Try on your interview outfit ahead of time. She has spent nearly 10 years in retail, is a published writer and certified wedding planner. Men's dress shirts are sized differently from other shirts.
Taking your measurements correctly will save shopping time and ensure your shirts always have the perfect fit. Taking measurements can be a chore, but once you have them, size will no longer be a guessing game. This is especially true of dress shirts, which have their own unique sizing standards.
Have a soft fabric measuring tape and a well-fitting shirt or helper on hand to ensure accuracy. When measuring any area, hold the measuring tape snug, but not so tight that it stands up away from the body. Always round your measurements up to the nearest half inch to get the best fit every time. To decipher your neck size, have the person assisting you position the measuring tape just under the Adam's apple. Starting there, carefully wrap the measuring tape around the neck so that it is at the height where your neck and shoulders meet, or where a collar would be.
Just make sure the measuring tape is not too loose or too tight around the neck. You can also take your favorite dress shirt and measure from the center of the button hole to the middle of the button on the opposite side of the collar.
Most shirts are sized by neck and sleeve length, so arms are next. Stand up straight, look directly ahead, and find the largest vertebra at the base of the neck, or where a T-shirt collar hits. Start the measuring tape there with one hand on your hip. Have your helper carefully run the measuring tape from the neck to the shoulder, down the top of your bent arm and to the center of the wrist, level with your wrist bone. Repeat this method on the opposite arm, as measurements can differ from one arm to the next.
You can also measure this on your favorite dress shirt laid flat. Most shirts range from a to inch sleeve length. Find your chest width by wrapping the tape around the back and under the arms.
With the tape comfortably in both armpits, stand tall with both arms at your sides. Measure and determine your neck size and sleeve length. If you are shopping at a retailer, most salespeople can help you find your neck size and sleeve length by using measuring tape. The chart below displays a guideline for common neck sizes and approximate sleeve lengths, determined by normal shirt size.
If you have your own soft, fabric measuring ruler, you can measure the length of your sleeves and size of your neck before you go in to buy a shirt. It is generally better to do this with a friend or relative. To measure your neck size, stand upright. Have a friend pull the measuring tape around your neck at the level of your Adam's apple make sure your friend does not choke you.
Your friend, or yourself, should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between your neck and the measuring tape. Write down the number in inches, as most clothing stores uses inches as a standard measuring formula. To measure your sleeve length, stand upright.
Have a friend measure from the center back of your neck, down your shoulder, along the arm, all the down to your wrist. Write this number down in inches as well. Determine whether the stitching has been hand sewn.
Irregular stitching generally indicates high quality. Machine sewn fabrics will have uniform stitch lines. Inspect the seam running down the side of the shirt. A high-quality garment has only one line of stitching visible on the side seam, while most shirts have two visible rows of stitches.
Also check whether or not the stitches are uniformly distant from one another, or the pattern is irregular. Another thing to check are the buttons running down the front of the shirt. Generally speaking, buttons sewn on by a machine will be loose, or some of the thread might already be coming undone.
Another thing to check is the button holes themselves. Make sure the stitching of the button holes are bound tightly together. Gently tug, twist, and move it up and down. If you already feel as if the stitches are about to come undone, or that they are loose, you will want to stay away from that shirt.
Look for gauntlet buttons, a few inches up past the cuffs of your shirt. This button is usually not there in lesser quality shirts. The gauntlet button allows for the use of less fabric, and a tighter fit for a person wearing the shirt. Shirts with gauntlet buttons would be great to wear on a hot summer day, where you can roll the sleeves up and enjoy the outdoors more comfortably. Cheaper, or lesser quality shirts might have the gap in fabric, but no gauntlet button. If you cannot afford a higher priced shirt, you can always attach a simple basic button to the area where the gauntlet button should be.
How to Sew a Button. Inspect the back of the shirt for a "split yoke. A "split yoke" will have two pieces of fabric sewn together on an angle, rather than one singular piece of fabric. Turn your shirt around so you are looking at the back of it. At, or near, the shoulder area you should find a rectangular shape of fabric stitched into the shirt. If the center of this piece of fabric has stitching, and comes upward at an angle, your shirt has a "split yoke.
If your shirt is striped, there is an added benefit to having a "split yoke" shirt: This is because the stretches more length wise, towards your shoulders. Check the ply count of the shirt. Ply count is how many different yarns are sewn together to make the threads used for the shirt fabric. This can sometimes be found on the shirt label. Single-ply shirts are more softer textured and delicate. Two-ply shirts are more tough, but weigh more. For example, if you buy a two-ply shirt, you will want around a thread count.
When the thread count starts to rise, especially for two and three-ply shirts, the shirt can become bulky, and uncomfortable. This can be found simply by looking on the tag of the shirt, or asking a clothing professional in a store. Single-ply shirts are great for more moderate, to warm temperate zones. Two-ply shirts are generally better for breezier, and colder areas.
Finer dress shirts are made of two-ply instead of single-ply. Look for additives in your shirt. Shirts that are wrinkle-free, perspiration proof, shrinkage free, or water resistant are all laced with special chemical agents see the next step for potential allergic reactions. Each of these can change the quality and feel of the shirt. Check the tag of the shirt to see whether there is a notice about any added chemicals, or special ability such as water resistant of the shirt. If the tag does not contain this information, make sure to check with a clothing professional before you buy the shirt.
Wrinkle-free shirts have a mixed record when it comes to actually being wrinkle-free. While in general the wrinkle-free shirts do have less wrinkles in them, the shirts are looser around the body. This is because the chemical agent added to the shirt changes the nature of the fabric.
Shirts that do not contain this chemical are better suited for business jobs, as they fit better, and present a more crisp look. Wrinkle-free clothes are better for a more casual setting. Once more, there also mixed reports about their ability to combat such problems. The only way to find out if they actually work is to test them. Working out in them, spilling water on them, or washing them can tell whether the shirts are what they claim to be.
Look for any potential allergic reactions. Chemicals, added agents, or fabrics made with two or more different cloths can sometimes cause people to have an allergic reaction. Sometimes this information is added to the tag of the shirt, but you should also ask a professional.
Check with your doctor that your list of known allergens that you have bad reactions to is up to date. Any shirt that is created with a synthetic fabric can be laced with chemicals and dyes that are impossible to wash out.
Almost all dress shirts are treated with some type of chemical before they are shipped out of the factory.
Wrinkle-free, perspiration proof, and anti-shrinkage shirts all have the potential to contain some sort of chemical or dye. Make sure to check the tag on the shirt, and ask a professional for help. Make sure to smell the shirt before you buy it.
Sometimes shirts can get mixed up, or thrown in with other items that might be harmful to you. You can also gently scratch at the surface of the shirt to see if the shirt has been polluted or contaminated in any way. Bend your arm while you stand up straight. Your sleeves should be long enough so that the cuffs do not ride up your wrist when you move your arm. The cuffs of the shirt should also not go past the first inch of your hand.
You can use a ruler to measure whether there is too much extra sleeve length, and how much the shirt needs to be taken in. Check that the cuffs are snug. They should not hang over your hand. You should not be able to slip into shirt sleeves without first undoing buttons on the cuff. Run two fingers underneath the cuffs.
If two fingers can fit comfortably under the cuff, then they are too large. They should be well-placed, with no gaping holes exposing your chest. Slip your four fingers and thump between each button. If your hand slides through, the buttons are too far apart. Make sure the shirt pulls comfortably across the chest or waist. Breath in and out naturally, to see whether or not there is enough loose fabric. Keep your legs straight, as you slowly move your upper body forwards and backwards.
If the shirt is cutting at your chest, you will want a shirt with a tad bit more fabric. Check that shirt tails do not come out of your pants. Bend your upper body sideways and backwards. If your shirt slips out of your pants, this can be embarrassing in the future. Also make sure to check your belt, and make sure it is tight enough to hold your shirt in.
Button the dress shirt to the top. You should be able to slide two or three fingers between your neck and collar. Slide them from side to side, all the way around your neck. Make sure that while wearing your breathing is not becoming elevated.
You will want to be able to breathe naturally and comfortably. What if dress shirts that fit my shoulders are always too big for my waist and chest, and look horrible and billowy when tucked in? You could try different brands in slim sizes and see if something fits, but getting your shirts tailored is probably your best option.
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Tips Some shirts use two numbers for sleeve length; these two numbers express a range of sleeve lengths that the shirt purportedly fits. In general, exact sizing is preferable. Anything worth buying once is worth buying twice when it comes to a good dress shirt.
Accidents can happen—don't get stuck without a spare when your best white dress shirt is ruined or just dirty. Some shirts may be labeled with Italian sizes or under some other sizing system. When in doubt, it is often best to try the shirt on before you buy. Other collar types include pin collars which feature holes on each side of the collar to accommodate a collar pin , tab collars with small cloth tabs that button together, holding the collar tight around the tie , and banded collars a less formal narrow collar that does not fold down, normally worn without a necktie.
You may want to try these variations on at a clothing store to determine whether they're right for you.
Men’s dress shirts are sized according to a man’s measurements: the neck, arm, and chest measurements determine the size of the dress shirt. If you know your measurements, you can measure the dress shirt with a tape measure and know for a fact if the shirt will fit. You can also take your favorite dress shirt and measure from the center of the button hole to the middle of the button on the opposite side of the collar. Standard and slim fit dress shirts often have a size run of 14 to 19 1/2 inches. If you want to follow these instructions and simultaneously enter your measurements into your Proper Cloth account you can do that here. If you prefer to measure a dress shirt directly, that can also be a great way to create your first custom dress shirt size.