The older I’ve gotten, the more my style has matured and, with that, I’ve fallen in love with tailored clothes. I love it when my blothes feel like they were cut for my body and my body alone. The problem is, I don’t have the money to have my clothes made for me. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting on to find the perfect fit on everything from office attire to workout clothes.
As a teen, I only bought classic/traditional cut shirts because, at the time, men’s clothing options were few and far between. But, as men’s fashion has become more and more specialized, more options have been made available to us. And, with more brands catering to men, I can say that almost everyone has an option that can fit their body and their budget. There are are a few things you need to know first though before buying your shirts.
1 – Get sized. Forget cut. That’s secondary. You will never look good in a dress shirt that is the wrong size. Any menswear store that sells professional clothes ought to be able to properly measure your neck size and sleeve length (the two components that go into dress shirt sizing). I am partial to Nordstrom because I worked there and I know that everyone who works in the mens suits and furnishings department is properly trained on sizing but, as I said, anywhere from Men’s Wearhouse to Macy’s should be able to do this for you at no cost to you.
2 – Find the right cut. Looking at the picture above, figure out what cut would look best on you (while allowing you to be comfortable. If you are a slim/athletic guy, what you don’t want is an extremely blousy shirt. Sure, when you wear a suit jacket or blazer, no one will be able to tell but, what about the days you decide that slacks and a shirt are enough?
3 – Find the right brand. Lacoste’s “Trim Fit” is not the same as Nordstrom’s. And Hugo Boss has a cut called “Sharp Fit” (which I love but will not buy unless it’s on sale). Every brand is not for everyone and it’s not always about budget. I’ve seen folks who don’t need to buy a Sharp Fit put it on just because they want a $150 Boss shirt. Don’t be that person.
4 – Look at reviews. What you don’t want is a shirt that is going to fall apart on you or look like it was cheaply made. I buy all of my clothes on sale because I like to make sure that I’m wearing brands that will hold up. When it comes to shirts, you can find some great prices on Nordstrom brand shirts (my brand of choice) of all cuts at Norstrom Rack. And, if you don’t get the wear you think you should out of it, they stand behind their product and will replace it.
Whether walking into an interview or handing in your letter of resignation, your wardobe should leave a lasting impression and, being that a man’s shirt is the foundation of each professional outfit, it’s integrity should never be compromised. So don’t compromise it.
Make professional development a priority.