Don’t be fooled into thinking all shirts are the same. Like any other garment, having your shirt look right relies on it being well measured, well cut and well made. A poorly fitting shirt can detract from a well-tailored suit so, even if you’re buying your shirt off-the-rack, it’s important to choose a good quality one and to follow these guidelines to ensure it fits properly. Of course, a good quality shirt costs a bit more, but it’s worth it.
The collar creates the first impression of your shirt as it’s exposed even when wearing a suit. The fit should be snug so that it touches your neck all the way around, but you can slide to fingers below it comfortably.
Sleeve length is tough to get right unless your shirt is custom-tailored but is crucial to the look. Sleeves that are too long have excess fabric that gathers and causes, while sleeves that are too short will leave too much arm exposed and leave you looking like a kid in his final days of the school year.
Often overlooked but one of the most visible parts of the shirt, the cuffs are an enigma for many. When worn with a suit jacket approx. ½ inch of the cuff should be shown. As with the collar, the cuffs should be tight to your wrist so they don’t flap about and you should need to undo the buttons of the cuff in order to take the shirt off.
Off-the-rack shirts are designed to fit all body types and, as such, they tend to have large armholes. For many people, this will create a problem of excess fabric around the armhole while also affecting the drape of the shirt overall and leaving both the body and arms baggy. The armhole on a bespoke shirt will be tighter yet allow for movement. A tighter armhole on an off-the-rack shirt can often make movement difficult and pull tight across the body of the shirt or pull the sleeves up away from the wrist.
Your shirt should fit snugly around your body with no billowing of fabric or straining of buttons. If you find that you have excess fabric when tucking the shirt in, it could be that it’s too wide or too long. In either case, the excess fabric will cause a problem as it has to be tucked into your pants, thus causing a ‘spare tire’ effect around your waist, or hang loose over your belt and ruining the sleek, sharp look a suit is designed to convey. If this is the case, you should consider having your suit tailored to fit.
At Exclusive Tailors in Phuket, we have a huge range of off-the-rack shirts which can be tailored to your measurements, and our expert tailors can create a shirt just for you from scratch. For more details or to see our full range visit our website.