Infographic with tips on how a t-shirt should fit: shoulders, sleeves, torso, length

How to achieve the perfect men's T-Shirt Fit: Illustrated Guide

Infographic with tips on how a t-shirt should fit: shoulders, sleeves, torso, length

Contents Overview

  • Importance of Proper T-Shirt Fit

  • Classic T-Shirt Fit Guide

  • Different Types of T-Shirt Fits

  • Evaluating Your T-Shirt Fit


'Just like jeans, t-shirts are absolute must-haves in any man's wardrobe. They're comfy, casual, and incredibly versatile, so having a few well-fitted tees is essential to looking good.'

T-Shirts Need to Fit Properly
Just like any other clothing item, t-shirts must fit well. Even a designer t-shirt costing R2000 will look unflattering if it doesn't fit properly. On one end of the spectrum, there are oversized, worn-out tees with loud graphics that can make even the most stylish man appear sloppy. On the other hand, fitted, high-quality t-shirts in solid colors or tasteful patterns are universally flattering, regardless of age, skin tone, or body type. Needless to say, we aim for the latter.

Timeless T-Shirt Fit

Close-up of tension lines on too tight white t-shirt

So, how should a t-shirt fit? Glad you asked. Let's delve into the four most crucial aspects: shoulders, sleeves, torso, and length.

We're aiming for a timeless look here—neither too tight nor too loose. We'll discuss other t-shirt fits later on.

T-Shirt Shoulders

Ensure the shoulders aren't too wide. The shoulder seam should ideally align with where your shoulder ends and your arm begins.

It's okay if it doesn't land directly on your shoulder bone, but avoid seams hanging down your upper arm, which signals the shirt is too big.

T-Shirt Sleeves

Moving on to sleeves, consider both length and width. Sleeves should end about halfway between your armpit and elbow.

For width, ensure sleeves fit snugly around your arms without tenting out, showcasing your physique without being overly restrictive.

T-Shirt Torso

The torso encompasses the chest, stomach, and hips. Aim for a fitted look—neither too tight nor too loose.

You should be able to pinch about 2-3 inches of fabric on either side of your torso. Any less might be too tight, while more suggests the shirt is too loose.

T-Shirt Length

The length can be tricky, especially for shorter men. A well-fitted shirt should extend about two inches past your waistband or belt, ending around mid-fly.

Shirts that reach the bottom of your fly are too long and can make you appear shorter than you are.

T-Shirt Fit Types

Close-up of soft cotton fabric texture of a men's t-shirt

Fashion trends influence clothing fit, so it's okay to experiment with different silhouettes as long as it's intentional.

The timeless fit I described above should be the default for most men—flattering and unlikely to go out of style.

Boxy Fit Tees

Currently, looser-fitting clothes are trending, influenced by past decades. Boxy fit tees accompany roomier pants and are popular among those embracing 90s and 70s aesthetics.

While I prefer timeless styles, there's nothing wrong with embracing looser fits if it suits your taste.

Muscle Fit Tees

This fit is more about your physique—a slim fit tee can accentuate muscular build without being overly tight.

How Do Your T-Shirts Fit?

Now that you know how a t-shirt should fit, it's a good idea to review your current collection. Do they fit properly?

If your shirts are too long, consider getting them hemmed by a tailor experienced with knit fabrics.


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