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How Should a Men's Dress Shirt Fit? A Complete Guide by DETERMINANT

Although seemingly easy to buy, you’d be surprised to know that there is a wide variety of dress shirts for men to choose from these days besides the traditional fitted white dress shirt. Whether you are selecting between color, fit, pattern or material, there are several styling options that make choosing the perfect fitted dress shirt for men a potentially daunting task. This is amplified when you also consider all other factors and details such as where you will be wearing the shirt, how you want to present yourself and your personal style.

In this men’s fitted dress shirt guide, we will go through everything you need to know about finding the perfect dress shirt to answer the most common question we get — how do I wear a dress shirt?

How to wear a dress shirt

Fitted dress shirt collar: How tight should it be around your neck?

Let’s start at the top of the shirt and at probably one of the most important measurements, the collar. Your dress shirt collar should fit comfortably around your neck without being too loose or too tight. Snug without causing discomfort. As a general rule of thumb for men’s fitted dress shirts, look to fit one to two fingers between the collar and your neck.

If you don’t choose to wear a tie, having the fitted white dress shirt collar on the tighter side when buttoned is also acceptable as it will support the collar to stand up. If the fabric of the collar does not rest against your neck, or there is a significantly large gap showing between the collar and your neck, then it’s likely not the proper fit.

How should the shoulders of your fitted dress shirt fit?

Moving down to the shoulders, a properly fitted men’s dress shirt should rest just at the edge of your shoulders and hit close to the top of your shoulders. If the seam slides down onto your arm, this is an indication that your shirt is cut too large. Conversely, if your shoulder seam is rising up near your neck, then your shirt is probably too tight. Ultimately, a well-fitted dress shirt should never restrict your movement and you should be able to move your arms comfortably.

Check if your fitted dress shirt is too tight or loose around the torso

One of the easier ways to check if your dress shirt fits properly is by looking at the torso. Ideally, you should be able to button your fitted white dress shirt easily and smoothly. The shirt should fit your torso without putting excessive pressure on your ribcage. If the shirt is too tight, it will wrinkle and the buttons will pull. If the torso is too big, you will notice excess fabric around your waist or chest.

When talking about the torso, we should also address the length of a men’s fitted dress shirt or men’s slim fit dress shirt. Your shirt should be long enough to be worn tucked in, which is how it is commonly worn on most occasions. For this, the shirt should fall below the belt line by a couple of inches. To test if your shirt is long enough, we recommend that you tuck it in and then attempt to raise your hands. If the shirt doesn’t untuck from your belt, then this is a good sign that you have found the correct length.

However, a dress shirt can also be too long. Look for a length that does not have too much excess fabric when tucked in. The torso fit is another section to pay special attention to when shopping for a men’s slim fit dress shirt.

What is the proper sleeve length and cuff size for your fitted dress shirt?

Your fitted dress shirt sleeve should be a little loose on the upper arm, and the cuff should tighten just perfectly at the wrist bone. If the sleeve is too tight, you will not be able to move your arms or shoulders freely. The looseness of the sleeve should be evenly distributed, and the fabric should not bunch up. Another indication that a men’s fitted dress shirt sleeve is too large is when there is too much fabric that the sleeve hands or folds around the cuff when your hands are down.

The cuff should also fit around the wrist snugly, with enough room to move around without the cuff tugging on the skin on your wrist. Much like the collar, there should be enough room for one or two fingers to fit under the cuff. If you wear a watch, you should take this into account, as the watch should be visible when you bend or move your arms up.

61 Sizes and Fits: Find your perfect dress shirt fit with DETERMINANT

When you look for a properly fitted shirt, you should take the above into account and, additionally, what type of fabric and pattern you will pick. This is because some fabric and pattern types can make an ill-fitting shirt more obvious. Having the right dress shirt that fits you can do wonders for your confidence and appearance.

Lastly - don’t be afraid to take your shirt to a seamstress for alterations to make sure it fits you like a glove.

Ready to find the perfect dress shirt for you? You can first find your size using our measuring guide and then shop our range of men’s fitted dress shirts for every occasion. Our dress shirts come in over 61 sizes and fit combinations, giving you the flexibility to find a well-fitted collar, sleeve, and fit combination tailored just for you. DETERMINANT dress shirts are also backed by premium material and functional technology, including wrinkle-free and certified 100% ELS cotton and more for maximum comfort and performance. We also have a range of anti-odor and antibacterial clothing and dress shirts. Find your new dress shirt today


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