Here’s What You Need to Look for in a Dress Shirt

Whether you have a regular build, are an athlete, or are skinny, you’ve probably noticed that dress shirts fit a little looser than you might like. You may have tried tucking them in and gathering all the fabric back, only to have it puff back out. If that sounds like the case, it’s time for a slim fit shirt.

There are five main components to take note of in a slim fit shirt.


The midsection should not be too loose around the waist, but there should be about four to six inches of extra fabric. Try the shirt on and pinch it off on the side; you should get two or three inches of folded fabric. Any more than that will look sloppy, and any less could be cutting it a little close. Don’t forget to sit down when trying the shirt on, as a very slim fit may result in pulling on the bottom button when you sit.


The chest width should not be too loose. Once again, aim for around four to six inches of extra fabric. If the chest is too tight, you’ll find yourself constantly pulling on the button at the chest, and that leads to unsightly lines across the shirt. A shirt with a chest that is too loose will result in extra fabric bunching up in all the wrong places. If you have been trying to find the perfect shirt, Hawes and Curtis have a great range of slim fit men’s shirts.

Sleeve WidthNeed to Look for in a Dress Shirt

Far too many men forget to check the sleeves. You don’t want to find a great fitting slim fit shirt only to have baggy sleeves. Getting the right fit can be tricky, but you’ll know it when you try it on. The sleeves should be cut close to the arms without restricting your movement. Men who have longer arms may find that very slim fit sleeves can lead to tightness when bending their arms.


How closely the armpit fits is really a matter of preference. A higher armhole can eliminate excess fabric bunching up around the armhole, whereas a high armhole gives you a better range of motion, but can feel slightly awkward.

Shoulder Width

Shoulder width shouldn’t change. It is worth noting that a well-fitted slim fit shirt will have a slightly narrower shoulder width. For most men, the section where their shoulder curves down towards the arm isn’t a precise point, but rather a gradual curve, so there will always be a range of acceptable shoulder widths. Slim fit shirts will be on the narrower end of that range. For instance, the shoulder seam of the shirt should ride higher up on your shoulder. A more relaxed fit may have the yoke coming just off the shoulder.

The most important point when considering slim fit dress shirts is to try them on before you buy them, or at least make sure all the measurements are correct.

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