If you’re planning to wear a suit, you’ll need to purchase a dress shirt. By definition, a suit consists of a jacket with matching trousers. Whether you’re attending a job interview, business meeting, wedding or any other formal event, though, you’ll still need to wear a dress shirt. Dress shirts are worn underneath your suit jacket, with a necktie typically being used to accentuate the neckline. Unfortunately, finding a dress shirt in the right size isn’t always easy. This is particularly true if you’re unfamiliar with the sizes in which men’s dress shirts are sold. By familiarizing yourself with the following tips, however, you’ll have an easier time finding a dress shirt in the right size for your body.
Men’s Dress Shirt Sizes: What You Should Know
Most stores don’t sell men’s dress shirts in standard sizes such as small, medium and large. Instead, they sell them by specific size measurements, which you need to learn in order to choose the right size. The universal size system for men’s dress shirts consists of two numbers. The first number indicates the circumference of the dress shirt’s neck, whereas the second number indicates the length of the dress shirt’s sleeves. A men’s dress shirt with a size of 15 and 34, for example, has a neck circumference of 15 inches and a sleeve length of 34 inches. Neck sizes for men’s dress shirts typically vary from 14 to 18.5 inches, while sleeve lengths vary from 32 to 37 inches. Prior to purchasing a new dress shirt, use a tape measure to measure to measure the circumference of your neck as well as the length of your arms.
Check the Fabric
Understanding size measurements is the single most important tip to choosing a men’s dress shirt in the right size. With that said, the fabric from which a men’s dress shirt is made can affect also affect how it fits your body. Cotton is an all-around great choice, as it’s lightweight, soft, comfortable and inexpensive. However, many men prefer linen dress shirts over cotton dress shirts during the summer because of its exceptional cooling properties. Linen is even lighter and thinner than cotton, allowing for a greater level of comfort when worn during the summer. Furthermore, linen dress shirts often fit better than cotton dress shirts because of the way in which they rest against your skin.
Try It On
If you’re shopping for a men’s dress shirt in person, take a few minutes to try it on and see how it fits. Even if the size numbers of a specific shirt match your body neck and arm measurements, it may look and feel different when worn. The only way you’ll know for sure whether a dress shirt fits is by trying it on.
Leave Room for Your Necktie
Assuming you plan to wear a necktie with your dress shirt (hint: you should), you should check to make sure that your dress shirt offers enough room for this accessory. How do you know if a dress shirt offers enough room for a necktie exactly? One option is to try on your necktie with the dress shirt. But most men don’t bring a necktie with them when shopping for a dress shirt, so this method isn’t always viable. A second option, however, is to see how many fingers you can squeeze into the collar of the dress shirt. When trying on a dress shirt, button up the collar like you would if you were wearing a necktie. Next, try to squeeze your fingers between the shirt’s collar and your neck. A well-fitting dress shirt should allow you to squeeze one or two fingers — no more or no less. This allows for just enough room to secure a necktie around the shirt’s collar without it constricting your neck and causing discomfort.
Regular-Fit vs Athletic-Fit vs Full-Cut Dress Shirts
You may discover that some men’s dress shirts are labeled as “regular fit,” “athletic fit” or “full cut.” Based on their names alone, it’s difficult to tell what the difference is between these three styles, let alone which one offers the best fit. Regular-fit dress shirts offer a loose fit with a moderate amount of excess fabric. Also known as standard fit, it’s become the most common style of men’s dress shirts. Athletic-fit dress shirts, on the other hand, have a tighter, more form-fitting design. They sit close to your body to create a slimming appearance that many men prefer. Finally, full-cut dress shirt are even more loose than regular-fit dress shirts. They generally aren’t worn for formal occasions. Instead, they are worn for casual attire when formality isn’t a concern.
Consider Getting Your Dress Shirt Tailored
When all else fails, you can always get your dress shirt tailored to create a better fit. Tailoring services aren’t cheap, with most tailors charging between $15 and $30 to “take in” a dress shirt and $20 to adjust the shoulders. Considering that new dress shirts can easily cost $50 or more, though, it’s still less expensive than buying a new one. A professional tailor will ask you to put on your dress shirt, after which he or she will pin the shirt so that it fits just right. Next, the tailor will make the necessary adjustments so that the pins are no longer.
Pair It With a Fitted Suit
Choosing a dress shirt that fits is only half the battle. You must also ensure that your suit fits. Otherwise, you’ll fail to create an attractive, formal outfit that compliments your appearance. StudioSuits is here to help to find the perfect suit. Not only do we offer one of the largest selections of premium men’s suits, but we also offer custom sizing at no additional charge. When you order one of one our world-class suits, you’ll have the option of specifying your body measurements. After we receive this information, we’ll design a custom-fitted suit specifically for you using these measurements.