Everyone loves a good ‘old T-Shirt. It is a staple in anyone’s closet, regardless of age, race, or gender.
A T-Shirt can easily be dressed up or down for almost any occasion. You can wear a T-Shirt with jeans and sneakers on a lazy school day.
You can wear a T-Shirt with shorts and gym shoes to work out. You can dress it up by wearing a fancy dress and heels over it for a date night. You can dress it down with some shorts as you lounge at home with friends.
Fashion moves in a quick cycle, much quicker than furniture or home goods. It takes to account current trends, and a style can fall as quickly as it rises.
You would not have to worry about this happening to T-Shirts because they are here to stay. They have basically reached cult status along with denim jeans as pieces that can last you a lifetime in terms of style and design.
You might think a T-Shirt is just like any other T-Shirt – one of your twenty shirts. This could be further from the case, which is why you probably have a favorite T-Shirt.
You may even have a duplicate of your favorite one (just in case, right?). Well, that is further from the truth. T-Shirts come in different qualities and standards – no two stores sell the same. Rather than bulk buying a bunch of T-Shirts that will eventually lead to waste, let us become more eco-conscious consumers and analyze how to find your perfect T-Shirt size.
After all, a good-fitting T-Shirt can last you a lifetime, and with tees, comfort is key.
Table of Contents
How to Choose the Perfect T-Shirt Size?
1. Know Your Measurements
The perfect fit is different from person to person, as we all come in different shapes and sizes. Generally, finding the perfect size will require you to choose something that best flatters the shape of your body. It is important to begin by taking the necessary measurements – shoulder, chest, and length.
This is easier done with someone measuring you instead of you measuring yourself. Stand straight and locate the shoulder points where each shoulder meets the arm.
Measure the length of the two shoulder points using a measuring tape. Note that the measuring tape must follow the curve of your body and not as a straight line.
Stand normally without flexing or arching too much and have the arms hanging down in a natural position. Measure around the fullest part of your chest, under your armpits. Make sure that the tape measure is snugly placed.
Typically, the length of the T-Shirt should be below your waistband by a few inches for a regular fit. You can either measure the back base of your neck down to the lowest point you want your T-Shirt to be.
You can also measure from the highest point of your shoulder down again to where you want the bottom hem to be.
2. Try on the T-Shirt
With these measurements, you are able to compare them with size charts of different brands. Since there is no universal sizing guide, do not be shocked if you are a medium on one brand and a large on the next. To really be able to nail the fit, it is always best to try on the T-Shirt.
These are factors you should look out for when trying on a tee:
The length of a T-Shirt should generally hang below the hips. It covers the waistband and goes down an extra 1-2 inches. It should not expose your stomach when you raise your arms. Ensure that you try raising your arms when you fit the tee, and you are satisfied with its length.
Shoulders are the biggest indicator to examine if a T-Shirt fits you well. Ideally, the seams along the shoulders should reach the tip of your shoulder, at the top of your arm.
If they do not reach your shoulders, it is too small. If they extend over your shoulders, it becomes an oversized drop shoulder style or is too big.
The tightness of a T-Shirt can be telling about a person. Ideally, it should not be too tight or too loose. If a tee is too loose, it will create a shapeless silhouette and create a boxy fit.
If a tee is too tight, it can become unflattering and cause the tee to stretch and burst the seams. Choose an in-between fit that is both comfortable and tailored to your body type.
3. Know Your Body Type
Body types play a role in how a T-Shirt can fit. Nobody is the same – and it is important to choose the style that best fits your preferences. Below are the five commonly known body types for men:
Rectangle Body Type
A rectangle body type composes of your shoulders and waist to be roughly similar in width. Your proportions are relatively equal. It is a straight silhouette and is the most common male body type.
Oval Body Type
An oval body type is quite similar to a rectangle, but with a key difference. Your waist is the widest part of your body, and your shoulders and hips are more narrow. This is a more common shape for older men.
Triangle Body Type
A triangle body type composes of a wider lower half as compared to the shoulders.
Inverted Triangle Body Type
An inverted triangle body type is seen as a more athletic body type. You have broader and more muscular shoulders that are much wider than the waist, forming an inverted triangle shape.
Trapezoid Body Type
A trapezoid body type is a less extreme version of the inverted triangle with more balanced proportions. You have wide shoulders, with a slightly more narrow waist and hips.
By knowing your body type, it is easier to identify the perfect fit of a T-Shirt for you. Note that it would also depend on your goal and how you want to appear.
4. Choose a Fit
Below are the four most common fits of T-Shirts:
A slim-fit cut hugs the body more than your average tee. Sleeves are usually tighter around the arms. This cut is usually worn by more athletic builds or anyone who wants to show off their figure.
This option is ideal for a rectangle, inverted triangle, or trapezoid body type.
A classic fit has just the ideal amount of space. It generally hangs on the straighter side with well-fitted shoulders.
It is perfect for a comfortable yet smart look. This option is ideal for any body type and is a safe choice.
A modern fit is similar to a classic fit but is more structured in shape while still giving you an optimum amount of space. This option is also ideal for any body type and elevates the overall fit.
An oversized fit is usually one to two sizes bigger than your usual size. It has become a popular trend, even outside the skater culture. This option is ideal for oval body types. It can also be worn by inverted triangle body types to create a more balanced look.
5. Price, Fabric, and Design Details
Think you have found your perfect T-Shirt and size? We hope so! A few factors that you can also look into are price, fabric, and design details.
Some tees may retail for $50, which seems pretty pricey for a shirt. However, more expensive tees usually equate to higher quality materials and construction details. These tend to last a long time and can survive the wear and tear life cycle of clothes.
The cheapest option is not always the right option in this scenario. Fabrics also play an important role in a good T-Shirt. Ideally, shirts that are made of 100% cotton are the way to go.
It is uber comfortable to the skin and extremely breathable. You can also opt for cotton-polyester blends which are less likely to shrink in the wash and less prone to wrinkling.
Lastly, a T-Shirt does not need to be just your regular crew neck one. Play around with design details like a fun patch pocket to add a dressier vibe. You can also opt for some graphics or text. Another option is to try a different neckline – perhaps a V-neckline for a change.
Overall, finding the perfect T-Shirt and size is difficult. There are plenty of components that go into it, and one must be critical in choosing the right one.
Having the perfect fit tee will definitely boost your confidence as you wear it wherever you go and whatever you are doing. At the end of the day, the right fit is the one that makes you feel best and most confident.
Kathleen, more commonly called Kaye, is a fashion designer and creative. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Clothing Technology from the University of the Philippines. Kaye is a fashion enthusiast interested in styling, content writing, and illustration. She has worked with several local and international brands and is currently in the pursuit of beginning her Master’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising in New York.