The Tailors Guide How to Create the Perfect Fit with

The Tailor’s Guide: How to Create the Perfect Fit with a Dress Shirt

A well-fitted dress shirt is a must-have item in every man’s wardrobe. Not only does it make you look sharp and put-together, but it also indicates attention to detail and professionalism. Unfortunately, finding a perfectly fitting dress shirt off the rack is a rare occurrence. This is where tailoring comes in. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about tailoring a dress shirt to achieve the perfect fit.

Understanding the Perfect Fit

The perfect fit of a dress shirt is subjective and varies from person to person. However, there are a few key elements that define the perfect fit.

  • Collar – The collar should fit snuggly around your neck, with enough space to slip in a finger between the collar and neck.
  • Chest – The shirt should have enough room in the chest area to allow you to breathe and move freely, without excess fabric bunching up.
  • Shoulders – The seams of the shirt should line up with the edges of your shoulders.
  • Sleeves – The sleeves should be long enough to cover your wrists, but not so long as to bunch up at your cuffs.
  • Length – The overall length of the shirt should be long enough to tuck in comfortably, but not so long as to get in the way or bunch up when untucked.

Once you have a good understanding of what the perfect fit entails, it’s time to take your measurements.

Measuring for Tailoring

Before taking your measurements, it’s essential to wear the clothing you plan to wear underneath your dress shirt. This includes any undershirts, jackets, or suits.

  • Collar – Measure around the base of your neck, where the collar of the shirt sits.
  • Chest – Measure around the fullest part of your chest, ensuring that the tape measure is level and not too tight or too loose.
  • Shoulders – Measure from the edge of one shoulder to the other, across the back.
  • Sleeves – With your arm slightly bent, measure from the shoulder seam to the end of your wrist.
  • Length – Measure from the base of your neck to the hemline of the shirt.

Once you have taken your measurements, it’s time to find a tailor.

Choosing a Tailor

Choosing a tailor is an essential step towards achieving the perfect fit. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a tailor:

  • Experience – Look for a tailor with extensive experience in men’s tailoring.
  • Reputation – Read reviews and ask for recommendations to find a reputable tailor.
  • Attention to detail – A good tailor should pay attention to the little details, like the pattern matching and stitching.
  • Communication – Look for a tailor who is willing to communicate with you throughout the tailoring process to ensure you are satisfied with the final product.

Tailoring a Dress Shirt

Once you have found a reputable tailor, it’s time to get your dress shirt tailored. Here are a few things you should discuss with your tailor:

  • Fit – Discuss the fit you are looking for and ask for recommendations from your tailor.
  • Alterations – Ask your tailor what alterations are necessary to achieve the perfect fit.
  • Timing – Ask your tailor how long it will take to complete the alterations and when you can expect to pick up your shirt.

Common Alterations

Here are a few common alterations your tailor may make to your dress shirt to achieve the perfect fit:

  • Slimming the Body – If your dress shirt is too loose around the waist, your tailor may take in the sides of the shirt to create a slimmer silhouette.
  • Taking in the Sleeves – If the sleeves are too baggy, your tailor may take them in for a slimmer fit.
  • Shortening the Sleeves – If the sleeves are too long, your tailor may shorten them to ensure the cuffs sit at the appropriate place on your wrist.
  • Shortening the Body – If your dress shirt is too long, your tailor may shorten the bottom hemline of the shirt to ensure it is at the appropriate length when tucked in.
  • Tapering the Collar – If the collar is too loose or too tight, your tailor may taper the collar to achieve the perfect fit around your neck.


1. What is the average cost of tailoring a dress shirt?

The cost of tailoring a dress shirt can vary depending on the alterations needed, the tailor’s experience, and the location. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $20 to $50 for alterations.

2. How long does it take to tailor a dress shirt?

The time it takes to tailor a dress shirt depends on the alterations needed and the tailor’s workload. On average, it can take anywhere between a few days to a week to complete alterations.

3. Can any dress shirt be tailored?

In general, most dress shirts can be tailored. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the more significant the alterations needed, the more expensive and time-consuming the tailoring process will be.

4. Can I tailor my own dress shirt?

Tailoring a dress shirt requires a high level of skill and experience. It’s recommended that you leave it to the professionals to ensure the best results.


A well-fitted dress shirt is an essential item in every man’s wardrobe. Tailoring a dress shirt can be a game-changer, as it can transform an ill-fitting shirt into a perfectly fitting one. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can achieve the perfect fit and look sharp and professional every day. Remember to take your time when choosing a tailor, as it can make all the difference in the final product.

Source: The Gentleman’s Gazette