How a Shirt Should Fit


This is how a shirt should fit, to look your best in smart-casual, at the office and in dress shirts. Follow these easy steps and visit our studio for any changes that you need

How a Shirt Should Fit

A shirt is arguably the most versatile item in menswear whether worn for work, socially or as formal-wear. Knowing how a shirt should fit can benefit outfits for every occasion.

Layers emphasize the proportions of a shirt to other items such as a jacket, waistcoat and tie. When worn as a single layer, a shirt is the focal point of an ensemble.

Either way, the best fitted shirt makes all the difference. Here's what you need to know about how a shirt should fit.

Suit Tailors

Firstly, when visiting a tailor to have your shirt fitted bring the suit you plan to wear with it. This allows the outfit to be balanced together.

For example, the gap between the shirt collar and jacket lapel can be checked. A suit has many parts and this ensures they work together.


Starting from the top, the fit of a shirt collar is paramount because it frames the face. You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between the collar and the neck.

This measurement allows for movement without looking too big of slouchy. It will also create a clean, crisp finish.


The shoulder seam of a shirt should fit on the edge of the shoulder bone. Again, this allows for movement and is a tell-tale sign of a perfectly fitting shirt.


Likewise, you want freedom of movement in the armholes so testing them is the easiest way to know if they're the right size.


The armholes and sleeves can be checked by lifting your arms to shoulder height and pinching the fabric beneath. They should be neither tight nor billowy.


In terms of proportions, the classic measurement is when the shirt is between one and two centimetres longer than the cuff of the jacket. This keeps the harmony of the tailored suit.

If you're not wearing a jacket then use the thumb dimple on your wrist. This is the indent on the thumb side of your wrist.

The cuffs of your shirt should reach this point, just slightly covering the edge. Check this with your arm by your side.


When checking how a shirt should fit on the torso, buttons should not be taut or struggling to close. When you pull the shirt away from the body there should also be no more than three to four inches of space.

In the case of length, no motion should un-tuck dress shirts. Whereas, non-tucked shirts should not be longer than the zip on your trousers. They also should not reveal any skin when you lift your arms above your head.

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