This t-shirt fit guide, complete with photos and a video, will show you exactly how a t-shirt should fit – regardless of your build.
Just like jeans, t-shirts are essential wardrobe items that every man needs to own.
They're comfortable, casual and versatile, so you really need to have a few t-shirts that fit well and make you look great.
Just like any other garments, t-shirts need to fit well. Even a $500 designer t-shirt will look terrible if it doesn't fit properly.
On one side of the spectrum, you have ill-fitting, worn out tees with obnoxious graphics on them, which make even the most handsome men among us like a sloppy teenagers.
One the other side, you have fitted, high quality t-shirts in versatile, solid colors or tasteful patterns. These are universally flattering, regardless of age, skin tone or body type.
Needless to say, we're going for the latter.
But as shorter guy, it can be tough to find t-shirts that fit and flatter your build.
At about 5'6″, I struggle to find t-shirts that aren't too long for me. Maybe you've experienced this too. Or maybe you've experienced other fit problems with t-shirts, like the sleeves being too long and wide, or the whole shirt being too baggy.
I feel your pain because, let's be honest, most t-shirts aren't designed to fit the shorter man.
But don't worry, I have good news for you! Sharp Casualwear makes t-shirts that fit perfectly on the shorter frame, which is why I'm using one of their shirts for this guide.
If you prefer reading over video, read on!
You may remember my original Sharp Casualwear review, in which I explained that the length and quality of the shirts was fantastic, but they weren't quite slim enough for my 120 pounds frame.
I relayed this feedback to Sharp Casualwear founder, Danny Hernandez, and it turns out he really listens to his customers.
They now offer a trim fit option, alongside a regular and broad fit. So pretty much any man of modest height can achieve the perfect fit.
But how should a t-shirt fit? Glad you asked, let's talk about the four most important aspects: shoulders, sleeves, torso and length.
You want to make sure the shoulders aren't too wide. The best way to do this is find where your shoulder ends and your arm begins, and make sure the shoulder seam doesn't go too far past that.
It's okay if it doesn't land directly on top of your shoulder bone, but make sure the seams aren't hanging down on your upper arm.
This is a clear sign that the shirt is too big for you.
Moving on to the sleeves, you want to pay attention to both length and width. Your sleeves should end about halfway between your armpit and elbow.
Don't feel the need to get the measuring tape out or anything like that. Just make sure the sleeves aren't too close to your elbow (which will make your arms look shorter).
For the width, you want to make sure your sleeves aren't tenting out away from your arms. This can make it hard for people to appreciate your guns and give them the respect they deserve!
Instead, the sleeves should fit closely around your arm without being tight or restrictive (like a compression shirt you might wear for working out).
The torso is made up of the chest, the stomach and the hips. You're aiming for a fitted look – not too tight but not too loose.
If you see tension lines between your pecs, the shirt is too tight, or you simply bench press too much, bruh.
You should be able to pinch about 2-3 inches of fabric on either side of your torso. Any more than that, and the shirt might be too loose.
If you can't pinch at least an inch of fabric on either side, it may be too tight.
The most problematic part of t-shirts for short men is the length. It seems like every t-shirt is made for guys who are super tall and skinny, or morbidly obese pre-teens.
Your shirt should go about two inches past your waistband (or the bottom of your belt), and it should end right around mid-fly.
If it goes all the way to the bottom of your fly, it's too long and will make you look shorter.
At 5'6″, I don't think there's anything wrong with being a shorter man, but I think we can all agree that we don't want to look shorter than we actually are.
Do your t-shirts fit?
Now that you know how a t-shirt is supposed to fit, it might be a good idea to do an audit of your current t-shirt collection. Do they fit properly?
If they're too long, you can get the hemmed. This is a great option if you already have some that you love but that are too long.
Just make sure you go to a tailor who can handle knits (most wedding dress alteration places are safe bets).
If the sleeves are too long, you can roll them up (cuff them) once or twice.
But if the shoulders are to wide, you can't fix that, so it's best to replace the shirt with one that fits properly.
So, if you're frustrated with how most t-shirts fit off the rack, I highly recommend checking out Sharp Casualwear.
Questions about t-shirt fit? Leave a comment below!
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