Of course you want to look good. But you also want to feel comfortable and appropriate. A shirt that fits well is important, but if it’s not the right style or color for you, then it’s not the right shirt. Good fit makes a world of difference, so grab your measuring tape and let’s get started!
Start by putting on your shirt and buttoning it up.
First, put on your shirt and button it up. Once you’ve done that, take a look in the mirror. Are there any gaps showing between the buttons? If so, this is a sign of an ill-fitting shirt.
Next, check to see if your collar fits comfortably around your neck. You should be able to easily insert two fingers between the collar and your neck without pulling too hard or feeling any discomfort. If you can’t get two fingers in without tugging or if the collar feels tight around your neck, it’s too small for you.
Thirdly, make sure that the sleeves are long enough for you—your sleeves should reach about halfway down your hand (from wrist bone to middle finger). If they’re shorter than that, consider exchanging them for a different size with longer sleeves.
Fourthly, check to make sure that there is not too much room under the arms and along the chest as well as along the shoulders—your shirt should fit snugly but not tightly around these areas of your body
Next, unbutton your shirt and leave the collar button undone.
At this point, you’ve determined if the shoulder fit is good. Now, it’s time to check out the collar and neck. Unbutton your shirt and leave the collar button undone. The collar should be comfortable when worn with a tie, without feeling like it’s choking you. If there’s too much fabric at the neck (the collar is loose), or not enough fabric at the neck (the collar is tight), then the shirt doesn’t fit well. Look in a mirror and see how the collar looks around your neck. The back of your neck should be visible and there shouldn’t be any large gaps between the shirt and your body. Also, make sure that there isn’t excess material bunching up around your shoulders by moving around with your arms extended to see if any wrinkles appear in those areas; if so, then move to another size or brand
If everything looks good from here on out, you have found yourself a great-fitting dress shirt!
Unbutton your shirt and pull the sleeves down so you can measure them.
- Unbutton your shirt and pull the sleeves down so you can measure them.
- Measure from the shoulder seam to the bottom of the cuff, using a flexible measuring tape or piece of string and a ruler to measure it out. The sleeve length should end at no more than 1/8th of an inch over your wrist bone while standing with your arms hanging loosely at your sides (not crossed!). If the sleeves are too short, they can make you look like you got dressed in someone else’s bedroom this morning.
- Measure from the center of your back to the bottom of the cuff. You want about 1 inch of play here; if it’s less or more than that, it will bunch or pull when you move around, which is not cute (especially if you’re wearing a dress shirt with buttons around each cuff).
Unbutton the shirt and remove it and lay it flat on a table.
Lay the shirt flat on a table.
Next, you need to measure the length of the shirt. This is done by measuring from the bottom of the collar to the hem at the bottom of your shirt.
You also need to measure across from one shoulder seam and across to another shoulder seam. Shoulder measurements are usually in inches and should be about 20.5″ for a small shirt and 22″ for a large one. Make sure that there are not too many wrinkles on your shirt when you do this measurement!
You will want to be able to comfortably button up your shirt without any gaping across your chest. To check this, you should measure from armpit seam all around until you reach back again where it started near your chest, or 2x around (where one side equals half). A good rule of thumb is that it should be about 6″ wider than your actual chest size (in inches).
Put on a collared shirt, button it all the way up, and bend over slightly.
Next, we need to make sure that the shirt fits the width of our shoulders. It’s easy to cheat by wearing a jacket or sweater over your shirt, but if you slip on a jacket that’s too tight over your dress shirt, it will make you look like a hot dog bursting out of its casing. If a suit jacket is too small for you in the shoulders, everything else about it will be wrong—it won’t hang evenly from shoulder to shoulder and sleeves won’t fit.
You can easily check this by putting on a collared shirt (they’re easier to use for this test than T-shirts), buttoning it all the way up, and bending over slightly. The space between the collar and your neck should be 1/2 inch — if there’s more space or less than 1/2 inch, then the top button of your dress shirt should probably be undone. You can also check how much room you have in your armpits by raising your arms at 90-degree angles to your body so that they are parallel to the floor; if you find yourself restricted or feel like you’ve got too much room in there as well, then you may want to consider buying shirts with smaller armholes.
Put on a collared shirt, button it all the way up, and turn to one side.
- Button up a collared shirt.
- Stand to one side and look at it in the mirror.
- If your shirt bulges, or is tight, then it’s too small. Don’t wear that shirt.
- If your shirt bunches up, then it’s too big. Don’t wear that shirt either.
- The ideal fit should be smooth and flawless, with no pulls or bulges anywhere on your body, including the shoulders and neckline of the collar when you turn away from the mirror to look in profile.
Put on a collared shirt, button it all the way up, reach up as high as you can with one arm while keeping your shoulder relaxed.
Put on a collared shirt, button it all the way up, reach up as high as you can with one arm while keeping your shoulder relaxed. If you can get your hand halfway between your chin and face, that’s a good fit. If not, chances are the shirt will be popping open at the collar when you move around. When wearing a suit jacket or blazer over it, this should be more of an issue (the jacket should do most of the work), but certainly check if the shirt feels snug in other ways like pulling across the back or under the arms.
Of course, everything is something of an approximation: different brands have different cuts and styles. You might find that some shirts fit better than others even from the same brand or country of origin.
These steps will improve your shirt shopping experience
- Know your measurements. Have a tailor or a friend measure your neck, chest, waist, sleeve length and the length of the shirt from the top of the shoulder to the bottom hem–if you don’t know this information, it will be difficult to tell if a shirt fits you.
- Go for quality over quantity. The most expensive shirts aren’t always better than an affordable one–it depends on what material they are made from and how well they have been constructed. Find out more about their specifics before purchasing them if possible.
- Look at the collar first: Make sure it’s neither too tight nor too loose around your neck, even when buttoned up all the way; you should be able to fit two fingers inside comfortably; look down as well–does it sit flat? This is important because collars can often become stretched out over time and do not go back into shape easily once that happens! If there is extra room on either side of your neck with buttons fastened then consider sizing down or choosing another style before making any decisions about whether this shirt fits properly or not.”
Remember to check that the shoulders of the shirt are a good fit. Shoulders that are too large will make you look like a slouch, and shoulders that are too small will constrict your movement and cause fabric to ride up.
Don’t be afraid to try on multiple sizes. Many people feel self-conscious about trying on clothes, but most retail assistants will tell you it’s fine. As well as buying shirts in your usual size, also try on a size above and below so you can see how the different fits look and feel on you.
- How do I know if a shirt is too big?
To determine whether a shirt fits right, you need to understand how it should fit. A good rule of thumb is that the shirt should fit snugly around the shoulders while still allowing your arm to move freely at your side. If there are wrinkles across the back when you sit down, then it doesn’t fit properly and may be too big. If the shirt is so tight that you find yourself pulling at it when you bend over or sit down, it’s probably too small. It’s okay for things to be a little more form-fitting than we’re used to; in fact, better! Men’s fashion has been trending toward tighter clothing for years now and will continue in that direction for years to come.
- What about sleeve length?
If you want to get into more detail than just “fits or doesn’t fit,” then here are three quick tips from our experts: 1) The sleeve length should fall just below your wrist but above your hand.
2) Keep in mind that a long-sleeve button-up shirt will always look best with cufflinks—and cufflinks are always cool!
3) A longer sleeve will make your arms look slimmer and give you more flexibility in terms of styling than an untucked short-sleeve would allow.