Can Men’s Shirts be Altered in Size?
Posted on 23rd January 2019 at 20:49
There’s nothing better than a well-fitted, freshly ironed shirt to make you feel great for a meeting or social occasion. Getting the right fit is important so you don’t look or feel scruffy or uncomfortable, and you’ll find plenty of options for you off-the-shelf in most stores.
Whether it’s a smart shirt, casual, slim, or comfortable fit, there’s a shirt style out there for you and we recently shared a post on getting the best fitting shirt for you, too.
But can you go a step further with your shirt fit? Can you adjust the size of an existing shirt?
Actually, yes you can. And it’s all down to the way the shirt is made…
A shirt is similar to a jacket in the way it’s made. With sleeve, collar, seams, pockets, cuffs and the rear of the shirt made from sections, there are a lot of similarities to the way a jacket is made. We’ve shared how to resize a men’s jacket on the blog, and we thought we should also share what’s possible with a shirt too. So here you go!
Two ways to tailoring shirt…
A men’s shirt can be tailored very easily and it’s covered in two ways:
#1 Taking it in through the seams at the sides
When you look at a shirt you can clearly see the sections at the sides and then of course the sleeves. The sides of the shirt where the seams meet give you creative license to resize and make more room in the shirt. From under the sleeve to the hem you’ll see a clear line where the shirt’s material meets, and this is where a tailor can take the shirt out and resize.
#2 By creating “darts” in the back section of the shirt
Back darts are essentially stitches that run down the back of the shirt to help contour the shirt to the shape of the body and give a better fit. They’re a great technique for creating a great-fitting shirt and are basically like floating vertical seams running parallel down the back of the shirt.
A shirt can be let out like this too in the same way, providing these darts already feature.
The long arm law…
Your sleeve length is important to get right and if you don’t want to look like a teenager who’s borrowed his Dad’s shirt, then you’ll pay attention to this area. The sleeves are also an area of the shirt you might want to resize if they’re not right for you. All men have different length arms!
As we’ve mentioned before, when you’re buying a manufactured shirt you rarely get the choice of sleeve length and this can be an issue if you have a smaller chest size compared to the sleeve length needed.
Getting this area right can only be done if you want shorter arms than you currently have, though.
Shortening shirt sleeves involves taking the cuffs off and then trimming away the unwanted material and then reattaching the cuff in the same way. This is ideal for a shirt with a sleeve too long but obviously no help if the sleeves are too short!
Let your body out…
Another area of the shirt that you can resize is the body of the shirt, but once again there’s only one way you can go and that’s up!
You can shorten the body of the shirt and make the shirt shorter overall, or even make it square at the hem if you want to wear the shirt outside of your trousers. Adjusting the length is fairly simple and gives you the option to wear your shirt in a different way than the design was intended. Alternatively you may want to simply take away some excess material so it tucks into your trousers more easily, with less material to hide.
Customise you, sir…
One of the best things about shirts though is the sheer number of customisations that you can do to them, away from resizing.
A breast pocket can be removed.
Your shirt can be converted from long sleeves to short sleeves.
If the collar is well worn it can sometimes be turned the other way or removed to create a ‘grandad’ style casual shirt.
Why not change the buttons for something more interesting or bespoke?
Get creative and add some real flair and style to your old favourite or buy one off the shelf and make it your own!
Of course, we feel this is all best left to a professional!
If you need help to resize or customise a shirt then pop into our Warwick men’s store and we’ll take a look for you and ask our seamstress to ‘pimp your shirt’! (We may not use those words!)
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Tagged as: Adjustments, Alterations, Fashion, Garment Care, Men's Fashion, Shirts, Tailoring, Warwick
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