Fit Is Everything – Part 1 (The Shirt)

The first thing you need to know when upping your fashion game is how clothes are supposed to fit. How well your clothes fit is the most important aspect for any piece of clothing. A $300 suit that’s tailored perfectly will always beat out a $2000 suit that hangs off your body like it’s draft night in the NBA…

Bad Fitting Suit on Draft Night

Let’s start with the basic dress shirt. Men’s shirt sizes come with two numbers. The first is the neck size, and the second is the sleeve length. Once you know these, buying shirts will become a lot easier.

Neck Size: With a normal fitting collar, you should be able to comfortably fit one finger between your neck and the collar. If it’s too small, you won’t be able to breathe. If it’s too big, the collar will drape off of your neck. The look you’re going for is a seamless transition from your collar to your neck.

The One Finger Rule

Sleeve Length: The cuff should hit just below the hinge of your wrist when your arms are at your side and the cuff is buttoned.

Shirt Sleeve Length Diagram

You’re not done yet. Now that you have found a shirt that fits you in the neck and sleeve length, the rest is finding a shirt that fits you everywhere else. This is just going to be trial and error since all shirts are made differently. The next thing to look at is the shoulder seams. The shoulder seams should end where your actual shoulders end. This goes for any shirt, t-shirt, and suit.

How the Shoulder Seam Should Fit

And finally, the last part of the shirt that needs to fit is the torso. The shirt should fit snugly through the whole torso, from the chest to the waist. If the shirt doesn’t fit you in the torso, you will get ballooning around the waist, and this is never a good look. Keep your clothes form fitted.

On the left, you see ballooning around the waist and the bagginess through the chest. Keep your clothes form fitted.

On the left, you see ballooning around the waist and the bagginess through the chest. Keep your clothes form fitted. This even goes for bigger men or men with a larger stomach. Wearing a larger shirt than your body only adds visual pounds. When the eye sees fabric, it assumes that there is something underneath, thus making yourself look even larger by wearing an oversized shirt.

I recommend that when you find a brand that fits you well, buy a couple different colors of the same shirt. My second recommendation is to buy a style that compliments your body type. Most men will want to buy “Slim Fit” or “Athletic Fit” because these will cut a tighter silhouette. If you are not buying a slim fit style, the shirt will hang straight down. A slim or athletic fit will be brought in in the torso to create the appearance of larger shoulders and a smaller waist.

If you have any questions or comments, fire away in the comments section! Or if you are viewing this from my homepage, click the “talking bubble” at the top of the article to comment.

Part 2 covers how your pants should fit!


“Whether you’re ripped like Taylor Lautner or built like an ordinary mortal, wear a shirt that speaks to your body.” – GQ



7 thoughts on “Fit Is Everything – Part 1 (The Shirt)

  1. Pingback: Fit Is Everything – Part 2 (The Pants) | Up Your Fashion Game

  2. Pingback: How to Tailor a Shirt | Up Your Fashion Game

  3. Pingback: How To Build Up Your Wardrobe – Part 1 | Up Your Fashion Game

  4. Pingback: How To Buy A Suit | Up Your Fashion Game

  5. Pingback: How To Sew A Button | Up Your Fashion Game

  6. As a larger guy, should I try to find a very large slim fit (for my torso) and then have the rest tailored or would you recommend buying a classic cut and tailoring to my midsection?

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