How an Untucked Casual Shirt Should Fit – A Visual Guide

How an Untucked Casual Shirt Should Fit

When looking for the perfect, form-fitting untucked casual shirt, you must take into account all aspects of the shirt to achieve the perfect fit. Everything from collar height to armholes. Here are some of the essential tips we provided.

Collar Height:

Ideally, the collar height and point length are proportional to your size and shape. One that's too big will make a smaller man look like Travolta and one that's too small on a larger guy will emphasize his torso size.

On the backside of your collar, it should rest naturally on, and conform to, the back of your neck. The presence of a collar gap can indicate a shirt that is overall too large or a torso that is too tight.

Sleeves:

Sleeves should have about 1 and 1/4 inch extra fabric when pulled away from the arm to provide a fitted appearance while also allowing natural movements without the sleeve becoming noticeably tight.

The sleeve should end right at the divot in out wrist at the very base of your thumb bone.

Shoulders:

Contrary to common interpretation, the shoulder seam should fall on the edge of your shoulder bone not the edge of your shoulder muscle.

Armholes: 

Higher armholes provide the proper form we're looking for. To test, raise your arms to the side 45 degrees: if the hem of your shirt pulls up more than an inch or so, the armholes are too low.

Buttons:

The button placket should not pucker either at rest or when taking a large breath in. If it does, the shirt is too tight.

The front of the shirt should end halfway down the zipper and the bottom curve of the zipper flap on your jeans.

Shirt Body and Cuffs:

The body of the shirt should be fitted to create a nice silhouette. “Fitted” doesn't just mean slim, larger guys and guys of different shapes need their shirts to be fitted too. A baggy shirt isn't hiding your size and shape, it's just telling everyone that your shirt is too big. For skinnier guys fitted doesn't mean skin tight – for a man of any size the shirt should pull out from the body about 3 inches and no more than 4.

Cuffs should have 1-1.5 inches clearance to allow easy access to your watch.

 

Men's Style Lab
Men's Style Lab

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • joshskies

    could you address the collar fitment on this as well? Too many times, I’ve seen the collar flatten which makes one look more like a disco king with the collar ends pointing out vs staying upright pointing down and peaking to frame the neck and head…

    I’m guessing it would require some starching and maybe collar stays.

    Love the blog, Andy, keep on keepin on.

    • browneagle44 ロベルト

      That’s an issue I have with Perry Ellis Portfolio shirts, which I sometimes (like today) wear sans ties. Even with stays, they flatten out!

    • OneDollarBill

      Magnetic collar stays are great for this. I use them any time I am wearing a collared shirt with out a tie. The shirt collars stay nice and vertical all day. It also makes the shirt look better when paired with a sport coat as it keep the tips of the collar from popping over the jacket.

      • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

        Agreed!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      This is definitely a problem, and is often caused by a shirt that is too big and unbuttoned too far. I love magnetic collar stays from brands like Wurkin Stiffs
      http://www.primermagazine.com/2012/spend/style-essentials-wurkin-stiffs-magnetic-collar-stays

      As well as the Fashion Anchor:
      http://fashionanchors.com

      • joshskies

        I have never seen the Fashion Anchors before… Great idea! Definitely looking into those. Thanks!

  • snowmanjack

    Anyone have recommendations on finding no-iron shirts that fit like these under $40-50? I’d rather not fork out $100 for untuckit, but everything else is too long or not slim-fit.

    • Joey Lenz

      Try uniqlo, but look at the product measurements online first. If this doesn’t work for you, I honestly just spend the $8 to get my shirts hemmed shorter. Your height and shirt size is a factor obviously, I wear an XL at 5’8” and a 32 pants…so I get everything altered.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      I’ve had luck with no iron shirts from Gap.

    • Daniel

      J. Crew Factory. Voyager wrinkle free shirts. Best I’ve owned. Runner up: GAP.

      • Daniel

        The Thompson shirts are really great too.

  • Adam

    Love this kind of article. Easy to follow advice that’s almost impossible to get wrong. Thanks for another great post.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Awesome! So happy you like it. 🙂

  • Steve Borsi

    Where can I find shirts for men with short torso. I’m 5′ 11″, but every shirt I buy is too long. Even Untuckit shirts are too long?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      You could try a place like Peter Manning who focuses on guys with shorter proportions.
      http://petermanningnyc.com

  • proteinnerd

    when getting a shirt for casual untucked wear hemmed/shortened in the body do you get them to follow the curve of the bottom or get them to straighten out the bottom? I was under the impression that shirts cut with a tail and front but slightly higher on the hip were actually cut/designed to be worn tucked in and only shirts flat across the bottom were actually cut and designed to be worn untucked?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      You would get it to follow the curve. Completely flat bottom shirts aren’t very common/popular among guys 20-35. More so for older gents. If it’s a very dramatic curve, you could get it lessened if you’d like.

  • Scott

    I am never able to find the correct size casual shirt to fit me. Small is too tight on my chest but is the right length but medium is too long but fits well…does anyone else have this issue, and if so, where have you found shirts that actually fit the shmedium body type :/

    • Rob

      Lands End makes “tailored fit” shirts. They’re broader across the shoulders, but fit more closely at the waist. Otherwise it sounds like the perfect opportunity to take your medium shirts to a tailor and get the hemmed.

      • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

        Great suggestion!

  • Jay

    Impeccable timing as usual. I was wondering about shirt fit (particularly tail length) earlier this week. Thanks for the guide!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      You’re welcome! Glad it helped!

  • Cody H

    Any suggestions for casual shirts that have a sleeve length ~36″ for XL? Places like the Gap have 34″ and are way too short for my arms.

  • Jadrenko

    I usually check if I can hunch freely when I fit a shirt. But being 5’8″ the tail will always be too long for me. Should I have it trimmed? Or should I just always tuck in my shirt?

  • Michael McMahan

    Any suggestions for untucked shirts for a short guy? I’m about 5’5″ and need to find shirts to wear untucked that don’t make me look like an 8 year old wearing my dads shirt. I am thinking I’ve heard J Crew? Any other suggestions?