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Eric Chia

How a shirt should fit

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There will never be a perfect answer to how a perfect fitting shirt should look. But in general, the following are some standards of how a shirt should fit.

1. Shoulder

There should be zero or little crease near the collar or shoulder area. However, for gym fanatics with very big back, the chances of have crease near your neck is inevitable but it can be minimized.

Common fault: If the pull lines are running from the armpits up towards your collar, you should increase the shoulder slope of your dress shirt.

Solution: You should decrease the slope of the shoulders. This is highly skilled alteration which requires redrafting and detaching sleeve. Hence, we will recommend going to a highly reputable alteration specialist for this.

2. Length

If you intend to wear your dress shirt tucked-in, the shirt should come to the bottom of your buttock or slightly below it. Generally, the longer a dress shirt is, the more securely it will tuck into your pants and the straighter it will stay aligned at the front.

If your intention is to wear your dress shirt tucked-out, your dress shirt will look better being slightly shorter. It should come to the center or bottom of your buttock with the front bottom shirt tail slightly aligned with the ends of your sleeves when you stand straight.

3. Hips area

For tucked-out dress shirts, your dress shirt bottom width fit should be loose enough on the hips of your pants, but not too loose that it flares out at the bottom excessively.

4. Belly area

At all times, your shirt should never be so tight till it pulls at your stomach area.

5. Sleeve Length

Your sleeves should end off at the first knuckle of your thumb, when both your arms are hanging relaxed at your sides. This is the optimal length as when the cuffs are buttoned, they would be prevented from sliding too far over your hand or sliding up over your forearm when you bend or raise your arms.

6. Collar

Your dress shirt collar should fit comfortably without being too loose, while still remaining as  snug as possible. An optimal allowance of 1-2 fingers should be allowed between your neck and your collar when it is buttoned.

Here are just some of our inputs. Do feel free to comment or email us any questions to further improve the content of this article.

How to measure for suit

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Neck

Put the measuring tape around your neck right below your Adam’s apple. Put a finger between the neck and tape to ensure a comfortable fit

Shoulders

It will be safer to wear a well fitted shirt for this. Measure from one shoulder seam to another. Do follow the contours of your shoulders instead of measuring straight across the shoulder.

For shirts, add 1cm for normal shoulders and add 2cm for slope shoulder.

Sleeves

It will be safer to wear a well fitted shirt for this. Measure from the seam of the shoulder to around 2cm below the wrist. Try to straighten the hand when measuring and to follow the contour of the hand. It will be safer to measure both sleeves in case one hand is longer than the other.

Armhole

The armhole is measured around the shoulder. The measuring tape should pass directly over the shoulder and be tight fit

Bicep

Take measurement at the widest part of the bicep. Put a finger inside between the bicep and tape.

Forearms

Measure the thickest portion below the elbow (or forearm).

Reference pt: Measure from below elbow to the seam of the shoulder.

Wrists

Measure the circumference of your wrist

Chest

Take the chest measurement across the fullest part of your chest while keeping it level at the back. Stand in a relaxed upright position and breathe out when measuring

Measure the reference point: shortest distance from shoulder portion nearest to your collar to the chest

Waist

Measure the circumference of the smallest point usually between your chest and stomach. This is the most curved inwards part of your suit jacket or shirt, usually 6-8cm above belly button.

Measure the reference point: shortest distance from shoulder portion nearest to your collar to the waist

Belly

Take the belly measurement at its fullest part, usually around the navel or belly button. Stand upright, relax and breathe out when measuring

Measure the reference point: shortest distance from shoulder portion nearest to your collar to the belly

Length

Measure the highest part of your shoulder (next to shirt collar) to your desired measure (usually around wrist area). Do note that casual jackets are slightly shorter.

Front Chest

The front width is measured at chest level from the left hand side intersection of the arm and chest to the right hand side of the same intersection. Do keep your arms straight and close your body when being measured.

Back

The back width is measured at chest level from the left hand side of the intersection of the arm and back to the right hand side of the same intersection. Do keep your arms straight and close to your body when being measured.

Neck to Spine

Measure from just below your collar to the lowest part of the lower back