Men’s shirting is not created equally. I can bring home six size mediums for my husband and they’ll all fit differently. Then, when you think that you’ve found a brand of shirting that fits, the retailer changes their size specifications overnight. This happens all over the world and is immensely frustrating. But things have improved over the last few years with a greater proportion of men’s shirting slotting into one of two fits and being labeled accordingly:

  • Slim fit” which runs narrower across the shoulder and torso area and is ideal for leaner blokes.
  • True Fit” which is regular in size and best for boys who are a dash more cuddly around the middle.

A sizeable portion of men’s shirting will keep you guessing. If a shirt’s fit isn’t labeled, you can usually assume that it’s regular fitting. Yet, swanky designer wear is seldom fit-labeled and it’s almost always narrow-fitting.

After lots of shopping, fitting and client testing I have found that different brands cater best to different fits as follows:

  • Ultra-slim fits: Zara, Kenneth Cole and most designer wear
  • Slim fits: Hugo Boss, Banana Republic “slim fit”, Lucky, INC., Ben Sherman, Calvin Klein, Faconable “slim fit”, French Connection, Mexx, Quick Silver
  • True fits: Banana Republic, Oakley, Marc Ecko, DKNY, Faconable, Esprit, Next, Liz Claiborne
  • Roomy fits: Timberland, Perry Ellis, Nautica, Polo, Gap
  • Extra-roomy fits: Tommy Bahama, Eddie Bauer, Land’s End

I hope that this info stays relevant for at least a couple of seasons. Expect an update once retailers change their shirt-fit specifications yet again.

Keneth Cole Robert Graham 'Sir Roland' Paisley Shirt Banana Republic Cotton Floral Paisley Shirt

Shirts by Kenneth Cole (ultra-slim fit), Robert Graham (slim fit) and Banana Republic (true fit).