Make Sure It Fits | How to Size Up Your Dress Shirt

A man that doesn’t have at least one dress shirt at his dis­posal, needs to take a hard look at his wardrobe and won­der where he went wrong. A dress shirt can be worn in many sit­u­a­tions, never fail­ing but help­ing your appear­ance and the impres­sion you make. It can give you pol­ish and dig­nity when the jeans are faded and the beard scruffy.

Unfor­tu­nately, none of this mat­ters if it doesn’t fit right. The first step, and prob­a­bly the most over­looked, is find­ing a dress shirt that fits you prop­erly. Your actions reflect how you feel, so get­ting a dress shirt that’s com­fort­able and fits prop­erly is of the utmost impor­tance. Also, since you’re spend­ing good money, expect­ing it to last awhile, you def­i­nitely want to get the right size.

If you’re brows­ing at a depart­ment store and not sure of your mea­sure­ments, have one of the store clerks size you up. That’s what they’re there for. They’ll let you know your neck and sleeve mea­sure­ments. The neck is mea­sured around the neck just below the Adam’s apple but add a 1/2 inch for com­fort. Your sleeve length is given from the cen­ter back of your neck, over the top of your shoul­der and down to your wrist, arm hang­ing at your side. For the sake of con­ve­nience regard­ing neck size, 14.5″ is a small, 15″ and 15.5″ is a medium and 16″ and 16.5″ con­sid­ered a large.

Make sure to try on your dress shirt as all design­ers have dif­fer­ent siz­ing quirks. The neck and the shoul­ders should be checked first. The seam that con­nects the shoul­der to the sleeve should come close or barely over to the end of your shoul­der, allow­ing it to drape well. The shirt shouldn’t stretch across the chest. Also, the sleeves should end slightly past the break of the wrist so it can be seen beneath a suit coat.

I’d rec­om­mend find­ing a slim fit­ted shirt because it’s much eas­ier to tuck in and stay tucked, along with giv­ing a slim­mer appear­ance. You don’t want it to bil­low like a ship’s sail out to sea. This gives a sloppy appear­ance, los­ing any dig­nity the dress shirt can eas­ily pro­vide. One thing to keep in mind, is if the col­lar and shoul­der is fine but the sleeves long, you can get it tai­lored, along with taper­ing in the shirt if it puffs out too much.

We talked about dress shirt fab­rics already, so I won’t get into that. To spare you the headache, how­ever, of depart­ment store brows­ing and spend­ing extra on tai­lor­ing, I’d rec­om­mend you try out our online cus­tom dress shirt process. You can use the gen­eral mea­sure­ments sug­gested above or input exact mea­sure­ments from a well fit­ted dress shirt you already own. Your best bet is to start from scratch with a mea­sur­ing tape. Here’s how you can mea­sure your­self.

Regard­less, if you choose online or at the store, make sure you get the fit that makes you look your best. If you don’t wear a dress shirt to work, it will still come in handy on the week­end or any sur­prise appear­ances requir­ing an impres­sion. Make that impres­sion the right one with the right fit.

Return to our home­page to learn more about cus­tom dress shirts.

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