The difference between classic, slim and custom fit shirts

Fit is a determining factor for those who love to wear shirts. We are talking about something that must adapt perfectly to the wearer’s body and physique, without being too tight or too loose. This is why for years men’s fashion demanded that shirts be made with meticulous, precise tailoring techniques and craftsmanship. Today, our habits have certainly changed, and thanks to large retailers, it is no longer difficult to choose and buy a man's shirt without the help of a tailor and still get something with an excellent fit.

But what is meant by the “fit” of a shirt? This term indicates its size and shape and determines its wearability. In the case of men's shirts, we can identify three types: slim fit, classic fit or custom fit.

It is always advisable to try every fit before deciding, however here are some useful tips to guide you in shopping for a shirt.

Classic fit shirt – comfort without constriction

The classic or regular fit is the most traditional of all. In neutral tones (white, beige or light colors such as "office blue") they are perfect to wear under a jacket. If you prefer more lively shades, the classic fit also goes very well with casual looks, for example with a pair of jeans.

The distinctive features of this line are a comfortable fit, plenty of room through the chest and armholes, and the absence of seams and darts on the back.

Slim fit shirt – form fitting but elegant

Unlike other styles, the slim fit acts almost like a second skin. With its briskly modern outline, this shirt is suitable for evenings out with friends and for all informal situations. Generally chosen in dark colors, bold patterns or stripes, it fits snugly to the body, has tighter armholes, darts on the back and is tapered at the waist.

Custom fit shirt: what does it mean?

The custom fit shirt (sometimes also called tailored fit) is halfway between the classic shirt and the slim fit, because it is more adherent than the former and with a more formal style than the latter. it has darts on the back and armholes that are neither tight nor too roomy. Its hybrid character makes it suitable for those who do not want to forgo comfort, even when wearing less classic models. It is smarter if purchased in classic colors, and has a vintage look if chosen in more vibrant, cheerful colors.

Some tips to avoid getting the size wrong

- look at the collar: it should not pinch or bind. To be sure that it is the right shirt you should be able to insert a finger between your neck and the collar without difficulty;

- Examine the shoulders: the vertical line between the torso and where the sleeve begins should be exactly where the shoulder ends, while the armholes should not pull too much when you move;

- Buttons should close effortlessly through the torso. As for the length, this should come over your belt and just cover your hips;

- The sleeve should fall in a straight line without forming wrinkles and you should be able to bend your arm without feeling the fabric pull. Cuffs should be snug, not tight – you should be able to slip two fingers between the fabric and your wrist. The length, on the other hand, is correct when the cuff reaches the base of the hand but without covering it.