How To Pick the Right Slim-Fit Dress Shirt
When it comes to finding the perfect dress shirt, fit is one of the most important things to look for. Although the fabric, color, pattern, buttons and small details also matter, when you’re on a night out, at work or on a date, the first thing people will notice is how sharp or sloppy you look in your dress shirt, and that comes down to if it fits your body well.
This is why picking the right dress shirt is so important - it’s the difference between looking put together and not. Mix in a nice pair of pants or shorts with some accessories, and you’ve got yourself one helluva good time.
Below, you’ll find a guide on what you should look for in a slim-fit dress shirt. By the end, we’ll have you ready to look your best, no matter where the night brings you.
What Is a Men’s Slim-Fit Dress Shirt?
Dress shirts are usually measured and cut in 3 different styles: Classic Fit, Slim-Fit and Tall. A classic fitbutton-up shirt has a looser fit around the waist for extra room for your stomach. Most off-the-rack shirts from department stores come in Classic fit, but their Classic fits are actually cut much wider than most modern premium brand dress shirts, and they billow out rather than have a flattering fit. The reason for this is because department stores try to appeal to a very wide group of people, so they play it safe with their fits and stock oversized Classic fit dress shirts that they know will fit everyone (despite it be unflattering).
Slim-fit dress shirts are a button-down shirt designed to fit closely to the body, specifically around the waist. They are taper ar the torso and are slightly smaller in the arms than the Classic Fit for a more flattering fit. Most modern premium brands offer slim-fit dress shirts since it is a trending style and looks sharper, and they offer them in casual shirts, like plaid flannels, or shirts with a more formal look, like solid dress shirts.
Slim-fit shirts are often made of materials and patterns like Supima cotton, poplin, gingham, or twill. The softest will feel like your favorite t-shirt, while other materials have more texture and structure.
No two people are exactly the same size (we see you, big & tall guys), so finding a shirt that fits perfectly can be a challenge. A slim-fit button-down shirt is the closest you can get to a tailored look without actually going to the tailor.
Slim fits are especially important in dress shirts because you don’t want tons of extra fabric billowing out at your waist and poofing out every time you move.
What Should You Look for in a Slim-Fit Dress Shirt?
There are a surprising amount of things you should be aware of before you purchase a dress shirt.
Dress shirts are usually more expensive than regular shirts. You’re going to want to be sure your dress shirt is durable so that you can get your money’s worth. You’re also not going to want to have to iron it every time before you wear it, so wrinkle resistance should be at the top of your must-have list.
Fit and color are two other factors to consider. You obviously want it to fit just right, and purchasing a variety of colors lets you mix and match. These are just a few of the many features any high-quality slim-fit shirt needs.
Like we mentioned earlier, your slim-fit shirt should have the look and feel of a tailored shirt without the extra fabric, cash or hassle.
Your shirt should never feel too tight, especially in the shoulders, arms and torso. It’s supposed to hug your figure to be a bit more form-fitting, but not at the expense of comfort or be overly tight.
All Citizens cuts their Classic and slim-fit dress shirt with a Tailored Athletic Fit that’s designed to rest comfortably across broad shoulders with slimmer arms and a narrow waist. Don’t have time to sculpt that v-shaped body? The Tailored Athletic Fit dress shirt gives you a sharper silhouette.
A tailored fit is one of the most important aspects of a slim-fit dress shirt. Make sure to be on the lookout for what type of fit it is before you buy one.
Stretchy, Wrinkle-Resistant, Machine-Washable Performance Fabric
Wrinkles are a hassle - they set in easily, take a long time to iron out, and if you don’t spend the time ironing, they make you look sloppy and unkempt.
For men with active lifestyles who are busy and always on the move, having a performance dress shirt that is wrinkle-free, non-iron and machine-washable is a game-changer - it’s a time and money-saver since you don’t have to take it to the dry cleaners after each wear, so you can get on with your busy life and not let your garments own your time.
Having a stretch dress shirt that is slim fit is also a game-changer. The stretch enables you to move freely with unrestricted movement, and it helps prevent elbow blowouts and busted seams so the shirt will last longer. It also allows your slim-fit dress shirt to fit better because the “give” in the shirt shirt allows the fabric to sit closer to your skin and have a more fitted and trimmer silhouette without the risk of tearing the fabric.
Other key features your slim fit dress shirt fabric should have is performance characteristics such as being sweat-wicking, quick-drying and extremely breathable and lightweight. This ensures that you don’t have sweat stains in the armpits and allows you to handle hot and humid weather with ease.
Just make sure to find a performance dress shirt fabric that looks more like a cotton dress shirt than athletic apparel. Most athletic apparel has a sheen or shine to it, so the performance fabric will look odd on a dress shirt.
The Right Length for Wearing Tucked or Untucked
If you want your shirt to be versatile, it cannot be the wrong length.
Too short, and it will never stay tucked in. Too long, and the shirt will be impossible to tuck without extra fabric riding up. The same goes for sleeve length — long sleeves should reach the right point on your wrist, and short sleeves should reach the right point on your shoulder.
Your shirt needs to be able to be worn tucked or untucked, and that requires the perfect length.
Premium Quality — for a Better Price
Lastly, you want to get the best bang for your buck. Your slim-fit dress shirt shouldn’t cost a whole week's salary.
You need a slim-fit dress shirt with the quality of a designer brand but at a fraction of the cost. Luckily, All Citizens’ best seller, our cotton dress shirt, fits that bill perfectly. You get all of these must-have features for half the price of other premium shirts. Plus, our bundle options let you buy designer-quality shirts in packs of three, five, or 10 for an even lower price per shirt.
Plus, the button-down collar should be easy to adjust and not too tight on your neck.
What Are the Best Colors for Slim-Fit Dress Shirts?
Everyone’s style is different, but all guys need a solid-colored and plain dress shirt in their closet that can be worn for any occasion.
A light blue dress shirt is a staple of any classy wardrobe. It’s a smooth color that complements almost everyone and matches any pants or accessories you want to wear.
If you’re having trouble deciding what color dress shirt to wear but don’t want to go with classic white, light blue is the solution. You simply can’t go wrong.
If you want to talk about dress-wear staples, you can’t get more classic than a white dress shirt. With multiple collar options (point collar, spread collar, or French cuff, to name a few), this iconic dress shirt is a wardrobe essential that gives you access to countless looks.
It matches literally everything, so you’ll never have trouble figuring out what the rest of your outfit is going to look like. Every guy should have a white dress shirt in their closet, period. It’s a classic, but it’s also a necessity.
If you want to spice it up a little bit, you should try a light pink colored shirt.
As we said, everyone has their own style. Some people might want to go bolder than white, while others might not prefer blue.
If you want to go bigger without sticking out like a sore thumb, light pink is one of your best options. Throw it in your cart before checkout; you won’t regret it.
Pro Tip: Keep at Least One Patterned Dress Shirt in Your Closet
Solid colored shirts are always necessary, but you also need to show off your fun side. Patterned dress shirts are an excellent way to display your personality without sacrificing your style.
Plus, they look pretty darn cool on a Friday night.
When Should You Wear a Slim-Fit Dress Shirt?
There’s never a bad time to wear a dress shirt. That being said, there are certainly times that specifically call for one.
For Everyday Work Outfits
Even if your office has a dress code, any variety of dress shirts should be A-OK. Whether it’s a short-sleeve button-down or a long-sleeveoxford shirt, you’ve got plenty of options. You can even layer your dress shirt under a blazer or sweater for a more complex look.
Our fabric, stretchiness, and overall fit are cuddling-with-pandas comfortable, so you can feel like you’re lounging at home even when you’re grinding at the office. Plus, our commute-proof fabric means you’ll show up to work every day looking like a million bucks.
When You Want To Make a Strong First Impression (Like in an Interview)
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: nothing shows you care more than dressing nice.
This is especially important for something like a job interview. You want to walk in there looking like the boss (or highly dependable employee) you are. The right shirt displays confidence and shows that you take pride in meeting with your future boss.
When You’re Out on the Weekends
You don’t want to show up to a party, bar, or club in extra-slim sweatpants and a hoodie. You can do better than that. A point collar dress shirt and some paisley pants is way more of a look.
The better you look, the better you’ll feel. Dressing up will improve your overall confidence by a mile. It’s time you made the room stop dead in its tracks as soon as you walk in.
For First Dates
The last thing you want to do is dress too casually for a date. Confidence is key, and nothing says “I’m the most confident guy in the world” like a nice dress shirt.
Premium Slim Fit Dress Shirts for Every Man
You now know everything you need to know about dress shirts.
The next (and last) thing you need to do is find one that works for you. Here at All Citizens, we take pride in democratizing comfort for everyone, everywhere — and that includes dudes who are in need of a little confidence boost.
Good luck out there with your new killer dress shirt — we’re sure you look like a boss.
Regular Fit Vs Slim Fit: What Is the Difference? | Silver Bobbin
How much does the way we dress affect our self-esteem? | Penn State