Men's Dress Shirt Guide

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

Jay Wen

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.