I’m Too Sexy for My Shirt

We are asked by potential customers time and time again, “How should my shirt fit?” Our answer, “It depends.” It depends on where you are going, who you’re going with, what you are going to do, and if you are a Seinfeld fan.

General fitting rules of thumb are as follows:

The Sleeve:
The shirt sleeve should finish at the base of your hand, where your wrist and hand meet. The arm of the sleeve should be large enough that you can flex and the shirt does not pull on your biceps. At the same time, it shouldn’t be so full that the Seinfeld “Puffy (Pirate) Shirt” episode comes to mind. Style options aside, the cuffs on your shirts, should be large enough to account for the size of your wrist with and without a watch. If you’re going the custom route, your cuffs may not necessarily be the same size. Many of our customers, men especially, wear watches with larger faces/dials requiring us to make one shirt cuff larger than the other.

The Shoulders:
The shoulder seams should stop naturally at the end of your shoulder line. If the shoulder are a too snug, a ridge will form along the upper shoulder running parallel with you shoulders from one end to the other. An oversized shoulder will drape your shoulders and look like a child wearing their parents’ clothes. The shoulder should give you enough room that you can move your arms comfortably and not feel constrained yet isn’t so full and long that you can’t tell where your shoulders stop and your arms begin.

The Body:
Sleeve and shoulder fit understood, the body size of the shirt is important and often overlooked. Because of the lack of selection in stores, many accept the parachute effect. Off the rack shirts tend to be too (big) wide for most shoppers- the notion of one size fits many is good when buying cars and cell phone ear buds– not shirts. Your shirt should be tailored (form cut and long enough) so when reaching above your head or extending your arm to shake hands, it doesn’t pull out from the waist blousing out or become untucked.

The Collar:
Last but not least, finding a shirt collar that fits well is relatively easy when buying off the rack. You should be able to fit two fingers inside the front of the collar when the shirt is buttoned at the neck. This allows breathing room when wearing a tie and for those who fluctuate in weight with the seasons. Where most shirts really fail are in collar construction. Many people complain that their shirt collars get too soft and the collar-points curl like cooked shrimp. The solution to that is simple, buy metal collar stays– which will get lost or bent in the wash and with excessive use, or buy a shirt made with a better collar. Better collar you ask? Bryn Keith custom shirts are made with a double bonded collar that stays stiff and rigid over time. I have 3 year old shirts that are routinely machine-washed, yet the collars have more body than other brands with half the age that are dry cleaned only. (For the difference between dry cleaning and machine washing, see tip #115 “Shirt Care”.)

Bryn Keith custom shirts are made with heavier cuffs and collars that endure over time. Our measuring process and construction takes into account your lifestyle and expectations of your apparel. Whether your shirts are for more formal occasions or are intended for night life and weekend wear, we have fabrics and styles for both.

Contact Us and let’s make your shirts.