The Joy of Dressing is an Art

When buying a shirt, what do you think is the most important criteria?

A lot of you might say its the brand, price, the color, the fabric, fit etc. But the right answer IS and SHOULD BE the ‘FIT’.

Finding the perfect fit is key since it is paramount to looking your best. The fit factor is capable of making or breaking the whole look!

A well fitted shirt can accentuate your positive physique features, creating a flattering silhouette just the same way an ill fitted one can make you look bland and slovenly, no matter your Johnny Bravo figure!
A fitting shirt that highlights the positive factors of your body shape and overrides the negatives will ensure that you appear more confident, sharp and poised, thereby increasing the overall appeal of your image.

Thus, always remember that no factor is as important as finding the perfect fit!

How a Shirt should ideally fit?

And when we say fit, it does not just apply to the chest or shoulders alone, but everything from the collar, to sleeves to the torso.

how a shirt should ideally fit infographic

Ideally the seam of the shoulder should meet the corners of your shoulder bone, ensuring that it doesn’t slide down to the arm.

Usually measured in inches (mostly between 14-18’’), you should be able to put on the collar buttons (topmost button) easily with at least a 2 finger space in between. And anything below or above that is usually considered too tight or loose. The shape and style of the collar is important as well; most importantly, choose a collar that balances your face.

Read more, our simple guide on the most popular collar styles in mens’ shirts and how choosing the right collar style can completely alter your whole outfit and appearance.

Chest & Torso
Shirts should ideally give you a snug fit, nothing either too tight or boxy across the chest, torso and upper back area. You should be able to comfortably move, stretch and turn when wearing it. Also, make sure that when buttoned up, there are no gaping holes across the chest or torso, which would mean that it’s tight. Similarly, stretch your arms towards the front and if you feel a pull in the back, then again, it means the shirt is tight.

Arm holes
Armpits should also be of a perfect and tapered fit, not too baggy (with fabric hanging under the arm). You should be able to comfortably move and raise your arms.

Make sure that the sleeves aren’t very long or too short (full sleeve shirts). The ideal length of sleeves for a full sleeve shirt would be, extending a little bit beyond the wrists.


Another key factor is the length of the shirt. The length of the shirt is usually measured from the center portion of the back of the collar till the end of the shirttail. You can choose the length as per how you intend to use it- tucked or untucked. A tucked in shirt should ideally should reach up till the bottom of the butt or a bit below. An untucked one can be a bit shorter, extending up to the center or bottom of the butt. A simple test to determine if the length is apt for you is to bend and try touching your feet. While doing that, if you feel a lot of your back is bared, then the shirt length is not ideal.

Different Shirt Fit Types for Men

Earlier shirts were mass produced in a regular standard size to fit men of all body types and shapes. But, today, as opposed to the few conventional fits , there are many more options in fits available for men. Here are the major and the most common types of fits in men’s shirts.

Classic or Regular Fit

A common and standard size shirt meant to fit all body types, with lots of room in the chest, torso, armholes and sleeves. These are straight shirts (or very slightly tapered towards the waist) and don’t cling to your body and is quite relaxing and comfortable due to a larger fit. Most ideal when wearing a suit or blazer and is perfect for those men with a slightly rounded body since the loose fit will help to hide those small flab.
Not really the best choice for men with a slimmer body type.

Tailored Fit

Combining the best of both worlds, the slim fit and regular fit, the tailored fit shirts are tapered and fitted yet has some room to relax. They don’t cling to the body as much as slim fits and is not as boxy as regular fits. It is generously cut than slim fits to allow more room for movement in the chest and waist areas. This fit usually has tapered sleeves as well. They are ideal for men with slimmer or slightly muscular bodies.

Slim Fit

The second most popular choice of fit among men, this is an ideal choice for men of a slim stature, these are more shaped and fashionable than the regular fit shirts and hence look great on young men. They do have a snug fit and may slightly constrict easy motions since they sit more close to the body. Avoid if you have a belly or some flab since they are distinctly tapered in the waist area and has darts in the back.

Skinny Fit

Extra slim fit or the skinny fits are a much more narrow and tapered than the typical slim fits and sits very close to the body (chest & waist area) and has tapered sleeves and well fitted arm holes too. And because of this narrow fit, it is ideal choice only for men with very fit and trim bodies.

Fitted or Athletic

Perfect for men who want to show off their well contoured or V shaped physique. This fit can accentuate broad shoulders and chest and narrow waist. This fit helps to resolve the problems of men with athletic body type since slim fits, though are tapered in the waist area is not roomy enough of their broad shoulders and regular fit would appear too boxy and unflattering on them.

A well fitting shirt may cost you slightly more than an ill fitting shirt, but the difference the former can make is so much worth it. You will never believe the kind of boost it would give to your confidence.

Now that you know the key points to consider when choosing a shirt as well as the different types of shirt fits, picking that perfect shirt is a cake walk!

Do you know any other shirt fit types which you think we have missed? Feel free to drop them in the comment box!


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