Your first custom dress shirt is likely to be the best fitting shirt you’ve ever owned. If it’s the right fit in the collar, the sleeves are the right length, and the body isn’t too baggy around the waist you’re probably already feeling pretty good.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still make some small adjustments to improve your fit just a little further. These are our advanced tips for perfect dress shirt fit. Three things that our fit experts consistently look for to help clients go from a great fitting shirt to a perfect fitting shirt.
1. Make sure the cuffs are not too loose
More often than not, the cuffs are looser than they need to be. A perfect fitting shirt will have the cuffs fit as tight as possible without being uncomfortable. We cringe when a guy tries to push his hands through his shirt cuffs without unbuttoning them. Those buttons are not just decorative! The reason we like the cuffs to fit so tight is that it prevents the cuffs from coming too far down your hand when your arms are at your side (which makes your sleeves look too long). A perfect fitting shirt cuff will always come to the right point of your hand without being uncomfortable. A 1/4″ or 1/2″ adjustment here can make a big difference. Find out more about how a dress shirt cuff should fit here.
2. Make sure the shoulders aren’t too wide
Another common mistake we see is the shoulders being too wide. Depending on the shape of your shoulders, measuring shoulder width can be tricky, so it’s a common mistake. However, once you have your first shirt and can see how it fits, it becomes easier to tell if the shoulders are the right width or not. Stand in front of a mirror, looking straight forward with your arms at your sides. If the yoke of the shirt is coming down past where the shoulder curves down to the arm it is too wide. Narrowing the shoulder width will make for a more tailored look and can also help improve alignment of the shirt around the armholes and tops of the sleeve. Find out more about how the shoulder width should fit here.
3. Fine tune the shoulder slope
Shoulder slope is another “advanced” fit option that is tough to get right on the first try. Fine tuning the shoulder slope can help make the shirt drape smoother across the upper chest. Finding the optimal shoulder slope will hinge upon whether the shirt is buttoned at the collar or open collar, so be sure to evaluate this as you primarily plan to wear the shirt. Generally speaking, if you’re wearing the shirt buttoned up with a tie you might want to specify greater shoulder slope than a shirt you plan to wear open collar. With your arms at your side, check for pull-lines running from the shirt armpits to the back of the collar, or from the buttons out to the ends of the shoulder. Each shoulder slope adjustment will raise or lower the ends of the shoulder by 1/4″ relative to the back of the collar. A little bit goes along way with this adjustment. Find out more about how to select the perfect shoulder slope here.