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Shirt Darts


Distinguished Member
May 4, 2011
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How high up the back of a shirt should darts extend? Is there an optimal height or is a fair amount of variance inevitable? Are darts okay with side pleats, or should they be reserved solely for pleat-less backed shirts? Discuss.


Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2013
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Darts on shirts are there to give you a neater profile around the waist area if you are in good shape. They need to taper in well below the chest area which is where you need the full width of the fabric ,. At the bottom they need to taper in to allow the fabric to flow freely over hip area and bottom. So the widest part of the dart ( narrowest part of the shirt ) is dead centre of your natural waistline.

Darts are good for slim shirts as you don't get all that bulkiness under a suit jacket, and give a great profile just seen with trousers.
They can easily be let out or made more exaggerated by a tailor in 5 minutes ...to suit your exact fit.

The two back pleats are conversely to add fabric where guys have bigger chests, or waists, to allow ease of movement.

You don't normally see both together.as it would be pointless.since you either need one or the other.
I like the darted fit shirts of Mark Stephen Purple, and Richard James , both Savile Row London and online , and Thomas Pink super slim is also good.

Good to bear in mind that a sharp slim-fit shirt can shrink 1% or even more after the first wash ( this in built shrinkage helps give a neat collar and cuff without excess fabric ) but should be taken into consideration when trying on shirt for purchase if going for a very fitted one .
If you go bespoke at say Turnbull & Asser they do not make your full order of 6 shirts up until you have worn & washed your first proto..

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