Men of all statures enjoy a nice fitted shirt. In general men with a more muscular, cut shape use fitted shirts as a way to show off all their hard work at the gym, but most men don’t realize the potential hidden in the fit of a shirt. Men under-utilize the concept of fit to improve or accentuate certain areas of their body. However, fashionably the tight fitted style is, there are, unfortunately, many ways it can go wrong. When buying a fitted shirt there are a few key points that you should be aware of that can make or break your look.
The shoulders can be a tricky area to find the right fit. Generally speaking the shoulder seam should land directly on the point of the shoulder – not too tight toward the neck or too loose hanging down the bicep. This sets up the basic shape of the shirt to fit well and when fitted correctly can show off or even create the “triangle” upper body shape. If the shoulders are loose and hang down the arm, it can create a baggy look and in some cases making the body look bigger than it really is. A tighter fit on the shoulders can cramp the armpit area causing it to pull around the torso.
See Also: Five Ways to Wear a Polo Shirt
The chest is a problem area for many men. As most shirts fall straight down to the hips, the chest determines the fit a shirt has on the rest of the body. If the shirt is too tight in the chest and falls loose on the waist, the fit will make a man look larger and boxier than he really is. On the contrary with a fit that is looser around the chest will show no shape and give no definition to your look. It is best to choose a chest size that lays nicely around the pecs without pulling due to tightness or showing no shape due to looseness.
The waist is an area that many athletes and triangle shaped men have difficulty with. With larger shoulders or chest comes larger sizes, but unfortunately not all brands and fits take into account this body type making the waist baggy. Because of this many brands such as Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, and Lacoste have invented a “Slim Fit” shirt that is more tapered on the waist.
The waist is a great place to show off a triangle body shape by tapering inward from the chest. Even for those who do not have this body type, by bringing in the waist of a shirt just a little bit from the chest can give the illusion of a more fit shape. For those who need a more dramatic waist drop, it is recommended to go with brands who can accommodate made to measure such as Vastrm and Kent Wang.
A man’s height can vastly effect whether or not the length of a shirt is appropriate. Just about every brand of shirt has a different standard length of the shirt, so it can be rather difficult to find one that is just right. When un-tucked, the ideal length is for the shirt to fall mid zipper. This way it does not drape too far over your hips nor does it go into a crop top when you lift your arms.
One’s sleeve length has a lot to do with personal preference. Ideally a short sleeve shirt should fall mid-bicep, however, those with bigger biceps tend to prefer the sleeve to end high toward the shoulder. Some prefer the sleeve to land below their bicep and sometimes even close to the elbow giving the shirt a more relaxed look. For a more fitted look, it is recommended to go with a mid-bicep or just above the bicep sleeve length to exhibit a more confident style.
This area is ignored and underestimated, and it has a large effect on the rest of the shirt. If the sleeve across is too tight, this can pull around the chest as well as the back and shoulders making the shirt look too tight and bunches around the chest. This area can also give the effect that a shirt is too large if it is loose. The armpit area should hang comfortably around the shoulder allowing for fluid movement without making the shirt look too big or baggy.
Now all of these body areas are important to consider for any type of fitted shirt, whether it is a dress shirt, t-shirt, or polo. Finding a combination of the best chest, waist, shoulders, sleeves and front length can be virtually impossible when shopping for off the rack shirts. Vastrm is a company that can adjust any area of a shirt to make the perfect fit every time. You can choose from a collection of shirts or design your own unique look.
In the end, what is important is that the fit of the shirt is comfortable and allows easy movement. How a shirt fits is the perfect balance between what your personal preference and comforts are with the guidelines above. A well-fitted shirt should accentuate a man’s body type whether it is square or triangle. No matter how much it cost, or what brand it is, if a shirt is ill fitting it will take away from personal style and fashion.