When measuring at home to check the size of a shirt on eBay, keep the following fit guides in mind. Although not all manufacturers carry this fit, those that do are worth finding for men with mesomorph body types or muscular physiques.
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. 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. The ectomorphic body type tends to be lean and narrow. Men with this shape typically have narrower shoulders and chests. 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. 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 mesomorph's wedge shape. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Putting it all together and finding the right dress shirt is a matter of combining comfort, body shape, and style. 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.
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.
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. Having trouble using this site with a screen reader or any other Accessible technology?
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