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Does shirt fabric affect the fit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jaidog, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. jaidog

    jaidog Well-Known Member

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    I'm contemplating ordering an MTM shirt. To specify the sizing of the shirt, I plan to send in my best-fitting shirt and tweak the measurements slightly.

    Here's my predicament -- I have several shirts which have almost identical measurements, but each fits differently. In fact, I have two shirts purchased at the same time from the same manufacturer in the same size. One shirt fits much looser than the other, yet their measurements are identical.

    So, the only thing I can conclude is that the fabric of a shirt factors into how a shirt fits. Is this correct? If so, how can one specify measurements for an MTM shirt and expect the correct fit if the fit is dependent on the fabric?
     
  2. Liquidus

    Liquidus Well-Known Member

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    What are the two fabrics of the two shirts you have?
     
  3. comrade

    comrade Well-Known Member

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    It affects the fit in that different fabrics launder differently.
    I went up a size from 16' to 16 1/2" several years back.
    I have dress shirts from that time from the same maker-
    T&A in 16". Some still fit, some don't.I All I can figure is that there was
    more shrinkage in the ones that no longer fit in the neck.
    Unless of course, more than one shirt was mis-sized.
     
  4. comrade

    comrade Well-Known Member

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    Delete- That damn bug lives.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  5. jaidog

    jaidog Well-Known Member

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    Liquidus:

    Not sure what type of fabric each shirt. Other than 100% cotton, no other info is on either shirt.

    comrade:

    Good point about shrinkage. But, when I lay the two shirts on top of each other, their measurements are identical, or very close.

    Not sure what was meant by, "Delete- That damn bug lives."
     
  6. manchambo

    manchambo Well-Known Member

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    I think it must be differential shrinkage. I've worn a 17.5 for a long time but now I'm really probably a 17.75. Most of my old shirts still fit fine but there are a couple that don't. They all fit to begin with so those few must have shrunk a bit more.
     
  7. bertie

    bertie Well-Known Member

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    It seems odd that the measurements are the same but you say they fit differently. All things being equal - same measurements should result in the same fit unless the fabric itself behaves differently when stretched.

    The responses to date have focused on shrinkage which is common issue with cotton shirts. Are you implying that there is more stretch/give in one shirt vesus another? Can you elaborate on how they fit differently? is it the neck only, the chest, the arms?
     
  8. Liquidus

    Liquidus Well-Known Member

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    You should measure with a tape measure, not lay them on top of each other.
     
  9. jaidog

    jaidog Well-Known Member

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    One shirt seems looser in the chest and waist area than the other. The fabric on the looser shirt is more stiff and therefore balloons out, whereas the fabric on the tighter shirt doesn't. Not sure how to describe this better.
     
  10. jaidog

    jaidog Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I will do this and report back. Currently, I only have a stiff tape measure (for carpentry, etc.). Will this suffice or must measurements be taken by a more flexible tape measure that's typically used for clothing?
     
  11. bertie

    bertie Well-Known Member

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    It may be challenging to measure a curve accurately with a rigid tape measure.
     
  12. Seph

    Seph Well-Known Member

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    All dimensions equal, if one fabric has stretch, it will feel much looser. If they are both cotton then that is probably not the issue though. If one is a twill weave it can drape softer and be less rigid than a broadcloth or pinpoint . As a result the twills can sometimes feel looser. Really heavy fabrics like oxfords often feel tighter due to their rigidity and thickness.

    Another thing that can be different (even if the dimensions are the same) are the angles at the shoulders and arm-pits. The sleeve width and shoulder width can be the same but depending on the shape of the angles you can get a different appearance. This can cause the fabric at the chest to drape differently.

    That said, if they are the same brand and have the same dimensions I'd be really shocked if they fit that differently. What brand of shirt are you measuring per chance?

    A stiff carpenters tape is kind of a pain but it should work ok... All measurements should be taken straight from point to point. Some good instructions are here: http://propercloth.com/tailored-dress-shirt-measurements.
     
  13. jaidog

    jaidog Well-Known Member

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    Mystery solved. Using a tape measure and taking measurements as suggested by propercloth revealed some differences in measurement. The looser shirt has a neck which is 1/4" larger, and a yoke measurement which is 3/4" larger. Additionally, the sleeve width is 1/4" larger on the looser shirt. But, both shirts have the same chest and midsection width which surprised me. Obviously, these differences were not discernible when laying the shirts on top of each other. By the way, both shirts were made by the lower-cost Joe line of Abboud.

    This proved to be an enlightening educational exercise. Now I know that differences as little as 3/4" can affect the fit of a shirt significantly. This will help in tweaking measurements for my first MTM shirt. Thanks for all the suggestions/advice.
     

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