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The Definitive Guide to Slim Fit Shirts - Page 143

post #2131 of 2427
Originally Posted by nihilest View Post

Having just visited many stores on the search for the perfect-fitted, affordable OTR shirt, I made the following ranking based on how slim the shirts are, in general (not taking specific measurements, etc.). For reference, I'm 5'8'', 145lb, ~10% BF (14'' neck, 33'' sleeve, 36-37'' chest, 29'' waist). The price ranges are what I expect to buy for, when they're on really good sale. Also, please be aware that everything is biased, based on my own experiences.


13. Lands End - S (Tailored Fit) [$15-30]: An entire size too big. Good quality for the price.

12. J. Crew - S [$30-45]: Pretty boxy; practically an entire size too big. Great quality.

11. Banana Republic - S (Regular) [$30-40]: Pretty boxy. Quality is a step lower than J. Crew's.

10. Express - S (Fitted) [$35-45]: Typical "slim-fit", but still too boxy for me. Horrible quality.

9. Old Navy - S (Slim) [$15-20]: Slightly slimmer than Express'. Horrible quality, but it's expected.

8. Club Monaco - S (Slim) [$30-40]: About the same as Old Navy's. Quality is a step lower than J. Crew.

7. J. Crew - XS [$30-45]: Slightly slimmer than Old Navy's, but still not slim enough for me. Great quality.

6. Banana Republic - S (Slim Fit) [$30-40]: Slightly slimmer than J. Crew's. Quality is a step lower than J. Crew's.

5. Brooks Brothers - S (Extra-Slim Fit) [$40-60]: Slightly slimmer than Banana Republic's; great fit. Amazing quality.

4. H&M - S (Slim) [$15-25]: Slightly slimmer than Brooks Brother's; ideal fit. Poor quality, but suitable to the cheap price.

3. Zara - S (Slim) [$40-50]: About the same as H&M; ideal fit. Pretty poor quality.

2. Express - S (Extra-Slim) [$35-45]: Slightly slimmer than Zara; a little too slim for my tastes. Horrible quality.

1. Club Monaco - XS (Slim) [$30-40]: Slightly slimmer or same as Express'; a little too slim for my tastes and collar is just a little too small. Quality is a step lower than J. Crew's.




Notes: I forgot to write down whether the J. Crew shirts I tried on were Regular or Slim-Fit (I think they were Slim, but I'm not entirely certain). I should also try on Banana Republic's XS Slim just to see how it compares to Club Monaco's XS Slim.


In conclusion, BB ESF and H&M Slim are my two favorites. H&M has my preferred fit, but the quality is nothing compared to BB's. In contrast, BB has amazing quality, but it's slightly too boxy compared to H&M's fit. However, this small difference in fit is pretty negligible compared to the huge difference in quality. Thus, I use BB for my main versatile shirts, whereas I have H&M shirts for back-ups, less-popular patterns, more extravagant colors, etc. Wardrobe-wise, I plan to keep ~5 BB ESF shirts and ~5-7 H&M shirts (if I weren't a poor grad student, I'd use BB or MTM almost exclusively). Banana Republic might be a good compromise between H&M's prices and BB's quality, though I know how much SF abhors its quality.


You're getting great prices... I see J. Crew shirts selling at 70.

post #2132 of 2427
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

nihilest - I really don't know how you can say that JCrew shirts are 'great quality.' The couple I have (from before I was on SF, BTW) are supposedly fine cotton dress shirts, but the cuffs are so lightweight that they wrinkle. That should never happen on a dress shirt. Collars are similarly poor.


By far the best-fitting OTR shirt I have come across is the tailored fit from Charles Tyrwhitt. Comparable quality to Brooks Brothers, if not better in some respects, and the fit is excellent. Plus they will do custom sleeve lengths for you for just a little extra.


+1 on the CH shirts.  I have bought quite a few and they really wear well.  Also, they always have sales - 4 for 199$ - they have one going on right now.  I have a 17 inch neck and broad shoulders, but only a 40 chest, so I can relate.  The tailored fit ones are best, but have had to have a tailor take them in just a bit.  And now, they're nearly perfect.  And an outstanding value.


Good luck.

post #2133 of 2427
I just received my TM Lewin Fully Fitted shirt. It fits like a collapsed weather balloon.

How do the Charles Tyrwhitt Tailored(extra slim) shirts compare to the TM Lewin Fully Fitted? Does CT approach H&M as far as fit goes? H&M has my favorite fit so far.

Any MTM recommendations I should check out to get something that slim?
post #2134 of 2427
Im looking for shirts that fit similair to Ralph Lauren Slim fit in S. These are not the same thing as custom slim since they are waaay slimmer. I dont think these are sold in the US however. I tried a BB extra slim fit and it wasway more bagy than the ralph lauren slim fit. The reason Imlooking for an alternative is because their collars are not as high as I would like, only 5 cm frown.gif
post #2135 of 2427
Compared to the Charles Tyrwhitt Tailored fit, the TM Lewin fully fitted shirts are wider at the chest, but narrower at the waist. Thomas Pink slim fit is more expensive, but slimmer through the chest. You might want to try them. They have a sale on at the moment (at least in the UK).
post #2136 of 2427

Like everyone else I've been on this search for well-fitting RTW dress shirts for a few years now. I don't have particularly frequent occasion to wear dress shirts (I am a geologist and have most recently been a graduate student and/or unemployed), so I haven't minded too much using the random inexpensive (clearance rack) dress shirts I've picked up over the past couple of years. The problem is that most of my shirts have too-small necks, so I can't really wear them with a tie. I needed to wear a tie to a funeral last week, and I love ties anyway, which prompted me to go look for some better shirts (and which led me to this thread). Currently I need them for short-notice occasions (funerals, job interviews, etc.), not to wear daily to work.


The shirt I pulled from my closet and ended up wearing to the funeral (a very casual funeral luckily) is from Nordstrom's 1901 brand. The fit is perfect, actually, but it's a casual (though nice) poplin with button-down collars. It's marked "Athletic Fit" and is size L. The neck is about 1/2 inch too small but for me that's tolerable if I'm not wearing it all day. I got it at Nordstrom Rack a couple of years ago for about $15. According to Nordstrom's size chart (which is great: the current model 1901 shirts might not be as slim as that one is (the selection of 1901 stuff in Nordstrom Rack tends to be different from what's in the regular stores though).


My measurements are: 17" neck, 43/44 chest, and 36 waist and I have fairly broad shoulders (but not quite broad enough for typical XL-size shirts). I'm 5'11" and about 210 lbs; I could stand to lose some weight but I don't look particularly chubby - unless I'm wearing clothes that are baggy. I need the absolute slimmest possible (without being skin-tight) in everything I wear, or I suddenly appear to be very fat.


I normally think of myself as a size L but the overall frame of my body feels like an M. I regularly get non-slim-fit shirts in size M that fit great (for casual use). I have shirts in sizes M, L, and XL in my closet that all fit (except for the neck)!


I have spent a few days taking some suggestions from this thread and just looking around at what's available near me, and I went through my closet looking at the shirts I have that I rarely wear, and here are my findings:



Calvin Klein slim/body fit size L looks great on me, and the neck is big enough, but I think it's probably actually 1/2 to 1 inch too small around the waist unfortunately. It doesn't stretch out at the buttons, though, so it'd probably be usable. They're overpriced regularly and I don't like most of the colors and patterns, though. I'd want to buy one at a deep discount to try wearing all day to see how it holds up. In any case their newish "Body Fit" is actually quite good, including for dress trousers, but most of their styles I don't like (and they don't always have plain basics). I think you have to go to a Calvin Klein store (including outlets) to get the actual Body Fit stuff; department stores carry "Slim Fit" which is essentially the same for the shirts but not for other stuff.
Kenneth Cole reaction slim - great fit but neck too small. Would be quite good to use without a tie, but that defeats the purpose. I have one from a couple of years ago that I've worn a few times, it has a usable neck but is baggier around the waist than the current models. I suspect they change their fits from season to season so it might be worth checking out again occasionally, although the fabric and styling isn't particularly nice (though not bad).
Perry Ellis - I have a shirt from them in "City Fit" which fits quite well, usable neck though a little snug. Most of their styles are awful, but this is a plain white one I bought on clearance for $10 a couple years ago because it has french cuffs and I wanted a shirt with french cuffs (and it just happens to fit quite well). Not sure if it's really worth checking this brand out but if you're in Macy's anyway you might want to give it a try (I wouldn't look at anything besides plain dress shirts from them though).
Alfani fitted (Macy's) - garbage. I tried it on a whim because it was in a clearance rack in my size. Similar quality to the much-derided Express but not at all fitted.
H&M - H&M has several options for dress shirts but they change all the time. Right now they have 100% cotton shirts that I really like the style of, but the neck is just slightly too small in an XL and because it's an XL it's too baggy around the shoulders and upper chest for me.
However, they have another one in a 60/40 poly/cotton blend that in XL fits very, very well and the neck is big enough. It could be a little bit slimmer, but it works. At $15 I'll probably go back and pick up a couple of those as "beater" dress shirts. Not sure how that polyester is going to look after a bit of use, though it looks fine off the rack (you won't mistake these for something particularly nice obviously).
Forever 21 - this I don't think has been mentioned so far in this thread. If you've always just walked by these stores without looking you might not know that yes, they have men's stuff. Their quality is typically abysmal but I check out what they have once in a while as the prices are even cheaper than H&M and the styles are similar. Their current dress shirts in size XL have a really good fit actually, similar to the 60/40 H&M shirts - but I think the Forever 21 ones are 100% cotton, and they're the same $15 price (plus they come with a cheap tie, though this is probably actually a downside because you'll probably want to just get rid of it). Not sure if I like the collar on these as much as the H&M ones, but they're passable (neither have particularly nice spreads).
Original Penguin - I like this brand a lot and have several casual shirts, ties, and other things from them. They have several different fits, and in some an L fits great and in others an XL fits great. Their proportions are usually spot-on for me such that if the rest of the shirt fits then the neck will be big enough regardless of whether it's L or XL. In one shirt I have, everything (including the neck) is perfect but the chest is about a half inch too small, causing noticeable pulling. But I love the fabric and the pattern, so I'm reserving that one for special casual occasions to wear with a tie to cover the gap ;) 
Unfortunately I have only tried one dress shirt from them - it's an XL and is actually way too big for me. I bought it because I like the pattern (sort of 60's Beach Boys), before I really understood how clothes should fit, from Nordstrom Rack for not too much money ($30 or so as I recall). I may get it tailored sometime. In any case next time I have a chance I'm going to try some of their dressier shirts; I have a feeling in size L they'll be quite good.
Ben Sherman - for casual shirts these are great for me, similar in fit to Penguin but I don't usually like the styles as much. I have a few shirts from them. They too have several different fits so you have to try them, but they're all slim. Unfortunately, even in XL their necks are too small for me so I only have casual shirts.
Hugo Boss - partly because this label is so derided on SF, I hadn't seriously considered it until recently. I was looking for an unstructured, navy, thin cotton sport coat and happened to see one in the Boss Orange section at Macy's on deep, deep discount (final price I paid was $75, original price something ridiculous like $500). Because of my proportions jackets are also a big issue for me but I slipped this jacket on (size 44R) and it was incredible... absolutely perfect, very slim fit. Fits better than my MTM suit I got in Thailand (although that's not saying much).
Anyway, Boss also got quite a few mentions in this thread, with the common complaint being that they're overpriced and not great quality, but fit great. I had looked on the Nordstrom site for other shirts and there are a few Boss Black shirts on sale at $46. So I decided to try the Boss store near me. Tried on a Boss Black Slim Fit, 17 neck 34/35 sleeve, and it's perfect. The spread collar is comfortable and nice and low (remember, short neck), and it fits my shoulders, chest, and waist perfectly. Their sale price in the store for some of the shirts was $117, which is way too much, so I ordered this one from Nordstrom: Assuming it fits the same as the one I tried in the store, this will be my go-to shirt for the occasional special occasions I need to dress nicely for (especially job interviews).
J. Crew - this is my go-to brand for casual clothes. Size L fits me great for the most part (a few exceptions), and it's the only mall brand that I can consistently wear (everywhere else I'm usually between sizes) - even for things like t-shirts which I have a terrible time finding good fits in. J. Crew has a perfect slim fit. But, their size L shirts have a too-small neck. I need an XL in their dress shirts to get the neck to fit, and then everything else is too big. Oh well. Too expensive anyway, but I am still going to investigate their dress shirts further (haven't tried all the options).
Gap/Banana Republic - I have some casual Gap shirts in size M that I like, but I can't wear anything dressy from them. The sizes are strange (and they vary wildly). BR dress shirts are always too baggy, and the casual shirts I don't ever like the styles of, but I have some plain t-shirts from them that I like and fit well.
Urban Outfitters - this isn't a place you normally think of for dressy clothes, but they sometimes have them (and stock varies immensely from store to store). Pretty much everything in these stores is going to be extremely slim, often even too slim for me, but they carry a lot of different brands (and they have their own labels) so there's a lot of variety. They regularly stock some decent looking OCBDs for about $40; fit is nice for me but the neck is too small. IMO it's worth checking these stores out once in a while even if you don't dress like a hipster (I'm in my 20's and dress like a hipster most of the time, I may as well tell you). I once bought a whole bunch of GANT Rugger madras shirts - which by the way fit me perfectly, very slim cut - for $20 each from the Urban Outfitters in Costa Mesa.
UNIQLO - love their casual stuff. I always pick up a few things when I'm in NYC (which has been a couple times a year for the past few years). Size L fits me perfectly and slimly. However, I have not actually tried their dress shirts. I definitely will next time I'm there.
I haven't tried ZARA shirts but I tried on some jackets in there recently and even the XL was way too small, so I don't hold much hope that the shirts would fit (and I don't currently live near a ZARA store).
I've tried probably dozens of other brands over the years and go to thrift stores a lot. I have a YSL shirt from a thrift store that fits great actually, but the neck is ridiculously small - so small it looks odd even with a couple of buttons unbuttoned. I also have a Paul Smith London shirt from a thrift store that's literally perfect - it's marked 17/43 so it's a 17 neck and 43 chest and it's perfectly slim. Unfortunately it's an unusual pattern (brown with a dot pattern). I might wear it for clubbing, but I rarely go clubbing :) Both those brands are way too expensive anywhere but thrift stores so not a great option.
I have a Theory shirt which fits fantastically - it's got some stretch and the front placket doesn't budge. Very clean, near-perfect look. Unfortunately while the neck is closable, it's just slightly too small to be comfortable over a long period. And the shirt is dry-clean only which is inconvenient for me. I got it for about $35 at Nordstrom Rack - the regular prices for Theory stuff are ridiculous.
Land's End Canvas - I like their styles for casual shirts and because you can get them for really rather cheap prices if you wait for the right sales and clearance, I have a bunch from them. The size L fits well, but is baggy around the waist. Not so baggy that it looks bad untucked, which is how I always wear their shirts. However their fits vary rather wildly and they don't give you enough information to be able to tell before you try it (fortunately you can return stuff to Sears with no hassle). In my experience, shirts in dressier fabrics (for some definition of dressy) like smooth poplins are cut trimmer. I have a poplin shirt from them that fits great (though not as slim as many in my list).
One of my favorite casual shirts is from LEC, a engineer's pinstripe blue chambray work shirt I bought a few years ago. It's a little large but that goes with the style. I recently bought another one in a different color, thinking I'd then have two favorite shirts, and the fit is totally f'ed up. I bought it at an outlet for $15 (without trying it on, stupidly) and can't easily return it so I'm going to try to get it to shrink by putting it in with the wash every time even if I haven't worn it.
Things to try - There are a few brands regularly found at e.g. Nordstrom Rack that I want to try, like John Varvatos Star USA (I've tried their casual stuff and have a couple pairs of shoes from them I like), Ben Sherman fitted dress shirts (neck and sleeve sized not SML like the ones I have tried), current model 1901, Thomas Pink, and Calibrate. I don't currently live near a Nordstrom Rack though, so I need to wait until I move back to SoCal in a couple months :) Also want to try some of the mail-order places mentioned in this thread, but those don't really make sense for me right now since I only need a very small number of dress shirts.
It's really striking to me that it's so difficult to find shirts that actually fit, even for people with better proportions. I mean, it boggles the mind that anyone would buy any of the standard dress shirts on offer at most stores, even upscale places like Nordstrom. Even if someone doesn't really care what they wear or how they look, I still don't understand how they could possibly wear the really baggy stuff, but they do.
I know the type of person that reads SF tends to be in constant search of essentially unattainable perfection (even MTM - yes I have a MTM shirt and I don't like it), and most people don't care that much about what they wear, but ballooning dress shirts are so ubiquitous and so obviously atrocious that it's beyond ridiculous. I'm glad slimmer, tailored fits are finally becoming more widely available (actually even Target now has some great-fitting stuff labeled Tailored Fit, but nothing dressy) and I hope it doesn't take too long for "baggy as default" to disappear. 
Conclusion: For my current needs, I bought a Boss Black shirt for special occasions (so quality and longevity shouldn't be an issue) and will probably buy H&M and/or Forever 21 $15 shirts for disposable beater dress shirts for less-special occasions. 

Edited by penguinchris - 6/25/12 at 4:23pm
post #2137 of 2427

I have 36" chest and 29" waist and wear a 14 1/2 - 32.


Just got a couple of H&M cotton/poly shirts in Small, and they fit very well, actually a bit tight around the chest.  I'm thinking of making my trip to a Brook Brothers to get their Extra Slim shirt.  It's a bit far away (40 miles), will the Brook Brothers 14 1/2 - 32 fit slightly looser than the H&M Small?



post #2138 of 2427
Have anyone tried the new Banana Republic 'Tailored Slim Fit' shirts that are supposed to be slimmer than their 'Slim fit?'
post #2139 of 2427
Originally Posted by bellyhungry View Post

Have anyone tried the new Banana Republic 'Tailored Slim Fit' shirts that are supposed to be slimmer than their 'Slim fit?'

Yes, I got a soft wash tailored slim fit shirt last week. The fit is very pleasing, and the build quality is nice. Good purchase. I think it was $60
post #2140 of 2427
I've searched this thread, but can't find the information I need...
I just got off the phone wth a Brooks Brothers customer service rep regarding measurements on the extra slim fit shirts.
For a 16.5 neck, she told me that the pit to pit measurement was 40" (20" x 2). That sounds way to small given the other measurements I've read on this thread.
Can anybody else comment?
I also asked her for the shoulder measurement. She didn't have that available, but promised to call back.
Does anybody have an accurate shoulder measurement for a 16.5 neck on the BB esf?
post #2141 of 2427
Originally Posted by jguyette View Post

I've searched this thread, but can't find the information I need...
I just got off the phone wth a Brooks Brothers customer service rep regarding measurements on the extra slim fit shirts.
For a 16.5 neck, she told me that the pit to pit measurement was 40" (20" x 2). That sounds way to small given the other measurements I've read on this thread.
Can anybody else comment?
I also asked her for the shoulder measurement. She didn't have that available, but promised to call back.
Does anybody have an accurate shoulder measurement for a 16.5 neck on the BB esf?

Check out this link:
post #2142 of 2427
Originally Posted by StormRider View Post

I have 36" chest and 29" waist and wear a 14 1/2 - 32.


Just got a couple of H&M cotton/poly shirts in Small, and they fit very well, actually a bit tight around the chest.  I'm thinking of making my trip to a Brook Brothers to get their Extra Slim shirt.  It's a bit far away (40 miles), will the Brook Brothers 14 1/2 - 32 fit slightly looser than the H&M Small?




The BB Extra Slim Fit 14.5 will definitely be looser than a H&M Small. I have a 34" chest and when I tried the BB Extra Slim fit it was an okay not great fit. H&M fits better for me. 

post #2143 of 2427
Originally Posted by bellyhungry View Post

Check out this link:

^Thanks! That is helpful, I think. Can anybody give me an accurate interpretation of "Center Measurement at Armhole"? Is that pit to pit, or does that include some portion of the sleeve, too?
Anybody have any numbers for shoulder to shoulder?
post #2144 of 2427

I buy on Ebay used shirt Dior Homme, they are usually all slim fit

post #2145 of 2427

Thanks trum01, I went to Brooks Brothers, and tried on their OCBD shirts.  I found the 14 1/2 not very baggy, and bought a few online (they were out of them in the store).  Supposed to get here tomorrow, will wash them and see if they shrink a bit.

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