How do you decide the best shirt for you? In an earlier article, we went into a little bit of detail on the different fits of shirts for men, including slim, regular and fitted (or tailored). Here however, we’ll elaborate on how you can decide which you should wear depending on a number of factors, while also shedding some light on the other main styles of fit — skinny and relaxed.
Purpose for wear and body type are the key things to consider when selecting your shirt fit. Will you wear it in more formal or business settings, or will it be for hitting the town? Are you of a slim build, an average build, or are you a little more muscular and/or heavy set?
Once you’ve established your answers to these, you’ll be ready to select the perfect shirt.
The Best Shirt Fits for Business & Formal Settings
Without a doubt, slim fit, regular fit, and tailored (fitted) shirts are your best options for business environments and formal events. They’re smart, neat, and timeless in their style.
Both slim and regular fit shirts live up to the occasion, be it a wedding party, an awards ceremony, or a day at the office. And, when they’re of a high-quality material such as 100% cotton they’ll be extremely comfortable as well as eye catching.
Owning a tailored shirt is also a fantastic option, but it’s an expensive business. If you’re happy to spend the money, by all means go right ahead. However, you can still buy wonderfully fitting shirts without spending a small fortune.
What About Skinny & Relaxed Fit Shirts?
Think back a decade to when indie rock bands were all the rage in the UK. Or if you’re a little bit older, think of the Mod culture of the 70s. Skinny fit shirts, trousers and suit jackets were everywhere. But now? They’re nowhere near as prevalent. Fashion trends change quickly, and one can easily get left behind. Skinny fit shirts may well make a comeback into high street fashion sooner than we think, but even if they do, they’re not going to be suitable for business or formal settings.
Speaking of fashion trends making a comeback, the last few years have seen relaxed fit shirts and suits reappearing on catwalks, and subsequently on university campuses. The style, which used to be oft seen in business settings, faded away in the late 90s and early 2000s, but like most trends, it bounced back. But again, the question is for how long?
Two things really worth thinking about with both skinny and relaxed fit shirts is that they seem to be a) the domain of the under 25s (and the uber fashion conscious of any age), and b) susceptible to fast changes in fashion trends.
The bottom line is that neither appears suitable for wearing to the office, a lunch, or a wedding party.
Which Shirt Fit Suits My Body Type?
As the name suggests, slim fit shirts are best suited for men of a slim to average build. The torso of the shirt is tapered, giving it a slightly more body-hugging drape. Therefore, it’ll flow along the body from shoulder to waist. The cuffs are also a little tighter, in keeping with the fit of the shirt overall. However, slim fit shirts made with good quality fabric such as 100% cotton do not cling to the skin and aggravate it. Rather, they create a small layer of air between the skin and the fabric, leaving plenty of room to breathe freely and move around.
Regular fit shirts are for just about any body type but are more commonly seen on men who carry a little extra weight or muscular bulk. They’re still highly complementary to your figure when made with quality, and drape nice and straight from the shoulders to the waist, unlike tapered slim fit shirts.
Overall, regular fit shirts are the most classic and timeless of all shirt fits, but they’re not quite as trendy at this very moment. But the bottom line? Fit is more important than fashion trends. If you want extra room to move around in your clothes, and particularly if you’re a bigger gentleman, consider a regular fit.
We mentioned above that skinny fit shirts are seen much more on younger people of around 25 and below. And they’re certainly not the most appropriate for office wear. However, the name also suggests that skinny fit shirts are designed to be, well, skinny. For men with bigger frames, large muscles, or heavier builds, they can be both unflattering and uncomfortable. However, skinny fit shirts can look well on much slimmer individuals. Generally, we’d recommend a slim fit shirt instead, as it’s got a more classic and time-proof look.
Whether you’re little or large, light or heavy, you could wear a relaxed fit shirt. That’s precisely the point—they don’t follow the form of the body and hang loosely away from the skin. They do look better on more heavy-set people though, as they can overwhelm smaller frames. They’re also comfortable with all that extra space. A larger gentleman who is prone to overheating might relish the thought of wearing one. However, we mentioned above that relaxed fit isn’t a great option for a modern office or for formal settings.
At Nickson, we deal in slim fit and regular fit men’s dress shirts. We avoid following passing trends, rather sticking to refined, timeless styles. When you’re looking for your next dress shirt, take a look at our collection.
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