Dumb question about a good problem: Shirt size

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2014 4:12 AM GMT
    Since moving I haven't found a gym yet, and have just been doing a few strength exercises at home without a routine whenever I feel like it. I hadn't really noticed much difference (and didn't expect to) but lately I've noticed my clean undershirts take a few minutes to adjust to my arms/shoulders in the morning, and just today realized that my button-up shirts don't button comfortably around my neck any more.

    So, assuming the best, does anyone have any tips on how to size shirts as your composition and proportions begin to change? My thought is that if I up my collar size by an inch or a half then that, combined with my long arms (36-37" sleeve) will leave me swimming in extra fabric if everything else is proportional; even though I am still overweight, I'm kind of thinking slim-fit shirts might be appropriate for this reason, especially if I manage to finally start making noticeable progress on my left-over back and belly fat.

    For now I figure I'll just order a couple different fits in the same size and see what I find, but at the very least I'm curious now: If you've been working out for a long time now, does it make it any easier or harder to find shirts that fit properly? Any useful lessons learned?
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    Oct 06, 2014 8:34 AM GMT
    Go to the men's department of any upscale department store (Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, whatever is closest).

    Tell a male salesperson that you are looking for dress shirts, but have been working out and aren't sure of your size. Ask him to measure your neck size and sleeve size.

    If a male salesperson in one of these stores doesn't know how to take these measurements, he should be fired.

    Feel free to buy shirts there or not.
  • Brunette

    Posts: 8

    Oct 06, 2014 11:48 AM GMT
    I suggest, you buy a shirt that is comfortable, if it is baggy take it to a tailor to have it tapered.

    I have problems finding shirts too. I am 5'8" neck size 18, sleeve size 32/34. I should have been a football player. LOL
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    Oct 06, 2014 12:37 PM GMT
    I think you should go with your solution and try a few different shirts on.

    Take not of the "fit" of the shirt and the designer. Some shirts that are modern have a tigher fit around the torso from designers like Calvin Klein and a few other mall brand designers.

    Loose fit means exactly what it says. Once you find the best fit for you look for more of the same from the same desinger.

    If all else fails you can always take your clothes in for alteration.
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    Oct 06, 2014 2:35 PM GMT
    A common misunderstanding is that collars should be snug, or worse, tight. Wrong; they should in no way restrict your neck's freedom of movement. Look at the sportscasters on ESPN - I could spend hours looking at David Pollack alone - and notice how their collars fit. Nice, huh?

    For sleeves, get accurate measurements as suggested, or, better, wear a good-fitting sport or suit coat when shopping and trying on shirts. (And yes, you should try them on, and allow for shrinkage and stores' sizing quirks, which do make a difference; Macy*s house brands tend to be short-sized and shrink inordinately, one of the several reasons I don't shop there.) There should be 1/2 and inch of cuff showing beneath the jacket sleeves, no more.

    A visit to Lands' End site also gives some good measurement advice.

    And finally, most important of all, NEVER PAY FULL PRICE AND ALWAYS BUY ON SALE! icon_cool.gif
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    Oct 06, 2014 3:43 PM GMT
    Shirts are sized according to established " fit models " . Fit models these days are sized larger because the population is fatter but since there is also the fitness trend there is now "athletic" fit. Your long arms are way beyond any fit model so just go custom . Custom made clothes are the next big thing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2014 4:26 PM GMT
    Previous posts have pretty much covered it. Any shirt that you can buy in a small town is sized and shaped so that you can smuggle watermelons under it.
    Your only affordable options are:
    1. Wad up the extra material with string.
    2. Buy stretchy stuff that will conform to you body. (Warning- you could put an eye out with that.)
    3. Stop wearing shirts
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Oct 06, 2014 4:35 PM GMT
    Get your shirts made. You'd be amazed, if you find the right shirtmaker - and there are plenty out there - how economical it can be if you have him make, say, ten or a dozen at a time. You're almost getting to the price of an "expensive" store-bought shirt.

    And the initial expense will pay off in spades, as you can always have the cuffs and the collar (and the collar does not have to be the same size as the original) replaced, and in that they are the first two places to go on a shirt, they end up lasting.... forever. I've had some (collars resized and new cuffs) for well over ten years.

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    Oct 06, 2014 4:39 PM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    Get your shirts made. You'd be amazed, if you find the right shirtmaker - and there are plenty out there - how economical it can be if you have him make, say, ten or a dozen at a time. You're almost getting to the price of an "expensive" store-bought shirt.

    And the initial expense will pay off in spades, as you can always have the cuffs and the collar (and the collar does not have to be the same size as the original) replaced, and in that they are the first two places to go on a shirt, they end up lasting.... forever. I've had some (collars resized and new cuffs) for well over ten years.

    Made, or tailored. Pre-made dress shirts never fit me, because I have a thicker neck, the one size you MUST accommodate. Which makes the rest of the shirt a tent on me. So I just have a tailor or seamstress take the shirt in, a less expensive option.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 06, 2014 8:24 PM GMT
    I like getting input from a salesperson (who IS in good shape!). Many dress shirts are in packages and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to ask to try one on. The problem is, each dress shirt maker has a little different fit.. AND guys all like their shirts to fit a little differently. Some like a little snugger fit, others like a loose look.
    If you are adding to your neck size and chest, take some time and see what you like. I personally like my shirts to show what I've been doing in the gym and I look great, but that's because I know what to wear. Good luck, I'm sure you'll make it happen!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2014 9:13 PM GMT
    Oh, my envy! I will have to gain 30lbs on top of the 50lbs I've gained already just to fill a size L shirt. icon_cry.gif
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4864

    Oct 07, 2014 1:10 AM GMT
    Alpha13 saidShirts are sized according to established " fit models " . Fit models these days are sized larger because the population is fatter but since there is also the fitness trend there is now "athletic" fit. Your long arms are way beyond any fit model so just go custom . Custom made clothes are the next big thing.


    Good point.

    As the population has become ever more obese, it has become harder for those of us who are not obese to find clothing that fits right. Shirts especially can be a problem because unless selected very carefully, they fit like a tent. I've made a point of keeping myself fit and see it as unfair that I am punished for doing so by having trouble finding properly fitting clothing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2014 2:00 AM GMT
    Thanks, everyone! Lots of great ideas here, and great explanations too. I have a much better sense of what to look for now, and if I can keep up the slow progress I've been making then all the good advice will continue to pay off.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2014 3:31 AM GMT
    My hatred for shirt buying is second only to my hatred for jeans buying. I usually just go with my neck/sleeve size and get the torso tailored. I've resigned myself to the fact that if it fits my neck/chest/arms it's going to be billowy elsewhere. Find a good tailor and you're set.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2014 5:30 AM GMT
    Clothes are made for string bean shaped people icon_razz.gif

  • helloandgoodb...

    Posts: 620

    Oct 07, 2014 7:20 AM GMT
    Many better brands have different "fits". Look for "Athletic Fit" which had broader shoulders and narrow waist volume. "Slim or Skinny Fit are for those string beans and "Executive" or "Broad" means fat.

  • FRE0

    Posts: 4864

    Oct 07, 2014 8:14 PM GMT
    helloandgoodbi saidMany better brands have different "fits". Look for "Athletic Fit" which had broader shoulders and narrow waist volume. "Slim or Skinny Fit are for those string beans and "Executive" or "Broad" means fat.



    It's easier to find well-fitting dress shirts than it is to find well-fitting sport shirts.

    Trousers can also be a problem. Some stores have very few trousers with waist sizes less than 33".