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Dress Shirt Fit & Style

The Proper fit of a Shirt.

The following is a summary of the types of fit for dress shirts. Keep in mind that a dress shirt should be comfortable and not in the least bit restricting.  In postings to follow we will share information on the different body types.

Arguably the most striking feature of a shirt, fit is one of the most influential traits in defining style. Simply put, it’s inconceivable to address style if the shirt is ill-fitting, so make sure to follow our previous recommendations on attaining a proper fit.
Again, the question remains whether to choose ready-to-wear options or made-to-measure alternatives, but independent of your decision, the shirt will portray a characteristic aesthetic that suits your taste. Before I list the most common fits within today’s market offerings, I would like to stress that a “perfect fit” is not a concept equally perceived by everyone: what I envision as perfect may very well differ from your idea of perfection and although there are rules and critical aspects to evaluate fit, it depends greatly on personal taste.

The Classic Fit
Perpetuating the original essence of the shirt, the classic fit aims to maintain the traditional tailoring silhouette, allowing a comfortable feel with a boxier shape. It provides great mobility and features two vents on the back, usually located near the yoke. This is the go-to choice for those with a more classic style who favor comfort over fashion.

Slim Fit
A step forth towards a more fashionable approach, the slim fit has been gaining adepts and recognition with a younger audience, more self conscious about their image and aiming to portray a trendier look.
Accentuated back darts and a higher armhole stance allow for a shaped look that sits closer to the body, without being skin tight; although it’s commonly associated with casual or fashion shirts, an appropriate choice of fabric may allow for more formal alternatives as well. Bear in mind that depending on your body type, this fit might pose some issues as it’s more appropriate for slim individuals, so if you’re on the bulkier side you might want to skip this one — otherwise, go for a stretch fabric to ensure the best fit and comfort.

The Modern/Contemporary Fit
Probably the most popular alternative on the list, this fit represents the evolution of the shirt pattern to reflect (as the name states), a more contemporary feel. This option sits in between the classic and the slim fit, providing the best of both worlds in what regards comfort and style. A slightly tapered silhouette on the waist, usually making use of small back darts, ensures the success of this much sought all rounder.

Super Slim/Skinny Fit
In my opinion, unless you have a very particular body type that justifies it, super skinny fits should be avoided all together. Skintight shirts are not a flattering alternative for anyone and feel a bit like sailing into uncharted waters – just stay away from them. In this case, not even stretch can save you from looking like you’re about to burst and can hardly move or breathe.