By Erric Shirts (0) Comment
25 Mar

What Are the Different Types of Men Dress Shirt Fits

Men's dress shirts have been a staple of the masculine wardrobe since the rise of the standard office business suit during the early 20th century. Dress shirts communicate both the wearer\'s personal style and where he is headed; they are usually worn to the office, after-hours business functions, and special occasions. The terms "blue collar" and "white collar" to differentiate job types came about because workmen preferred blue chambray shirts and businessmen made white shirts their color of choice whether worn with suits or under other articles of clothing. 

Today's dress shirts come in a wide variety of colors, and neither white nor blue collars reflect anything but the wearer\'s taste. While lighter or more subdued hues are more typical for office wear, vibrant hues have become popular for evening occasions, sometimes without an accompanying jacket. Designers have brought back the slim fit vest, which is another great clothing option for today\'s modern man. Three-piece suits always deserve a great dress shirt. 

A well-fitted dress shirt, designer or not, is an essential part of a man\'s wardrobe for business and for pleasure. With a good fit, a man looks neater and often feels more confident. Many professional stylists contend that a properly fitted and styled dress shirt elevates the suit and tie worn with it, making it look more expensive than it is. Understanding how to get the right fit for his body type and sense of style serves a man well whether he is on his way to the office or an evening on the town. He also has the option of getting custom-made shirts at most reputable department stores or at upscale tailors that specialize in hand cut clothing, such as dress shirts, suits, and other separates that can be styled to look even more classic or formal than they actually are.

Men's dress shirts have been a staple of the masculine wardrobe since the rise of the standard office business suit during the early 20th century. Dress shirts communicate both the wearer\'s personal style and where he is headed; they are usually worn to the office, after-hours business functions, and special occasions. The terms \"blue collar\" and \"white collar\" to differentiate job types came about because workmen preferred blue chambray shirts and businessmen made white shirts their color of choice whether worn with suits or under other articles of clothing.

 

Today's dress shirts come in a wide variety of colors, and neither white nor blue collars reflect anything but the wearer\'s taste. While lighter or more subdued hues are more typical for office wear, vibrant hues have become popular for evening occasions, sometimes without an accompanying jacket. Designers have brought back the slim fit vest, which is another great clothing option for today\'s modern man. Three-piece suits always deserve a great dress shirt.

 

A well-fitted dress shirt, designer or not, is an essential part of a man\'s wardrobe for business and for pleasure. With a good fit, a man looks neater and often feels more confident. Many professional stylists contend that a properly fitted and styled dress shirt elevates the suit and tie worn with it, making it look more expensive than it is. Understanding how to get the right fit for his body type and sense of style serves a man well whether he is on his way to the office or an evening on the town. He also has the option of getting custom-made shirts at most reputable department stores or at upscale tailors that specialize in hand cut clothing, such as dress shirts, suits, and other separates that can be styled to look even more classic or formal than they actually are.


Parts of Men's Dress Shirts

When discussing how men\'s dress shirts are meant to fit, it is useful to know the terminology. Most people know about cuffs and collars, but yokes and plackets are less common terms.

The collar of the shirt is the folded piece of fabric at the neckline. It is often pointed at the tips, and many dress shirts feature button-down collar points that create a neater line. Moving down the shirt, the yoke is the back panel that goes across the shoulders. The shirt\'s yoke is integral to its fit through the back. The armholes are the inset areas where the sleeves are attached; in some dress shirts, these are cut slightly larger for ease of movement. The side seams start at the base of the armholes and move down to the hem of the shirt on each side.

The back of the shirt may have pleats at the base of the yoke and vertical darts, sewn folds of fabric to adjust the garment\'s fit, at the waist. In front, some shirts have a placket, a vertical length of fabric into which the buttonholes are stitched, and others do not. Plain-fronted shirts have a single fold of fabric on one side of the row of buttons when the shirt is buttoned; placket-fronted shirts have a fold on either side of the button row.

Sleeve length is usually listed on manufacturers\' labels for shirts, and the right sleeve length is key to getting a proper fit. Men's dress shirts have either French cuffs or barrel cuffs. Barrel cuffs, also termed standard cuffs, attach with buttons stitched to the shirt and do not require cufflinks. The more formal French cuffs double over and need cufflinks to hold them in place adding instant classic style.

 

 


Fit Styles of Men's Dress Shirts

 

Although manufacturers and custom tailors may come up with their own terminology for dress shirt sizing, most of them adhere to the same concept of offering three shirt cuts to fit the three most common body types. Some designers offer additional options, and for men who are hard to fit, the answer may lie with one of these less commonly seen fit styles.

Before looking at the fit these shirts provide, it is important to look at the shapes they are designed to fit. Doctors and fitness experts often refer to three somatotypes, or body shapes, that describe most men\'s bodies; these categories are also helpful when deciding how to dress each body type.

 

Body Type | Description |Recommended Fit

Ectomorph - Slim

The ectomorphic body type tends to be lean and narrow. Men with this shape typically have narrower shoulders and chests.

Slim fit, tailored fit

Mesomorph - Muscular

The broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped inverted wedge shape is that of a mesomorph. Men with this physique generally put on muscle easily and maintain a trim waist.

Athletic fit, traditional fit, tailored fit

Endomorph - Rounded

The endomorphic body type has more rounded contours and tends to gain weight in the abdomen. When slim, endomorphs retain a stocky overall build and a more cylindrical torso rather than the mesomorphs wedge shape.

Athletic fit, traditional fit, full fit, tailored fit


Full Fit Dress Shirts

When laid flat, a full-fit dress shirt widens slightly from the base of the yoke to the hem of the shirt. This A-line silhouette is more comfortable and flattering for men who carry extra weight at the abdomen or who have a solid, stocky build. In larger sizes, these shirts typically have larger armholes to accommodate fuller arms comfortably. Many endomorphic body types find their most comfortable fit with a full-cut dress shirt. This shape is sometimes called comfort fit or relaxed fit by some manufacturers.

Traditional Fit Dress Shirts

When a shirt is labeled traditional fit, or classic, it has side seams that are straight or only slightly tapered at the waist. Some manufacturers taper the waist more than others, so it is wise to try on the shirt or pay close attention to waist measurements when buying a shirt with a traditional fit. Many traditional-fit shirts feature box pleats at the base of the yoke for more comfortable movement. This silhouette may also be called a straight fit, natural fit, or classic fit.

Slim Fit Dress Shirts

A dress shirt with a slim fit has marked tapering at the waist and may also have a yoke that is narrower from shoulder to shoulder. It is meant to fit a slimmer body comfortably and closely. Slim-fit dress shirts almost always have pleating at the yoke and darts at the waist for a more tailored fit at the waistline. When laid flat, this shirt\'s sides curve inward noticeably giving a more custom tailored look. 

Athletic Fit Dress Shirts

Cut with a broader yoke and larger armholes to fit a more muscular physique, athletic-fit men\'s dress shirts have a fitted, tapered waist that differentiates them from full-cut dress shirts with the same neck size and sleeve length. Although not all manufacturers carry this fit, those that do are worth finding for men with mesomorph body types or muscular physiques.

Other Manufacturers Labels

Tailored fit, a commonly used term that overlaps with both slim fit and traditional fit, often refers to a shirt that has a yoke of standard width and a moderately tapered waist. It falls somewhere between a traditional-fit and a slim-fit shirt, but it is not as wedge-shaped as an athletic-fit shirt. Like the tailored fit, the modern fit also falls between a slim-fit and a traditional-fit dress shirt. An increasingly common term, vintage fit refers to a shirt that has the slim-cut shirt\'s narrow waist and smaller armholes but with a standard yoke.


Choosing a Men\'s Dress Shirt That Fits

Putting it all together and finding the right dress shirt is a matter of combining comfort, body shape, and style.

Body Type

Men\'s dress shirts are designed with body shape in mind, so the silhouette of the shirt is the primary consideration when shopping for the right fit. Measure at the chest just below the arms, across the shoulders, and at the natural waistline to get an idea of the underlying body structure. Choose a preliminary fit based on these measurements, but be open to other possibilities; some endomorphs find that a traditional fit is more comfortable, and some slim mesomorphs prefer a slim-cut shirt to the athletic fit that they may otherwise choose.

Occasion

Many men find that having a range of dress shirts in different fits suits them better than adhering to a single cut. For an occasion that requires lengthy periods of sitting, such as a board meeting or long flight, a man may opt for a roomier fit at the waist than he normally would. A cocktail party may call for a slimmer and more body-conscious fit. If he is attending a wedding reception or bachelor party, a man wearing a shirt with an athletic fit finds dancing and raising his arms for a toast easier.

Material

Some fabrics have more give than others. While a dress shirt should never pull tightly over any part of the body, a fabric with some flexibility does allow more size and shape leeway than a more rigid weave. Supima cotton and brushed cotton have relatively little stretch, but a cotton blend shirt that incorporates synthetic fibers may flex and move with the wearer. Linen and silk have little stretch and are typically worn more loosely than other fabrics because of this.

Conversely, most polyester and rayon shirts, whether vintage or new, have some degree of stretch to them. This elasticity is often desirable from a comfort standpoint and can accentuate a narrow waist in a slim or athletic fit. However, a dress shirt that stretches looks less crisp and formal than a cotton or linen shirt that keeps its shape.

 

Personal Style

A man\'s tastes can and do influence his choice in dress shirts. Regardless of his body type, he may feel more comfortable in a shirt that leaves plenty of extra room at the waist. Athletic men sometimes find that a slim or athletic fit is too body-conscious for office wear even though it is a good look for evening; he may choose a traditional fit instead. Some men who have stockier builds find that the slight taper of a modern or tailored fit creates a leaner line than the full or straight fit that his proportions may suggest.

Fashion also dictates what is in style for men, and the silhouette that is in one season may change by the next. A man who wants to update his style quickly and economically can often do so by switching one fit for another to adhere to the prevailing style.

 

Men\'s Dress Shirt Sizing

Men\'s dress shirts are usually sold with two sizes listed: neck diameter and sleeve length. These two measurements are key to the overall fit of the garment. When measuring at home to check the size of a shirt on Erric Shirts, keep the following fit guides in mind.

·         A well-fitted dress shirt\'s collar should button comfortably and leave room for two fingers between the neck and the collar.

·         Sleeves should be long enough that the yoke does not buckle or pull the tail of the shirt out of the waistband when the arms are extended straight forward at chest height.

·         Cuffs should not ride up the forearm when the arms are raised overhead or out to the sides in a T shape.

·         When the arms are at the wearer\'s sides, the sleeves should not have more than an inch of fabric that bunches at the cuff, nor should the edge of the cuff travel to the back of the hand.

·         Shoulder seams should reach precisely to the edge of the shoulder. If the shirt\'s yoke is too narrow, go up a size; a shirt with a too-wide yoke that fits elsewhere may necessitate going from a slim fit to a traditional or athletic fit.

 

 

Conclusion

Men of every shape and taste can find dress shirts that fit them well. With the right dress shirt, a man not only looks more stylish, he can also feel more comfortable. A dress shirt that does not bind, come untucked, or pull at the sleeves can come from an off-the-rack shop when a man chooses the fit that is right for him.

 

 

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