it’s too big or too small.
Not only can an ill fitting shirt ruin your look, it can undermine your message as well. Whether you’re in business or some other field, your effectiveness can easily be destroyed by a shirt popping at the seams or a shirt that looks like you borrowed it from a seven foot basketball player.
The Fundamentals Of Fit
Regardless of your shape or size, a business shirt that fits correctly lays the foundation to not only look good, but to feel good too. Confidence in the way you look, with no distractions from being self-conscious, adds to your confidence in going about your daily business.
Let’s get started and cover the basics of a “good fit”.
A shirt that fits properly should not only be comfortable, but should also share the following characteristics:
- Room for two fingers behind the collar when buttoned.
- The cuffs should be tight enough around the wrist that they cannot slip off without being unbuttoned.
- You should able to lift your arms to the side without the sleeves pulling up the forearm, and, there should be no more than 1 inch of fabric near the cuff when your arms are hanging by your side
- Shoulder points should align nicely with your shoulders
- Enough room in the chest and waist that you can only pinch out 1 – 3 inches of fabric. (Depending on your desired fit)
The Classic Fit
The Classic Fit is definitely designed with comfort in mind. Typically cut generously across the shoulders and chest,
it has a loose fit through the waist and pleats at the back. The shirt tails are also extra long to ensure the shirt doesn’t come untucked throughout the day, no matter how much you move around. This tends to be the default cut that most men have worn for years, due to its high comfort factor. Often hidden under suits, it’s a standard and traditional option for sure. But, we can do better…
The Slim Fit
Despite the slightly misleading name, most men find that Slim Fit is actually the best, as it works well for most shapes and sizes. This fit is nipped in around the waist, to present a more defined silhouette, and has slightly slimmer sleeves. There are still back pleats for more comfort. The back shirt tail still has length to stock it easily untucking, but the front shirt tail is level which allows you wear the shirt untucked if you wish. This is the fit that most mean should choose, unless you have a very heavy or very slim build, this fit will ensure you remain comfortable while looking good.
The Extra Slim Fit
You’ll need to be of slim build yourself to pull this fit off and look good! Extra slim shirts are tapered around the chest and waist and have the closest fitting silhouette, with the shoulders have darts in place of pleats. Very contemporary. It should be noted that the name of this fit describes your size, not what it will do for you. In fact, it’s the opposite. If you aren’t already very slim, then don’t wear this fit because the result will definitely not be “slimming”, and you definitely will not feel comfortable.
Many websites of shirt makers will have detailed descriptions of their fits, style, and variations, so make sure to check them out. You should always check out their “Fit Guide” and match your own measurements to ensure a great result. If you haven’t already done so, it really is worth getting professionally measured up and keep those measurements somewhere handy. It may seem like more work, but it is only once, takes only takes a few minutes and the results are definitely worth it.
You’ll find that most business shirt sites and sizes will follow the general information above but may use some of their own terminology or descriptions.
Now that you know the fundamentals of getting the right fit when buying business shirts online, you’re ready to move on to fabrics, colour and style. Have fun!
I hope this information was helpful to you. Please feel free to comment below. Thanks.