Fitting a shirt is a big topic and quite complex. We recommend that you carefully study it even before buying new shirts, so as not to accidentally purchase products that do not fit you well. In this article, we will analyse in detail all aspects of the fit of a shirt, we will give the opinions of several experts, and along the way we will also express our own point of view.
We decided to start with this nuance. The fact is that cotton and especially linen shirts “shrink” a little after the first wash, that is, they slightly decrease in size.
High-quality Men’s shirts are always made with a small margin for shrinkage, which occurs during the first two to five washes. Accordingly, if the collar seems a little too big for you, and the sleeves a little long, then this is even good: it is very likely that after three washes the shirt will fit perfectly.
We add that if the shirt you purchase requires a fit, it is better to carry it to the tailor after the first two washes.
Now let’s move on to describing the various aspects of the fit of the shirt. Let’s start with one of the most important elements – the collar. It should sit tight enough on the neck, but not squeeze it. It is very good if the collar fits your neck and is comfortable at the same time.
Worse, if you clearly feel the pressure and discomfort. This means that the collar is a little small, and after the first wash, as you already understand, the discomfort may increase.
American image maker and writer Michael Anton notes that “the task of the collar is to tightly cover, but not tighten the neck. You should be able to freely rotate your head and tighten your tie without feeling choked. If the collar lags behind the neck, then it is too big. If you feel like unbuttoning it or loosening your tie, then the collar is too small: well-fitting collars can be worn with a tie all day without feeling uncomfortable.
In addition, Michael Anton draws attention to another nuance, noting that “the collar of the shirt should rise above the collar of the jacket by a little more than a centimeter.” Of course, in fact, the amount of “elevation” of the shirt collar above the jacket collar can vary, but it is very important that the shirt collar always be at least slightly higher than the jacket collar.
Ideally, the collar of the shirt rises above the collar of the jacket by about the same number of millimeters as the cuffs of the shirt protrude from under the sleeves of the jacket.
Sometimes there are tips to determine the correct fit of the collar by the number of fingers that you can put between it and the neck (when the collar is buttoned). However, such a guide is not very reliable, because sometimes even between a well-fitting collar and neck, if desired, you can stick as many as four fingers.
We add that if you are going to wear a shirt exclusively with an unbuttoned collar, the correct fit of the collar is not so important. However, even in this case, it is advisable to purchase a product that suits you well in all respects.
Shirt in the shoulders
Ideally, the shoulders of the shirt should match your shoulders, and the shoulder seams should be located where the shoulder bones end. In practice, small deviations are acceptable. Avoid buying shirts that are too big or too small at the shoulders. It’s bad if the shirt is stretched at the shoulders, forming ugly folds … or if its shoulder seams are noticeably below your shoulders, that is, they slide down onto your arms.
Shirt in the chest and abdomen
The cut of shirts in the chest / abdomen area and the degree of its fitting is partly a matter of taste. Michael Anton notes that “dandies of all nations wear shirts that are tight enough so that excess fabric does not gather at the waist and at the same time it would be comfortable to sit in the shirt.” Some men like their shirts to be looser, while others prefer as narrow as possible.
Keep in mind that if the placket of the shirt is stretched and wrinkles form around the buttons, then the shirt is too tight for you. In addition, the width of the shirt should allow you to raise your arms and sit down without any discomfort and tension.
We talked in detail about what the length of the shirt as a whole should be in one of the previous articles. Here is Michael Anton’s recommendation, which can be called a classic: “the shirt should be long enough to cover the buttock, because otherwise it will constantly knock out of the trousers.” Today, however, other opinions are common; many men prefer shorter shirts.
We add that if you plan to wear a loose shirt, it should be quite short. Ideally, the shirt should go down slightly below the middle of the pants or jeans, but still leave at least a small piece of the fly open (however, sometimes a good look is possible with a completely closed fly). Another possible landmark is the middle of the back pocket of the jeans. The waistband of trousers/jeans and the belt must be completely covered by the shirt.
The Marol brand dates back to 1939, when Rosanna Saguatti started making shirts. For twenty years she improved her skills, learned the intricacies of the craft from the best Italian shirt tailors, sewed many shirts to order and in 1959 finally decided to open her own business – a small atelier in her hometown of Bologna. Her husband Luciano quit his job and joined her.
They decided to call their new brand of shirts the word Marol, which is deciphered as follows: Ma is the first two letters from the name “Manuela” (this is the name of the daughter of Luciano and Rosanna), Ro is the two letters from the name “Rosanna”, and L is the first letter from the name “Luciano”.
Curiously, Manuela did not immediately decide to join the family business. At first, she did not want to deal with shirts at all, but in the 1980s, her father nevertheless persuaded her to start working in an atelier – at first two days a week, but in the end, Manuela plunged into the process completely. In the 2000s, Luciano and Rosanna passed away, and Manuela became the sole owner of the atelier, which now employs about thirty people.
Proper Cloth Shirt
Proper Cloth is an American company that creates made-to-measure shirts, and takes orders primarily via the Internet. It has existed for more than 10 years and is popular among lovers of classic clothing both in the United States and in several other countries.
History of Proper Cloth
Proper Cloth was founded in 2008. Its founder, Seph Skerritt, did an internship in China the year before, where he got acquainted with custom-made clothes. Back in the US, he wanted to make the process of ordering shirts online as simple and convenient as possible, as well as ensure decent product quality and provide customers with a wide range of fabrics and options. He began, however, very modestly: at the time of the launch of the site, Proper Cloth had only 16 fabrics in its assortment, and the brand’s office was in the basement.
The first two years there were few customers, but then the situation improved, and the service and website were significantly improved. In addition, in 2010, Proper Cloth launched its own development – the Smart Sizes system, which helps the buyer determine the size with a few simple questions.
In 2011, Proper Cloth was written about in GQ magazine, and two years later the company opened a showroom in New York and began taking orders from foreign countries (before that, delivery was carried out only in the United States). In 2016, the showroom and office moved to 495 Broadway, where they remain today.
Currently, Proper Cloth is a major and well-known player in the American market for made-to-measure shirts – however, not only shirts, because since 2014 this company has been offering other wardrobe items: ties , pocket squares, trousers, suits, jackets
Proper Cloth Shirt Features
As mentioned earlier, Proper Formal shirts are made to order using the made-to-measure system. To create them, patterns created by computers are used – of course, taking into account the standards that the client has entered. Fabric cutting is carried out by machines (robots). The pieces of the shirt are sewn together by operators using classic sewing machines. There are no hand seams.
Taking measurements from a client at the Proper Cloth studio
It is worth noting that when placing an order on the Proper Cloth website, you can enter eight measurements taken from yourself, but there is also the opportunity to use the Smart Sizes system, which helps you place an order without taking measurements (however, we doubt that the result of this system will please all clients).
Finally, you can choose one of the standard sizes, and the gradation is very fine: in the case of collars and sleeve lengths, the step is only 0.25 inches; in addition, there are three standard silhouettes, each available in any combination of collar size and sleeve length.
The choice of fabrics on the Proper Cloth website is very large: approximately 600 samples are available. The range includes fabrics from Italian, Irish, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese manufacturers. Suppliers include Albini Group (Albiate, Thomas Mason, David & John Anderson), Canclini, Grandi & Rubinelli, Reda, Somalis, Baird McNutt. The characteristics of the proposed materials vary widely.
There are both 1-ply and 2-ply fabrics; if we talk about the types of weaving threads, then Proper Cloth can order a shirt made of twill, denim, jersey, corduroy, poplin, flannel, oxford (including royal oxford). For the brand’s most expensive shirtsSea Island cotton can be used; in addition, Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton fabrics are available. There is also a range of fabrics made from 100% wool, 100% linen, linen-cotton blends and even cotton-cashmere blends. Finally, it is worth mentioning the presence of materials such as non-iron, shirts from which almost do not wrinkle.
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