Are you wondering where to start to find dress shirts that fit? Not a surprise, because most guys don't know the basic measurements that define great fit. But it's time to step up because first impressions matter. Poorly-fitting outfits put you at a disadvantage vs. your better-dressed peers. Here's the good news: you're about to learn how to find shirts that will fit the way you want.
To get accurate results, you're going to need a cloth tape measure. If you'd rather not make a trip a store to pick one up, Amazon is always open.
If you'd like to build your personal size profile as you work through your measurements, you can open a new tab here.
Accurately measuring shirt sleeve length is easiest with a friend’s help. If you have a shirt that fits, you can measure the shirt. .
When you wear your shirt without a jacket, you want to move comfortably but not have excess fabric. The problem: two guys with the same neck size may not be have the same chest and waist measurements. A shirt might fit an ultra-lean marathon runner perfectly. His friend who lifts weights won’t even be able to button it.
Brands try to deal with this by having 3-4 fit models for different body shapes and fit preferences. Unfortunately, they come with a confusing grab-bag of names: Extra Slim, Extra Trim, Milano, Trim, Classic, Traditional, Regular, etc. To make it even worse, one brand’s “Slim” might have the same measurements as another Brand’s “Standard” fit.
Taking two more measurements will help you find a shirt that will best fit your needs.
Usually, off-the-rack shirts don’t list these measurements. Knowing them can help you better understand how to find brands that are best for you. Buried deep in the basement of many menswear websites, you can find sizing tables that tell you the sizing of different “fit models” the brands offer. You can use the following guidelines to get your desired fit:
If you dig deep into most brands’ websites, you will find a page that lists their detailed sizing specs.
Most dress shirt brands take a "big tent" approach to waist sizing: go wide, to include many guys as possible. Unfortunately, if you're in good shape with a trim waist, this means their shirts fit you like a big tent. Fortunately, a select few brands have designed for guys in better shape. These brands offer multiple sleeve lengths to fit your arms, and collar sizes to the nearest 1/2" so your neck will be comfortable on days where you need to wear a tie. Here are some examples, each for shirts with 15.5" collar size.
Chest Waist Brand and Fit
41.0 37.0 T.M. Lewin Super Fitted
41.2 36.5 Charles Tyrwhitt Super Slim Fit
41.5 38.5 Charles Tyrwhitt Extra Slim Fit
42.5 37.5 Calvin Klein Extra-Slim Fit
43.0 39.0 Nordstrom Men's Shop Extra Trim Fit
43.5 38.5 T.M. Lewin Fitted
44.0 41.0 Charles Tyrwhitt Slim Fit
44.5 40.8 Boss Sharp Fit
45.0 40.0 Nordstrom Men's Shop Trim Fit
45.0 40.0 T.M. Lewin Slim Fit
45.5 41.0 Paul Fredrick Slim Fit
45.6 41.8 Buttoned Down Tailored Fit
46.0 42.0 Jos. A. Bank Tailored
If you want to see the chest and waist for other collar sizes, click on the brand link to see their sizing chart.
Does this seem like a job for a machine, not a busy guy who hates shopping? Now that you know your basic measurements, there's a dramatically better way to go. A service that searches over 1,000 sizes from 17 top brands in seconds. A personalized assortment that fits the way you want, available online today. With no styling fees, no markups from brand’s website pricing, and no subscriptions.
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