How to Buy the Perfect Fitting Dress Shirt

testing the cheap studio (sp, 2007)The hallmark of a perfect shirt usually isn’t its style, color, or material. What makes a shirt perfect is the way that it fits your particular body.

If you take a quick stroll through Kohls or Target you might find many shirts that visually look pleasing to the eye. It is not until you try these shirts on that you are able to quickly tell the difference between a shirt from Kohls and a shirt from Banana Republic.

While spending more money on a shirt increases the likelihood that the shirt will be cut properly, it doesn’t guarantee it will fit your body right. The problem is that most men don’t know how a shirt is supposed to fit, and often by a shirt a half size too big or small. This is because each manufacture cuts their shirts differently, making it necessary to try a shirt on before you make the purchase.

Guidelines for Perfect Fitting Shirt

Most of the time you’re shirt will be either too loose or too tight in the torso. The shirt should be snug in the chest, but not so snug that the fabric pulls between the buttons.

Your personal build determines what style you choose in regards to the back. Stockier guys should get a shirt with box pleats in the back- two folds between the shoulder blades- which provides a little more room, without extra girth. If you fall on the slimmer side you should opt for fitted styles that contour down toward the waist. The seams of the shirt should lie on the curve right behind your shoulder muscle.

When you try on the shirt sit down for a minute. The shirt should skim your waist but leave just enough room to give when seated.

The rule for the neck is pretty standard: You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers in between your neck and the collar of the shirt when its buttoned.

The cuffs of the shirt should fall in the crook between the base of your thumb and your wrist. It is a common problem for men to wear their sleeves too long or too short.

The tails should be long enough to lie under your rear end when you’re seated. That will prevent the shirt from riding up or coming untucked.

A perfect fitting shirt has a collar that fits snugly whether open or closed. Its buttons should lie flat and the fabric shouldn’t pull between them. And the shirt should never balloon when tucked into your pants.

Do you want to always know exactly what to wear, and how to wear it?

If you’re not normally the fashion conscious type it is probably a good idea to keep a good book lying around that you can reference in a pinch. Two good books that come to mind are Details’ Men’s Style Manual for the older professional male or Brad P’s Fashion Bible for younger party goer.

The small price for either of these books will provide you with a wealth of knowledge that will keep you always the most well dressed man in the room… and avoid fashion blunders that can hinder your game.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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