Hello, everyone! I'm a new forum member and thought that this, probably, might be a good way to "introduce" myself (mostly my addiction to perfect fit) and to share something I've pondered a bit about. Some of you have wondered about sizing. I've done a bit of tailoring (a hobby, rather serious one in times - I used to study it for a longer while) and adjust rather much everything except suits and odd jackets, if they need a little bit of touchup. When it comes to creating a slim fit shirt measure set, an easy thing to do is first to put your best fitting (but old) shirt on and then to make some adjustments with different coloured thread outside it - just to try on the fit. It's not that hard to sew, especially when everything you need is a quick view to your desired measures. Of course, you can use even bobbypins (or basic pins, if you're careful). After finding a perfect fit for you, just write down the measures. Something to remember, though: A shirt is a vest with two tubes attached to it as sleeves. Although this is self evident, it's a good thing to remember. It's also made of non-elastic material, so just measuring your favourite cashmere doesn't do when you need some play. You also need to consider about your sleeves a bit when thinking about the "vest": Shoulder seams are a bit like joints, around which the sleeve "rotates" as you rise the hands. Adding some armpit-to-armpit -width gives you some room to play here (as do back pleats), but adding shoulder width doesn't really give anything - so keep them on the ends of your shoulders (where the collarbone ends (I use this width for jackets, as well, maybe adding one centimeter. There's nothing I hate more in clothes than overhanging shoulders. I don't like any
extra on that area). To keep the room for movement, you need to keep the armholes as small as comfortably possible. Too large armholes simply drag the shirt up as you rise your arms - it's the same thing as with jackets. Think the underside of sleeves as "wires" attached to the sides of your shirt. If they're attached too low, they shall drag your shirt from your pants. Keep them as close to armpit as possible to get the desired size. Measure, with a tape, around your armpit and collarbone end with your hand hanging freely. Divide by two. This gives you usually a fit that has enough extra room (i.e. your measurement divided by two + ~1cm, which comes naturally). Waist is all about your tastes. You need some extra room to breath and sit, but, unless you're a real fan of lunch hours, this shouldn't be excessive. Sit and measure yourself, take a snug (but not too snug) fit, take a same measurement when standing up. Think about these. I generally go by first fit. Hips do need some room, although not excessively. Use a well fitting shirt as a guide. Sleeves depend a bit from shoulder fit (I still maintain that it should be exact, as it doesn't really add any comfort and hinders movement if it is too big) and armpit-to-armpit -width (as this dictates the sideways "give" of the sleeve, it affects to sleeves, naturally).
My own preferred (slim) fit
(I give these straight to "measure your shirt" -fields to be copied as well as ever possible): Collar: As it is, no adjustments here. Take the measurement of your best fitting shirt (or pack your measurement tape and go to shop, finding the best fitting shirt and measuring it). Chest: Measured circumference +7-8cm. This gives you some room to move, still avoiding bagginess. Divide this by two (to get the half-measure for websites). Waist: Measured standing circumference +4cm (the exact sitting measurement - check yours). Divide this by two. Hips: Measured standing circumference +7cm. Divide by two. Shoulders (yoke): The exact measure between the ends of the tips of your collarbones. Armhole: The exact measure taken around your armpit and the tip of your collarbone. If your measuring tape is narrow (or you use cord or something to measure the exact circumference), add 1-1,5cm to measurement. Keep this measure snug to get the best arm movement and least shirt lifting. Divide, again, by two for half measure for websites. Sleeve length: Measure from the tip of your collarbone, go with your preference. I measure mine to the base of my wrist (just under the wristbone) and allow the sleeve to ride up a bit when moving. This is just a preference - it gives me some "extra height" (I'm 6' 2", thin, so the effect is quite dashing). Some may prefer to take the measurement having their arm bent to 90Â° angle. This is fine - it's your preference. Cuffs: Your tight measurement around the widest point of the wrist + 2-3cm. Go snug (i.e. +2) with french cuffs. If you use a watch, measure around it (when worn) and add 0,5 - 1cm (and note the maker about this & to which side to add it). Bicep: Flex your bicep to the max, measure around it, add 3-4cm to it, divide by two for websites. Shirt length: Go by your tastes. I like longer fit when worn tucked in, a tad shorter when worn outside my pants. The difference here is about 5-10cm. Extra thing: Pleats when jacket will be used all the time. Darts if you wear your shirt without a jacket a lot (or under knits etc.). Pleats will give you some extra room for movement, while making the back look uglier. You may be able to reduce ~1cm from armpit-to-armpit circumference when using pleats. I also specify that I want a horizontal lowest buttonhole on the front pleat. This has nothing to do with movement (as I've seen widely speculated), but it just stays shut more securely. Vertical buttonholes give some room and flex (sideways), while horizontal doesn't.
So, that's my "formula". It's tuned to my tastes and some may feel that it's not for them. However, if you're ordering your first MTM that requires you to give your measurements, you may use it as a loose guide. I'm adamant about the collar, shoulder and armhole measurements - these make or break the feel and fit of the shirt. Rest is up to own tastes - I would warn about making the armpit to armpit width with less than 6cm of extra to chest circumference, but if the very snug fit is your thing, well, who am I to judge you. I actually use - due to construction - less extra with my jackets than with my shirts here. Only thing I don't like about Modern Tailor is the lack of thick, nice tattersall fabrics (cotton and cotton/wool). It's pretty much impossible to find slim fit tattersall shirts. With -20Â°C (around -4Â°F) being common during winter months here, it would be nice to get some extra warmth and softness. I hope this helps someone.