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Slim-Fit Shirt-Buying Help for someone with no reference point

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    Slim-Fit Shirt-Buying Help for someone with no reference point

    Hi all - I'm very sorry for posting about something which I know is covered in other places, but I have a lot of difficulty deciphering exactly how slim-fitting different slim fit shirts are, as I have no real reference point to compare them to. I just graduated college this past spring, and I've been wearing my brothers' hand-me-down "regular" fit Brooks Brothers button-downs. They're basically dresses on me.

    That said, now that I am heading to grad school, I really need to purchase some better fitting shirts. And here's my slightly unique problem. I'm thin. And by that I mean really thin. I rowed D1 lightweight in college, or, in other words, I was 6'4", 155 pounds. Now that I'm out of season, that's more like 175 pounds, but still, you get the idea. And I read even thinner because almost all of my body's muscle is in my upper legs (which are actually pretty large). So all of my regular fit shirts are dresses on me, and even my fathers' Paul Rosen slim fits (its the only brand of slim fit I could get my hands on as reference point!) look a little large.

    So now I'm looking for some very slim cut shirts at a reasonable price point. Dappared has posted some good looking options in the past, but its really hard to know how well they will fit, because of my abnormal bodytype. Can anyone help me out here? I've been thinking maybe CT slim fit or tailored shirts, because people seem to think they are some of the slimmest, but I could really use some advice. Thanks so much!!


    @hon140: There is never a need to apologize, we're all here to help and bounce ideas off one another! What's your chest and waist measurement? Additionally, you say that your brooks brother shirts feel like dresses...but do they fit in the shoulders? Perhaps you can just get them tailored. Send some pics if you have any.



      I searched forever for a good slim fit shirt, as I am sure you have noticed most of them aren't very slim. I finally landed on Nordstrom smartcare trim fit shirts as the best. Trim, and good quality. Plus many of them can be had for half off right now with free shipping and free returns, so no risk!

      Give it a shot



        Hon, go the MTM route.


        moderntailor(do the trial shirt to learn your measurements)



        indochino(you get alteration credit too I believe)


        etc etc.

        It will end up costing roughly the same as most decent OTR shirts.



          +1 on the MTM route, it's really the only way to be sure. If you don't want to do that, I'd suggest Express for one of the slimmest fits around: size down AND get the "extra slim" size. Tyrwhitt tailored fit, which is their slimmest, isn't nearly as trim as the ES from Express. Other options would be the Calibrate Slim Fit at Nordstrom.

          To be wholly truthful though, speaking as a very slim person myself who has struggled with finding appropriately slim shirts, your only real options to be wholly satisfied are to order MTM or get an off the rack slim fit and have it tailored (taking in the sides/darting AND slimming sleeves).



            Jcrew Might fit you, they are the only brand so far where a regular medium is intended for someone built more athletic, I'd imagine their medium slim fit tall for example would fit somewhat well, their size chart is pretty accurate for regular size(eg medium is tops about 42 chest, and the waist is about 34-35. If you can find their slim fit variant it might work for you, or you can go instore if you have one around.



              I'm 6'1" and 145. I would buy CT shirts, but they don't do a 14.5/34.

              I got home yesterday and tried on everything that was delivered while I was away. My custom Ratio shirt fit perfectly, of course. But the 4 Brooks Brothers shirts were nearly perfect too for less money. They are just a hair tight in the chest while the Ratio shirt gets that right (they ask for your chest size).

              CT and BB make so many sizes and fits, you are bound to find a combo that works. Just be sure to start by buying ONLY solid color shirts in white, blue, ecru, light blue, and light pink before picking up (even on sale) striped shirts or other patterns.

     sure you know your exact neck and sleeve measurement. Then buy the Extra Slim Fit from BB or the slimmest fit (Tailored?) from CT.

              Don't buy a Small or Medium. Please. You can find Small/Medium Talls in limited colors - that might work for you. But at 6'4", the sleeve would probably end mid-forearm on you.



                Unlike Acoustic, I accept your apology. (He is right: there's no need to apologize.)

                I suggest buying a shirt from a few different brands, then keep the one that has the best fit. The shirt can be tailored to perfection as long as the shoulders, armpits, and sleeve length are good.



                  Yeah - at a certain point you have to try some things on.



                    Thanks so much for the quick and helpful replies! You guys are fantastic.

                    @ Acoustic: My chest is a 42 and my waist is a 31.5 (wears a 32).

                    @ Everyone else: Later today I'm heading out to visit a few stores and try on some shirts! I'm very excited. I think I'll spend the most time checking out the Brooks Brothers and J Crew options. I'm planning on purchasing 5 shirts. I have enough saved up that I feel comfortable spending a pretty solid amount of money on at least 2 of those, so I'll be getting two MTM shirts from ratio. I tend to be a dressier guy, so I plan on wearing them frequently, and I want at least one or two really great go-to shirts. That leaves 3 from other brands.

                    Out of total curiosity, because I'll be buying white and sky gingham semi-spreads from Ratio, does anyone own their dark blue houndstooth? It looks gorgeous.



                      Be sure to check out the Extra Slim cut at BB.

                      If you haven't ever used before, check them out for sure, they have a promotion where your first MTM shirt from them is ~35 with shipping from Shanghai (only in white or blue), and the fabric feels pretty damn good. You'll pay a lot more than that at Ratio.



                        Don't have the houndstooth... But be sure to like Ratio on Facebook to get their new customer promo code.



                          +1 for MTM. Brooks Bros is probably worth checking out, but I wouldn't be surprised if their shirts would be too short in the sleeves ( I wear a 14.5/34 and I'm 5'9" and 145). I just put up a review of my MTM experiences with Ratio, Cottonwork and Proper Cloth if you'd like to check it out:


                          Personally, I recommend Proper Cloth over Ratio but they're both solid companies. Good luck!


                 - my blog




                            Nordstorm has their own size and fit section for all dress shirts.



                              Ian - BB makes 14.5/34 in a number of styles. In their recently-ended sale, I bought 4 staples for $212 plus $35 in shipping and taxes. If you can get what you want OTR, you can save money. Still, I got my second Ratio shirt in this week, and while I'm very happy with the BB fit, Ratio shirts can't be beat. I've got an unusually small neck, so to get the neck right OTR (for wearing ties, etc.), I wind up with a tight fit in the chest.