A dress shirt is an essential garment even though a suit jacket usually covers it. And these days, if you take off your blazer, the dress shirt defines your appearance.
The way the fabric lays can make a big difference -Currently, wrinkle-free and no-iron fabrics are mandatory investments. In addition, dress shirts today come in a range of different sizes to cater to people with varying body shapes – from slim fit to classic cuts – once you find your size, you will look great in your dress shirt.
How do I find my dress shirt size?
- Measure your neck: Wrap a measuring tape around the base of your neck, making sure it’s not too tight.
- Measure your chest: Wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest and shoulder blades.
- Measure your waist: Wrap the measuring tape around the natural waistline, making sure it’s not too tight.
- Measure your sleeve length: Start from the center of the back of your neck and measure to the shoulder, then down to the wrist.
- Compare your measurements to a size chart: Look for a size chart provided by the brand or retailer of the shirt you want to purchase, and compare your measurements to find your size.
Dress shirt size chart for men
|Alpha Sizing||Neck (Inch)||Sleeve (Inch)||Chest (Inch)||Waist (Inch)|
|XS||13" - 13 1/2"||32||32" - 34"||26" - 28"|
|S||14" - 14 1/2"||33||35" - 37"||29" - 31"|
|M||15" - 15 1/2"||34||38" - 40"||32" - 34"|
|L||16" - 16 1/2"||35||41" - 43"||35" - 37"|
|XL||17" - 17 1/2"||36||44" - 46"||38" - 40"|
|XXL||18" - 18 1/2"||36.5||47" - 49"||41" - 43"|
For dress shirts you can typically find two different types of sizing scales:
- Numerical sizing (based on neck and arm length): derive the chest and waist measurements from the neck and arm lengths. The sleeve mostly defines the length of the dress shirt. Depending on the cut (i.e. slim fit) the dress shirt has a looser or tighter fit at the chest and waist. The first number of the numerical sizing on the size tag refers to the neck width, the second number to the length of the sleeve. If the label shows for example“14 30”, then this means a neck width of 14 inches and a sleeve length of 30 inches.
- Alpha sizing (XS, S, M, L, XL): while these dress shirt sizes are available in most stores, they are arbitrary. Neck and sleeve length differ significantly between brands, and guidelines do not exist. In addition, the sleeve length is less important than the chest width in this sizing scale.
How do I know my dress shirt size?
- Neck: The neck is the body part you use when determining the right size for your dress shirt. Either wrap the measuring tape around your throat while keeping a finger between it and your neck. Another method is to take a shirt that fits you well and measure from the center of the collar button to the buttonhole’s end.
- Sleeve: Measure from the center back of your neck, over your shoulder, down on the outside of your arm to your wrist. It’s best if you bend your arm slightly while measuring.
- Chest: Measure around the widest part of your chest. Hold the measuring tape just under your arms and then extend it around your shoulder blades. Hold the measuring tape level and parallel to ground.
- Waist: Measure just below your waist at the length where you normally wear your pants (approx. 1 inch below your belly button). Ideally, keep one finger between the measuring tape and your body.
Dress shirt sizes and measuring in detail
- There are two different types of sizing scales for dress shirts: (1) numerical sizing, which is based on neck and arm length, and (2) alpha sizing (XS, S, M, L, XL).
- To correctly determine your dress shirt size, you need to take measurements of the following: (1) neck, (2) sleeve length, (3) chest, and (4) waist.
- The most common dress shirt cuts are: (1) traditional or classic fit (loose fit throughout the torso), (2) modern fit (a slightly slimmer fit than a classic fit), (3) slim fit (cut is close to the body with a tapered waist and fitted torso), (4) extra or super slim fit (ideal for slender men as they are trimmer and sleeker than slim fits).
- Dress shirts come with different collar types, including: (1) English spread collar (standard spread and size), (2) button-down collar (both sizes are fixed to the chest with buttons), (3) forward point collar (narrow spread), (4) Londoner collar (very wide spread).
- There are also different types of cuffs: (1) barrel cuffs (cylindrical shape with one or two buttons), (2) mitered cuffs ( corner of each side of the shirt cuff is cut at a 45-degree angle above the button closure), and (3) french cuffs (completely square or rounded cuff shape and requires cufflinks).
What are the most common dress shirt cuts?
- Traditional or classic fit: this cut’s straight lines along the body is ideal for men with a wider chest and/or waistline. This fit is cuts more generously across the shoulders, chest, and waist. It has a loose fit throughout the torso. The classic fit tends to billow a bit when you tuck it. Sometimes the classic fit also comes with a longer shirt-tail to prevent the shirt from coming out of your suit pants, jeans, or pants after sitting down.
- Modern fit: If a dress shirt billows too much when you tuck it in, you need a slimmer fit. In this case, you might choose a modern fit shirt or even a slim fit. The modern fit falls between the classic and the slim fit.
- Slim fit: These dress shirts are cut close to the body with a tapered waist and fitted torso. They cut a clean line that contours to a man’s V-Shaped build.
- Extra or Super Slim fit: As the name already indicates, these cuts are even trimmer and sleeker than the slim fits. They are ideal for very slender men.