What Is Slim Fit, Modern Fit and Classic Fit?

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Everyone has their own unique style that they are able to tailor to their interests and personality. Some people are more classic and button-down while others are more modern and trendy. If you fall into the latter camp then something that should definitely be a staple in your wardrobe is the slim fit dress shirt. A lot of people think that dress shirts have to be really stuffy and boring but that’s really not the case – especially when it comes to slim fit dress shirts. Similarly, you may think that slim fit dress shirts are so trendy that you can only find them in wild patterns or colors - but it's just as easy to find a light blue, solid dress shirt, or white dress shirt as it is the bolder print dress shirt patterns. So here’s a quick guide on slim fit dress shirts, what they are, when to wear them, and more! 


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What Are Slim Fit Dress Shirts?

Slim fit dress shirts are exactly what they sound like – slim! Unlike casual shirts or other men's dress shirt styles such as classic fit, this type of dress shirt is tailored to fit really close to your body and give you a nice, clean, polished look. Although you may think of a button down shirt as more formal, a slim fit dress shirt isn’t necessarily meant to be worn with a jacket – in fact, you can ditch the jacket completely if you want! The beauty of slim fit dress shirts is that they are flattering to those with a slimmer shape and are really versatile when it comes to styling. They can be dressed down with a nice pair of jeans or dress pants, or can even be worn with a tuxedo. So, if you don't want to buy a tuxedo shirt that you'll only wear once for that upcoming wedding? Consider a slim fit point collar dress shirt instead. The versatility and easy care of a slim fit dress shirt is part of what makes it such a best seller!


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The Difference Between Slim Fit and Other Fits

Before we go any further, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between slim fit dress shirts and other dress shirts that you already own, for example regular fit or oxford shirts. A lot of men have no idea about the three different fits of dress shirts but we are here to help guide you through all of this information! 

  • Classic fit: The first type of dress shirt is the classic fit. This is probably what you think of when you think of old-fashioned menswear. This type of shirt was made to only be worn with a jacket – so it can look a little bit baggy since those areas were not meant to be shown. So while it might be a more comfortable option since you will have ample room to move around, if you aren’t wearing a jacket, it might look a little bit baggy and frumpy. 
  • Modern fit: The second type of dress shirt is the modern fit. The modern/contemporary dress shirt fit falls between a classic fit and a slim fit dress shirt on the tightness scale. A modern fit dress shirt still provides you with some extra room in the chest, waist, and arms but not too much. This option can we worn with or without a jacket, depending on your preference and the formality of the occasion. 
  • Slim fit: The last type of dress shirt is the slim fit dress shirt. This is the slimmest of all the options and is mostly meant to be worn without a jacket because it is more tight and tailored and can really give a clean look without needing a jacket at all. 


How to Fit a Slim Fit Dress Shirt?

Properly measuring and fitting a dress shirt is important no matter which style you get but this is especially true when it comes to slim fit dress shirts because they have to fit so close to your body that there’s little room for error. You definitely don’t want to end up with a shirt that’s too small but you don’t want your slim fit shirt to look baggy either! 

Before you go shopping for slim fit dress shirts, you will want to know your measurements. This involves measuring yourself at home or going to a tailor and having them measure you there. Which option you choose is totally up to you. Either way, we are here to help you through the measuring process so that you can get a precise measurement and go on to buy a great fitting men's dress shirt! 

  • Some things that you will need when measuring at home: a cloth measuring tape and an assistant to help you during the process
  • While most men's dress shirts only consist of two measurements – the neck and the arm length – slim fit dress shirts might contain more measurements since they have to be more fitted. Here’s how to take every measurement that you might find on a slim fit dress shirt:

    • The first measurement that you need to take is your neck for the collar size.

      • Start with your body straight but relaxed
      • Wrap the measuring tape around the base of your neck where your collar would lie. A good tip on this is to place it right below your Adam’s apple. 
      • Don’t pull the measuring tape too tight across your skin. Instead, add in one finger between your neck and the measuring tape to ensure a good fit.

    • The next measurement that you need to take is your arms for the sleeve length.

      • You will need your assistant for this part so make sure they are handy! 
      • Stand up straight with your arm slightly out and bent at the waist.
      • Place the measuring tape at the center of the back of your neck.
      • Allow the tape to run down the top of your arm towards your elbow and then guide it down the bottom part of your arm towards your wrist.
      • Take note of the measurement where the measuring tape hits right below your wrist bone where your shirt cuff would be of your cuff dress shirt.

    • Some slim fit dress shirts include a waist size to ensure a proper fit. Here’s how to measure your waist:
      • Wrap the measuring tape around your natural waist where the waist of your pants usually falls. 
      • Add one finger between your waist and the measuring tape to ensure a little bit of extra wiggle room.

  • Make sure to write all of these different numbers down as you go somewhere that you can easily access this information and ensure that you won’t lose it either! 


When & How to Wear Slim Fit Dress Shirts?

There are so many different occasions that you could wear a slim fit dress shirt to, here are a few examples:

  • A first date 
  • Work
  • Outdoor party
  • A night out
  • Dinner with your parents

Slim fit dress shirts can be worn in so many ways! But here are some basic styling tips and suggestions to keep in mind when putting your clothes together:

  • For a first date, consider wearing a colored slim fit shirt with a nice pair of dress pants and a belt. You can probably ditch the tie for this since you don’t want to look too dressed up.
  • For the office, you could definitely wear a classic white or light blue slim fit dress shirt with dark colored pants. Depending on the formality of your office, you could add a skinny tie to your outfit for a more professional look, or pair it with a houndstooth jacket or blazer.
  • For a more casual outdoor party, you might want to wear a light colored moisture wicking slim fit dress shirt, such as a white dress shirt with khaki pants, a belt, and loafers. 
  • For a night out, consider pairing a darker or even a patterned slim fit dress shirt with a nice pair of jeans, a belt, and some fashionable shoes for a really appealing look. If you want to get a little more formal, consider a button-down collar or a french cuff.
  • For dinner with your parents, you might want to wear an untucked slim fit stretch dress shirt with jeans or khaki pants for a clean look that isn’t too stuffy. 

Overall, slim fit dress shirts are extremely versatile and can be dressed up or dressed down to fit any occasion. You can even choose the type of shirt, such as a slim fit non-iron, cotton dress shirt, or the pattern type, such as a plaid or gingham print dress shirt. Wearing a slim fit dress shirt provides you with a solid base for your attire which you can then pair with the perfect dress pants, belt, shoes, watch, etc.

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