3 Steps To The Perfect Fitted Dress Shirt
Look around your office for a fitted dress shirt. Chances are you’re seeing a lot of excess fabric everywhere you look. Most men go around wearing dress shirts with enough extra fabric to pitch a tent.
From our thoroughly scientific observations (we asked our friends who work in finance), there are three defining characteristics of the ill-fitting shirt. They are:
- Excess fabric in the stomach area
- Sleeves too long for your arms
- Collars that are too tight or too loose
Any of these sound familiar? If so, rejoice because we’ve got the solutions right here:
Fix Your Fabric Gut
Excess fabric around the stomach area is the leading cause of (style) death among males ages 18-55 in the United States today. Unlike with excess weight, this requires no miracle pill to fix. You can ask your tailor to cut away the fabric flab on your existing shirts. This is a fairly simple alteration, but one you want to get right, so don’t just say “can you take an inch off the stomach?” and bounce. Try the shirt on and have your tailor mark it (and ideally, pin it) before he/she cuts, because once it’s taken in, letting out a shirt stomach ain’t happening.
Arm Yourself With Sleeves That Fit
Sleeves that are the perfect length are hard to come by. Why? Men have a wide range of arm lengths for their bodies. (Just ask the swimmers who keep coming in second to Michael Phelps.) Off the rack shirts can get you close, sometimes at the cost of the right fit elsewhere on the shirt, but rarely will they be just the right length. If you don’t want to compromise on a great fit, a custom fitted shirt is the way to go. You can pay a tailor to shorten your sleeves to the desired length, though alas, shirt sleeves cannot be lengthened, or you can get a shirt made to your measurements. We know a guy who can get a fitted dress shirt made for you. Aside from length there’s also the billowing arm. Unless the flying squirrel look makes a comeback (just kidding, it was and never will be in style), you’ll want to keep those sleeves trim. Of course, you don’t want to flex those biceps and rip your sleeve either , so as with the stomach, don’t just ask a tailor to taper your sleeves. Have him/her pin it down to be sure you get it Goldilocks right.
No Noose is Good News
A shirt collar that doesn’t fit is not just a pain in the neck, it’ll kill your style. If it’s too small it’ll give you multiple chins every time you turn your head. Everybody could use another chin, right? Wrong. On the flip side, there’s the rose-in-a-vase collar. Your face (we’re being kind) is the rose. Your neck, the lonely stem swimming in the wide gaping maw of a massively over-sized collar. You know the look, turn your head and you could practically see the label in the back. This too is unacceptable.
Your tailor can move a button to make your collar fit a bit tighter or looser. For a more significant change, replacing the collar is the way to go. Of course, a tailor may not have an exact match for your existing shirts, so weigh your options carefully. Make sure to consider your face shape when weighing collar options, too.
Options, you say, what options?
The Custom Dress Shirt Option
There is one sure fire way to get a perfect fitted dress shirt: get the shirt made just for you. A custom or, as those in the know call it, made-to-measure dress shirt solves all of the above problems, without you having to go to a tailor for alterations.
The fitted dress shirt you see in these photos was made to the model’s precise measurements. With a quick set of measurements that you can take at home, you can get a perfectly fitted dress shirt like these guys. So if you’ve got some ill-fitting shirts in your closet, grab a measuring tape and go custom.
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