Shirts Buying Guide

Generally, shirts are bought from shops or malls as and when we visit them. You like a color, pattern or design. You pick up a shirt, go to trial room, if it looks good on you, you buy it. Sometimes, you do shopping specifically for occasion such as an interview, formals or casual wear. This is how we normally do our shopping. The whole purpose is, the costume I choose, looks good on me. That’s fine. But we don’t give adequate attention to some basic points such as fitting, size, colors, styles and brands. These points if you follow wisely while selecting your shirt, will give an incredible look to your whole personality. Let us look as these basics of selecting a shirt for you. A wrong selection, loose fitting or wrinkled shirt gives a message that you are careless about your appearance.


You have to be clear with the purpose of buying shirt. Whether its formal, casual or party wear. Formals can also further categorized as your interview, meetings, daily office wear, official parties. For your casual and social party wear, you can choose anything which makes you comfortable.


The next step is the color of your shirt. For interviews avoid wearing very dark colors such as red and black. Light colors should be preferred, grey or white is a safe choice. For your daily office wear, you have more liberty to choose. Cross checks or plain color shirts of blue, green, black and others. For casual and party wear the choice is unlimited. If you want to look more stylish, get bright and unconventional colors such as pink, dark blue, red etc.


Fabric is the most crucial element in buying shirt. No matter how beautiful the design of the shirt or  pattern. It will not last long if the fabric material is not good. Quality fabric comes with a price tag. So be careful about your budget. Better the quality of fabric the longer it will last. It is your one time investment. Given below are the different types of fabrics of shirts.


Cotton is the most preferred costumes in Asian countries due to hot and humid climatic conditions. It goes will with all dyeing techniques, is comfortable, and light on body. The only drawback is that it wrinkles soon. Cotton can also be blended with other types of fibers to give advantage of  multiple blend of fabrics.


Silk is a natural fiber fabric. It is a bit expensive depending on purity of silk used. It is comfortable, stylish and light in weight. It has to be stored carefully and maintained well. It is a preferred costume for special occasions such as parties, wedding functions.


It is a machine made fiber. It is cost effective. Ideal for your daily and office wear. It doesn’t shrinks or wrinkles as compared to cotton and after washing it dries fast.


Linen is an alternative to cotton as your summer wear. It has similar benefits of above fabrics like lightweight, less expensive and comfortable.


The elements of a good fitting are your shoulders, collars (neck size), chest, armhole, cuff style, sleeves and length of the shirt. Once you decide the occasion and fabric take care of below points, you will get a stylish fitting shirt.
Shoulder Seam

This is a crucial part where we often don’t pay much attention. If your seam selection goes wrong the whole fitting of your shirt looks loose. Generally,  manufacturers make shirts large and don’t keep the seam where sleeve is attached to the body, as it should be stitched close to the top of shoulders.

The thumb rule is don’t be concerned of the collar / neck size, if you are not using top button of your shirt. But if you are using it, check out the table below :

Shirt                                      Neck

Small                                   13.5 to 14.5

Medium                             14.5 to 15.5

Large                                  15.5 to 16.5

While measuring the collar size, it is measured from the button hole to button when laid flat.  The button should be put as such the two fingers inserted easily.

Chest is another important part of your shirt dressing. It is the main frame where people directly focus.  It has to comfort the areas under the armpit, across the upper back and finally around the chest.  A proper fitting shirt will make you close fitted.
Arm Hole

The golden rule for a good fitted shirt is, it has a back flit, as is makes the shirt narrow at the waist. As  while tucking in, it forms a curve of the body, giving no excess fabric in between shirts and pants. Generally, all readymade shirts have big armholes so that they fit all range of body types. This is not suggested if you want a perfect fitting. It goes well with people who have bloated tummy not with slim men or maintained tummy. The fitting of armhole has to be such it gives a good range of motion i.e. full movement of your arms.
Cuff Styles

While getting the cuff done ensure it is sufficiently long to cover the wrists and should come as close to the base of the hand. There are different styles of cuff such as standard, button cuff and French cuff. The standard cuffs are generally with one to three buttons. The French cuff has an additional fabric for folding back as it held’s the cuff links.

For sleeves the arms has to fill out of sleeves in a manner that no extra material is shown or loose appearance. As said in cuff styles above, ensure while putting the buttons the cuff has to fall right at the base of your thumb. The sleeves of shirts can be long or short depending on the occasion. In Asian countries short sleeve are preferred because of hot and humid conditions. The long sleeves can be between 31 to 33 inches. Always ensure there is no extra material as it will fold down giving an unflattering look.

The last part of the fitting of your shirt is length. There are two ways to check for proper length of shirt. One, button your shirt but don’t tuck it and see if the tail falls at the back pocket of pant. Two, button up and tuck in your shirt, raise your both arms just above your head to check the tails coming out from pants and if it does so your shirt is bit short. These two are the best and proven methods to check length of your shirt

This is the last and most important part. Even if you follow all the above steps correctly, things may not go as per your way, if a wrong brand is selected. Generally, all the branded shirts available at online shopping sites, malls, neighborhood stores offer good quality. If budget is your main concern, then have a closer look at price tags of them. Keep in mind the above points and your budget to buy the best shirt for your special occasion.
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