Shirt size: how to choose it?

Choosing the right shirt size is not always easy. The shirt is the major asset of the male silhouette. But it can also be a man's worst enemy if it doesn't fit properly. So how do you know which shirt size is right for you, gentlemen?

Choosing the shirt size that is right for you

Depending on the brand, the shirt sizes are not the same, so your shirt size is never the same! So you have to try on different sizes of shirts, and by trying on more and more you don't know which size to choose. Doubts arise. Don't panic! It's very simple after all. These criteria are taken into account when choosing the right shirt size, but the problem remains of being able to combine all the criteria. There is only one guideline: even if you love the model, don't be tempted if one of the criteria is not met. Your elegance is at stake, gentlemen! Check for more examples of shirts models. Two exceptions, after all: the length of the sleeves which you can have shortened or the shirt bending if it is too wide. With a seamstress, this is quite possible and inexpensive in terms of the final aesthetics. There are five things to consider when choosing your shirt size:
  • the collar
  • the shoulders
  • the armhole
  • the sleeves
  • the torso

The collar

The collar of the shirt must be close to the neck without it bothering you. With the collar closed, you must be able to pass a finger between the neck and the collar of the shirt. This is essential if you wear a tie. If you don't wear a tie, you have a small tolerance in plus or minus as the shirt will be worn with an open collar and therefore the difference will not be noticeable.

The shoulders

The seams of the shirt's shoulders must reach the level of the shoulder break. And there, no : Half a centimetre less and you look like the one who took out his First Communion shirt, that is to say tight; half a centimetre more and you find yourself with drooping shoulders!

The armhole

You must be able to pass your hand under your armpit. If you can't, take the shirt size above. And if you can't, don't let yourself be tempted! You'll end up not wearing it anymore because, apart from feeling cramped, you'll sweat more, because the fabric is too close to the skin (all the more so if the fabric is not cotton). Another tip to make sure you have the right shirt armhole size and to stretch your arms at right angles. If you feel a strong tension in your armpits, the shirt size is not the right one. It is too small. And if you don't feel any tension, then the shirt is the wrong size again. In this case, it's too big. The right size is when you feel moderate tension. But if this method seems too subjective to you, go for the first one.


To make sure that the arms of the shirt are the right length, it is not necessary, gentlemen, to do gymnastic movements as you are used to when you try on a shirt. You will admit that it is very rare that you do sport in a shirt! Simply stand with your arms along your body, the bottom of the sleeve should be at the base of the thumb (just below the wrist bone). This will allow you to make the bottom of the shirt's wrist protrude if you are wearing a jumper or jacket.

The torso

When you are standing, the shirt must fall impeccably. There should be no tightness at the buttons, just as when you are sitting down. If this is the case, it means that the shirt size is too small. Conversely, it should not be too wide either. If you float in the shirt, the shirt size is too large. The correct measurement is when the shirt curves the silhouette naturally. There is nothing worse than a shirt that is too small or too big to give you a silhouette! So be careful to always choose the right shirt size. Elegance is in the right proportion: the "boudiné style" or conversely the "potato bag style" is very unattractive.
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