How to Take Your Measurements for a Great Fitting Dress Shirt
So you’ve decided to get a made-to-measure dress shirt? Congratulations are in order. Not only are custom-fit dress shirts more comfortable to wear, but they are also far more flattering than most anything you’ll pull directly from the shelf of a department store. We’ve compiled a list of easy to follow video instructions to put you on the right track.
What you’ll need:
- A flexible cloth measuring tape
- A partner for those hard to measure areas (optional)
Measuring the Neck
To measure the neck, wrap the tape measure around the back of your neck. Bring it around to the front, just under the Adam’s apple, and leave room for fit allowance. You can mark this by leaving a bit of space between the neck and where you close the tape measure’s loop. The extra give here ensures a comfortable fit while giving you control of just how relaxed around the throat the shirt should be.
We recommend a 2-finger allowance.
Measuring for Long Sleeves
To measure for a long sleeve dress shirt, you’ll want to start in the middle of the neck. From there you'll measure down to the shoulder, and then from the shoulder to the middle of the back of your hand (or wherever you want the shirt cuff to stop). This is a 3-point measurement as demonstrated below.
An accurate chest measurement is crucial to the comfort of your dress shirt. To give yourself the best fit, find the most prominent part of your chest – usually across the nipples – and start there. Wrap the tape measure around your back and be sure the end result is level all the way around.
For the waist measurement, you'll want to find the area just above where your pant will sit. Wrap the tape measure around the circumference of your body and make sure the loop is level all the way around.
Measuring for Shirt Length
For the shirt length, you'll want to start in the middle of the neck, just under the collar. Run the tape measure down the spine and stop where you want the shirt to end. When in doubt, measure to the crease of the buttocks.
A common misconception here is to measure across from one shoulder to the other in a straight line. But your body is built to include curves. So, to get a more accurate measurement, start at the top of one shoulder, measure up to the middle bottom of the neck, then from there you go back down to the other shoulder. Like so:
Find the widest part of your hips, usually at the hip bone, and wrap the tape measure around the circumference of your body. As with the chest and waist measurements, be sure to keep the tape level all the way through.
To measure the bicep, put your arm straight out and then bend up to form a 90-degree angle at the elbow. Resist the urge to flex. Find the largest area of the bicep and measure the full circumference.
An accurate wrist measurement starts at the widest part of your wrist. Typically, this is the wrist bone. Wrap the tape measure around the circumference of your wrist.
Note: If your wardrobe revolves around watches, as some do, be sure to note a watch allowance. Generally, this allowance is either .25, .5, or .75 inches but will depend on the size of your watch. Add this measurement to the side you wear the watch on. If you’re opting for a wider cuff, then this may not be a necessity at all.
Ask Our Stylist: Unique Collar Styles and How to Use Them
Menswear, especially where dress shirts are concerned, offers a myriad of variations for the fashionably inclined. From the cut, the fit, the cuffs and up to the collar, designing your perfect dress shirt with Original Stitch is as easy as knowing what you want. Our design tools allow users the opportunity to mix and match styles to create looks that stand out, blend in, or simply boost confidence.
Take our unique collar styles, for instance. Here are the first four that should be on your radar.
- The Stand Collar – An oft-overlooked, but super versatile, style that has its roots in Chinese culture. The stand collar can be surprisingly clean cut when styled to be. Best bet – go with no breast pocket and flat bottom hem for a long, lean, look. Long sleeves can be hiked up the forearms just a tad while short sleeves can be cuffed to add vintage appeal.
- The Round Button-Down Collar – A variant of the standard club collar. The round button-down may initially register as a bit off-putting due to the curved points, but don’t think about that too hard. All you need to know is that the round button-down looks great undone at the neck. Sure, it can pull off a skinny tie and add a bit of British flair to your ensemble like nobody’s business, but the open collar under a slim fit blazer lets just the right amount of air out of any formal attire.
- The Spread Collar – The spread collar is considered the default collar in European business wear. It looks like the regular collars you’re used to seeing on standard dress shirts, but it features a 5” to 6” spread from point to point. This extra space accommodates ties of a heavier material like cashmere and wool.
- The Cutaway Collar – This collar style is a rendition of the spread collar. The biggest difference here is that it goes wide – more than 6” from point to point – and can run as a straight line across the neck. The key to a collar this aggressive is to be bold when accessorizing. A large tie knot, like the Balthus knot, comes in handy here.
When it’s all said and done, your style is unique to you. But if you’re looking to add a little something extra, then choosing a distinct collar style is about as easy a leap as you can make. And with this unique collar guide, you’ll have a leg up on how to pull them off effortlessly.
At Original Stitch, we offer a fully customizable collection (yes, even the collar type!) of premium quality shirts. Customers can create a shirt completely unique to them. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from and tailored in Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than regular button-up shirts.
When should a dress shirt be tucked in? When can you leave it untucked? These seem like simple questions with simple answers, but the truth is the rules are somewhat played fast and loose. You know those guys, with untucked shirts at classically traditional events like weddings, making the men in suits feel a little overdressed? Possibly waltzing around movie theaters on a Sunday wearing a tucked in dress shirt and making everyone else wonder what they do for a living. They make it work.
The reason for that is simple: it isn’t the venue that regulates the notion of acceptable tucked versus untucked looks. It's the rules and learning how to properly bend them. So here is a list of do’s and don’ts to get you started.
• Hem: This is by far the one rule to follow. Normally, a formal dress shirt will have a rounded hem at the bottom. This feature usually runs about 2 inches long curving upwards from the center back to the side seems. Casual shirts, on the other hand, tend to be straight hemmed and hang about an inch all the way around. The focal point here is the length. If you want to break this rule, pay attention to the cut AND length of your jib—er, shirt.
• The Blazer: Wearing a blazer is a clear indication to tucking in your dress shirt. Blazers make most any outfit more formal by design. That’s not to say that these versatile jackets can’t be dressed down, in fact, that’s what they’re most known for these days. But they’re generally worn with at least one button fastened. Going untucked dress shirt and buttoned jacket is a no-no combination.
• Style of Pant: The type of pant worn with a dress shirt is equally important when discussing tucked versus untucked looks. Typically, pleated slacks and slim fit trousers accommodate the rounded, and hence, more formal hems.
How to break the rules:
• Hem: As discussed above, the rule here targets styles of hem. However, if you want to throw that out the window completely then by all means go for it. Length is where the money is anyway. Anything below your pant’s inseam is too long. Anything above the middle of the fly front is too short. But the zone in between is going to be your sweet spot.
• The Sports Coat: Very near to the blazer is the sports coat. What’s the difference, you ask? Don’t worry, we’ve covered that too, but the most notable difference is sports coats were made to be the casual jacket pairing. This means you can pop them on over a short sleeved, untucked, dress shirt (or t-shirt for that matter) and leave the coat unbuttoned.
• Style of Pant: Jeans and chinos rule supreme where untucked shirts are concerned. Take into account the sports coat and hem length here and you can see how these pant styles can go from casual wear to a more formal setting with ease.
And there you have it. The basic rules – and how to break them – for wearing your dress shirt tucked versus untucked.
Separately, these points may seem like no brainers, but when put together comprehensively, you will start to spot more accurately what makes these looks work. At Original Stitch, we offer a fully customizable collection (yes, even the collar type!) of premium quality shirts. Customers can create a shirt completely unique to them. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from and tailored in Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than regular button-up shirts.
Everything You Need To Know About Thread Count & Dress Shirts
Let’s talk about thread count. It’s a subject that has made the jump from sheets to shirts, and anyone aware of the move knows that higher quality tends to follow closely behind. But why is that? What does thread count have to do with the make of your shirt? It’s pretty simple, really. Thread count describes the number of threads per square inch of a particular fabric. This directly correlates to the comfort and durability of the textiles produced. Higher thread count fibers are usually finer – the finer the thread, the softer the fabric and stronger the tensile strength. Here’s how it works.
- Warp and Weft: These terms are used to define the vertical (warp) and horizontal (weft) run of threads woven together. The number of threads used to complete one square inch of fabric in this manner combines to become the thread count. For instance, 75 warp threads and 75 weft threads would result in a 150-thread count cloth.
- Ply: No, we’re not talking toiletries, although the association is relevant. Ply refers to the number of yarns twisted together to produce a single thread. All things considered equal, single ply fabrics tend to be smoother and more delicate. Two ply fabrics are stronger and typically heavier.
Bias: Bias is how fabrics stretch in conjunction with warp and weft. Every piece of fabric has two biases perpendicular to each other. The goal is to create a little give by cutting along the bias direction. This technique, known as “bias cut”, is largely utilized in fashion to capitalize on the natural fluidity of the threads used, resulting in extra elasticity and flexibility all around.
Weave: Weave refers to the warp and weft patterns used to create textiles. For example, a plain weave is the alternate interlacing of warp threads over and under weft threads. Compare that with a hopsack weave, which adds a second warp and weft thread to the original, and the thread count can effectively be doubled, boosting strength and durability.
What Thread Count Should A Shirt Be?
This is completely subjective. It depends on the style of shirt and your goals for it. Let’s use standard T-shirts as a base. Generally, these tend to be on the lower end clocking in at around 40 to 50. They’re typically lightweight and have tons of stretch but not much in the way of elasticity. You know how that goes, they stretch around the neck or in the sleeves after moderate use, shrink in the wash, etc. A mid-range dress shirt will start at around 60 and top out in the 90s. Here is where you’ll find decent quality that can take a bit of a beating and still retain its shape. High quality dress-shirts range between 100 and 200. These are your softer, more supple, cloths. They have just enough stretch to fit comfortably, while superior elasticity allows them to snap back into fighting form time and time again.
The rule of thumb is simple: the higher the thread count, the higher the quality shirt. Usually.
At Original Stitch, we offer a fully customizable collection (yes, even the collar type!) of premium quality shirts. Customers can create a shirt completely unique to them. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from and tailored in Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than regular button-up shirts. To get notified of new product launches and receive fashionable tips and tricks from our stylists sign up here.
Utility Shirts – The Swiss Army Knife of Men’s Apparel
Utility clothing was introduced in the UK during World War II. They were meant to be cheap, affordable options for the public and act as a sort of wartime ration for folks who needed to stretch a shilling. Consumers were afraid these new government issued garments would be drab and uncomfortable, like military uniforms, but to everyone’s surprise they turned out to be malleable, fashionable, and more durable than what was currently on the market. So, what are utility shirts and how do they draw inspiration from their austere kin?
The Scoop on Utility Shirts
Modern utility shirts are the Jack-of-all-trades for casual wear. You’ve no doubt seen and, very likely, admired them from afar. What’s not to love? They’re rugged, chambray-esque, dress shirts that feature canvas-like texture and myriad styling options. Typically, they were designed using denim, but today, like many trends that come from humble beginnings, the utility shirt has grown into a fashionable subgenre all its own. They’ve evolved to take tough-as-nails weaves like twill and jacquard and combine them with the resilient nature of tensile textiles like cotton to create versatile looks that make pairing easy.
How To Style Utility Shirts
This is where things get fun. Utility shirts can literally be what you make of them. This is even more apt when you take into account our customization options. Generally speaking, utility shirts are meant to be casual, but with a little tweaking, men are incorporating these durable dress shirts into smart wardrobes fit for any contemporary office climate.
Here’s a quick rundown to get you started:
- Collar Styles: The most casual, and easiest to wear unbuttoned, is the spread collar. This feature allows for maximum chill whether paired with jeans or chinos. Pull it together with rolled sleeves and a bit of stubble for a relaxed style with bite.
- Breast Pockets: Opting for a single breast pocket is ideal and gives utility shirts more pairing options in terms of venue. However, don’t be afraid to go with double-breast pockets and short sleeves for warm weather weekend activities. If the double-breast is your intent, consider a button-down collar.
- Color Options: Utility shirts have a tendency to be worn in urban settings with military styles. You’ve probably seen them in some shade of green. To play off of this, and blend in a bit better, choose colors that hover near without completely giving away its casual nature. Maroon, brown, and olive are good starter colors for this. White also works well to add a stylish, yet easygoing, vibe to office attire.
At Original Stitch, we offer a fully customizable collection (yes, even the collar type!) of premium quality utility shirts. Customers can create a shirt completely unique to them. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from and tailored in Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than regular button-up shirts.
To get notified of new product launches and receive fashionable tips and tricks from our stylists sign up here.
What is a tie clip? How does a tie clip work?
Tie Clip Rules (Location and Placement):
- Tie clips should be clasped between your 3rd and 4th shirt buttons
- Your tie clip must clasp over the front of your tie, and under your shirt placket. (Note: Clipping the front of your tie to the back of your tie has no functional purpose and makes your tie look stiff)
- Do not wear a tie clip that is longer than the width of the tie you're wearing
The Do's and Don'ts of Undershirts
Underwear is a relatively new concept - that is, the underwear that we know today. Up until the end of the 19th century, a collared shirt was considered an undergarment. In those days, you’d never see much of a shirt other than the cuffs and collars. The vanity of having good hygiene is why detachable collars and cuffs were invented so that only the visible parts had to be washed consistently.
Surprisingly, undergarments were not initially developed to protect the body from the elements nor to add another layer of insulation. A luxury of society's affluent few, undergarments protected the wearer’s skin from abrasive outerwear. The working class of the time was lucky to have a single shirt, as textiles were expensive, laborious, and precious goods.
As with many developments in menswear, the concept of wearing an undershirt was made common during wartime. At the beginning of the 20th century, soldiers would often wear undergarments to protect their uniforms from dirt, and in hot climates, it was more comfortable to just wear the undershirt. After soldiers returned from WWII, sales of undershirts skyrocketed as soldiers wore "T-shirts" as their own as a form of outerwear.
In the present day, undershirts are largely an optional garment and are purely based on the wearer's comfort level when adding an additional layer to the ensemble. If you do choose to wear an undershirt with your dress shirt, there are a few points to remember:
- Wear an undershirt if you sweat profusely: One of the main functions of undershirts is its ability to guard your dress shirt and other layers against damage caused by sweat or your deodorant.
- Undershirts help keep chest hair from poking through the shirt's surface.
- A T-Shirt is not an undershirt: undershirts are thin, formfitting garments that are lightweight and meant to be virtually invisible under your dress shirt.
- Your undershirt should match your skin tone: no, nude shapewear is not just a trademark of the Kardashians. The closer your undershirt is to your natural skin tone, the more invisible it will be under your dress shirt. HACK: When in doubt, choose a light, heathered grey undershirt vs a black or a white option.
- Deep v-neck undershirts, never crew neck: there are few things more tasteless than an exposed undershirt popping out of a dress shirt. With a well-fitting deep v-neck undershirt, you can unbutton both your collar and subsequent button without exposing your undershirt.
Ask Our Stylist: What dress shirts are a "must own"?
Dress shirts are the foundation of a smart wardrobe. Though they are often overlooked in favor of suits, shoes, and accessories, developing your closets shirting selection will give you endless combinations for a myriad of ensemble types. Here are a few of the basics to help you begin building your staple shirting collection.
There is no single wardrobe item (aside from underwear) that is more multipurpose and iconic than the solid white dress shirt. This shirt can be worn in formal, semi-formal, and casual settings and easily elevate an ensemble from iffy to crispy in an instant. Because of its versatility, it gets a lot of use so we'd recommend having at least two in your rotation.
Your fancy white shirts are best used for your more formal soirees like cocktail events, dinner parties, and black-tie. Most often these shirts are constructed with a higher thread count for a brighter sheen (80/2 to 102/2) and woven using a more intricate weaving pattern like a herringbone, hairline stripe, or dobby. We suggest designing your fancy white shirt with a point collar and french cuffs.
Often viewed as the secondary "workhorse" shirt, light blue shirts are a great alternative to your solid white shirts and help introduce color into your shirting collection. We'd suggest doubling up on these shirts as they'll get a lot of wear. A simple poplin weave in a medium weight is great for professional settings, though we'd also suggest an alternate option in an oxford weave and button-down collar for slightly more casual affairs. Lighter shades of blue that are pastel in color are more versatile.
Lilac or Pink
The Lilac or Pink shirt both work in place of each other, and the choice between the two comes down to skin tone. You never want your clothes to wash you out so choosing a shirt color that has a visible contrast between your skin and the shirt cloth is ideal. Similar to your light blue dress shirts, these options help add color to your wardrobe and break up the monotony in your shirt rotation.
Casual can mean many things when determining the formality of a shirt. These things include shirt patterns, fabric types, sleeve length (short or long), collar style, and shirt length. Aside from the aforementioned shirting staples, casual shirts can and should always reflect your personality.
Here are some tips to help you make the right casual shirt choice:
•The larger and bolder the pattern the more casual the shirt
•Button-down collars are the most casual shirt collar second only to the stand collar
•Short sleeves are always casual
•Straight hemlines are more casual than curved hemlines
•Heavier shirt cloths like flannels, canvas, and denim are typically viewed as more casual
Ask Our Stylist: When is it appropriate to unbutton your shirt collar?
In an office environment that observes traditional professional dress standards, you should keep all buttons on your shirt buttoned at all times. This includes collar point buttons on your button-down shirt collar. Typically, in these settings, it is inexcusable to be seen without a jacket, let alone a tie, and note that your shirt must be buttoned to the top while wearing a tie.
In more laidback work environments where a jacket and a tie are not required, it is safe to have your collar button unfastened. This simple "popping of the collar" button produces a relaxed and casual look that also makes you appear more approachable.
Preserving a classy appearance is of utmost importance for a night out. When attending a dinner, it is safe to unbutton your collar button while simultaneously appearing smart and informal. It is considered to be in poor taste to undo any further buttons on your shirt placket, especially if there's a chance that you may sprinkle chest hair into your food.
When at a dance club or a bar, ordering a cocktail, you can both increase ventilation in your shirt and look good by unbuttoning a maximum of two buttons - your collar and the subsequent placket button. There are names for those who display undesirable behaviors such as unbuttoning three or more buttons on their shirts while attempting to attract a mate, and those names are not nice.
You make the rules here, and the temperature usually dictates those rules. For instance, if you're at a backyard BBQ and the sun is beaming on your crisp linen shirt, a maximum of two buttons (your collar and subsequent placket button) may be unfastened. This provides additional ventilation for your shirt and produces a classic summer look that has been mastered by every Hollywood star from Marlon Brando to Ryan Gosling.