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How men's dress shirts are sized

Regardless of whether the shirt is intended for a formal appearance or a business meeting - it has to be right. But how was that again: Does the shirt size correspond to the clothing size? And how do you find the right cut? Don't worry, the right size can be quickly determined with our size charts and a few small steps. You can find out exactly how this works in this article.

White Shirts Outfit Ideas For Men 2021

Measure the collar size correctly

In us, the shirt size is usually divided based on the collar size. So if you measure your collar size in centimeters, then you usually already know your correct shirt size.

Size tables with conversion for international dimensions

Find the right size for your matching shirt. In the following size table, you can read off the international sizes from S to 6XL after correctly measuring the neck and waist circumference.

Size tables with conversion for international dimensions

Double sizes: The division is made into double sizes. The collar sizes 39 and 40, for example, correspond to clothing size M.

Find the right shirt size

A well-fitting shirt is not too tight around the neck, does not stretch the back and the arms do not disappear in sleeves that are too long. In the best case, the wearer's abdominal region is somewhat concealed and thus flatters the figure. But it's not that simple either. The styles of different brands differ more or less clearly from each other. It is therefore important to determine your own measurements beforehand.

Taking the right measurements: Measuring the right size, on the other hand, is not a book with seven seals. This only takes two steps and a tape measure.

Step 1: measuring the collar size

In order to determine your shirt size, neck circumference is the most important measure. Your neck circumference corresponds to the shirt collar size or the collar size. To be able to determine this size, place the measuring tape around your neck, about the level of Adam's apple. Add another centimeter to the result and you have already determined your collar size. The one extra centimeter is intended to provide a certain amount of leeway and prevent you from suffering from a lack of air or restricted mobility later due to pressure on the larynx.

Step 2: measuring the waist circumference

Measure the full circumference of your waist at the level of your belly button. In this case, if you are of a larger stature, place the measuring tape around the widest part of the abdomen.
Now place the measuring tape tightly around the body without it being too tight. You should stand upright during this measurement and do not let your shoulders sag to avoid incorrect measurement results. Nor should you pull in your stomach when taking measurements - after all, you want to have sufficient freedom of movement later. Tip: It is best to measure directly on the skin or with tight clothing.
In order to determine the correct dimension, add about five centimeters of leeway to your measurement result. The circumference of your waist determines the fit.
Now you can use the results to read your size in our size chart and shop for the right shirt. But be careful: the selection is huge!

Smiling businessman showing cloakroom

The following cut variants are available:

Straight cut - Regular Fit / Comfort Fit

The regular fit (or comfort fit) creates a more casual appearance. With this, material reserves are used in the back area. Therefore, it is very suitable for people with a larger stature. The straight and generous cut offers more leeway, especially in the abdominal area. Comfort-Fit is considered comfortable and casual.

Slightly tailored - modern fit

Modern fit shirts are classically elegant. These have a slight waist, which combines comfortable wearing properties and a modern look. Depending on the designer and the brand, slightly tailored shirts can also have terms such as slimline or custom fit.

Heavily tailored - body fit

Body fit shirts are also called shape fit or slim fit. Due to their body-hugging cut, they are particularly suitable for slimmer men. Slim fit shirts are designed to be snug around the body with an emphasis on the waist.

Strongly tailored - super slim fit

Super slim fit means an additional increase in figure enhancement. With this fit, the shirt is even more body-hugging and tapered than with the Body Fit cut. If you are one of those very slim and sporty men who would like to emphasize their upper body and chest, then Super Slim Fit is just right for you.

Checklist: Does the shirt fit correctly?

  • You can easily close the top button of your shirt.
  • There is a finger's breadth of space between the neck and the collar.
  • When the button placket is closed, it runs freely along the body.
  • Even if you stretch or bend, the shirt stays in the pants.
  • If you are wearing a jacket, the shirt sleeve will protrude slightly from under it.

Measure arm length for special sizes

The sleeve length is also an important component when choosing the right shirt. The standard sleeve length is 64 centimeters. If there are deviations from this measurement, a longer or shorter sleeve length is required for the perfect fit.
In order to correctly determine the sleeve length, you need a second person, as measuring alone can hardly be done. The arm length is measured while standing with the arm slightly bent. Place the measuring tape at the tip of the shoulder. If you can feel the lower edge of your shoulder bone, you are in the correct position. The arm length is now measured from the shoulder to the elbow and from the elbow to the wrist. The result is the sleeve length for long sleeve shirts.

awesome woman measuring the arm of a man

You can now compare your arm length with the standard value. If this is less than 64 centimeters, a shortened sleeve length is necessary for shirts. This can, for example, be 58 centimeters long.
If, on the other hand, the value you have measured turns out to be larger, extra-long sleeves are necessary, for example, 69 centimeters. If this is too short, don't worry - there are also long-sleeved shirts with a sleeve length of 72 centimeters.


Before you decide on one of the following collar shapes, you should ideally have measured your collar size once.

Kent - the classic

The Kent collar is named after the English Duke of Kent. It is a symbol of a classically elegant appearance. For a neat business wardrobe, you can't go wrong with a Kent collar.
However, it is also suitable for festive occasions. To this day it is the most common collar shape and therefore a true classic. The Kent collar is not only at home on men's shirts, but can also be found on coats, blouses, jackets, and sweaters.

Global Kent - timelessly chic

The Global Kent is a particularly modern collar shape for a business outfit. This collar, with its shortened collar legs and its compact design, goes perfectly with ties with a medium or small knot. Alternatively, the shirt looks good with an open collar button.

New York Kent - fresh and youthful

The New York Kent is to a certain extent the little brother of the classic Kent collar. It comes into its own in combination with a narrow tie and a small tie knot.

Urban Kent - for the city dweller

The Urban Kent is very compact and has short collar legs. It can either be worn casually open or with a narrow tie and a small tie knot for a very slim look.


The fashionable shark

This collar owes its name to its shape, which is reminiscent of the shape of a shark's fin with its wide-flared collar ends. The shark collar is available either in a very spread or a classic design.
Particularly large or voluminous tie knots are ideal for both collar shapes.
The shark collar, while very modern, has been around for over 100 years. It is now celebrating a real renaissance and is now one of the most popular collar shapes.
It can mainly be found on shirts for men. With its collar tips, which are up to 160 degrees apart, it offers plenty of space for ties with a wide knot. However, a bow tie also looks very good on this collar.

The sporty button-down

The button-down collar is particularly suitable for a sporty, chic outfit. The collar tips are fixed to the shirt with the help of small buttons. This idea goes back to British polo players who wanted to keep their collars in shape even during a rapid ride.
A button-down collar doesn't necessarily need a tie, it also looks great with an open collar button. In terms of its shape, this collar is very similar to the Kent collar. If you like to leave your tie at home, a shirt with a button-down collar is ideal.

The mysterious under a button-down

With an under a button-down, the collar tips are fixed to the shirt in a similar way to the classic button-down. Here, however, the buttons remain hidden below the collar. The collar hugs the shirt discreetly. In a sense, the under button-down is the little brother of the button-down collar.
Even with this collar shape, it doesn't necessarily have to be a tie. The shirt can also be worn with the collar button open.

The elegant tuxedo collar

The elegant tuxedo collar is predestined for a tailcoat, a tuxedo, or a festive suit. There is no place for a tie on this collar; it is worn exclusively with a bow tie.
What is striking about this collar is that the tips of the collar ends are folded down and covered by the bow. For this reason, the tuxedo collar is also known as a wing collar. You can often see it on shirts for men without a breast pocket and with a concealed button placket.

The elegant tuxedo collar is predestined for a tailcoat

The extravagant tab

Despite its softness, the extravagant tab collar guarantees a correct fit. It is usually worn with a tie. The collar is kept in shape by an additional fabric strap with a snap fastener, which is located under the tie knot.
Summary of how to choose the right shirt size for men
The five most important points on the subject of shirt size and collar size are again in the overview:

  1. For a perfect fit, it is necessary to determine the shirt size exactly beforehand.
  2. Neck and waist circumference, as well as sleeve length, should be measured.
  3. Shirts are divided into double sizes.
  4. Depending on the figure and stature, the right model should be selected.
  5. Shirts are also available in special sizes. There is a shirt with a matching collar for every type and every occasion.

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