When it comes to suiting up, color and fabric are crucial. But there’s nothing more important than fit. After all, there’s a reason why suits, ties and relevant accessories are grouped together under the term “tailoring.” While you should always take your suit pants to the alterations tailor, you might want to find jackets and shirts that fit right, straight off the peg. Suit and shirt alterations can be tricky depending on what you want to accomplish. Fortunately, finding a dress shirt that fits how you want it to is easier than ever, because sizes and styles now extend beyond simply the collar and sleeve measurements or a letter size. For example, you might want to consider a slim-fit dress shirt.
A slim-fit dress shirt is a great way to avoid the billowing fabric around the arms and sides that can come with classic-fit shirts. Slim-fit dress shirts will have slimmer sides for a more streamlined look. Another feature of a slim-fit dress shirt is higher armholes. This makes the sleeves fit more snugly around the arms, to keep your look strictly out of puffy shirt territory. Some slim-fit dress shirts have a shorter hem, allowing them to be worn untucked in a more casual way. Also, the collars on a slim-fit shirt will typically be smaller, to fit the proportions of the rest of the shirt.
Of course, it’s possible to go too far when it comes to the slim fit. Just as you don’t want anything too baggy, you don’t want to pop a button off your shirt because you don’t have enough room to stretch your arms. That’s why the best slim-fit dress shirts will make you look suave, not like a sausage casing.
Some might assume a slim fit is only for a slim guy, but that’s not the case. As long as it’s the right size, a slim-fit shirt can look flattering on a bigger guy. We’ve rounded up some of the best slim-fit dress shirts for men.
1. Calvin Klein Steel Dress Shirt
When it comes to minimalist, reasonably-priced basics, Calvin Klein continues to be one of the best brands in the business. These solid-colored dress shirts come in classics like white and light blue, as well as stylish muted colors like apricot, sandstone and lilac. The point collar makes this a great shirt to wear with a slim tie or no tie, and the non-iron fabric makes it easy to care for.
2. Charvet Blue Slim-Fit Double Cuff Cotton-Poplin Shirt
Slim-fit may be a more modern style, but it’s not just the young guns making slim-fit dress shirts anymore. Take Charvet, the French label that holds the distinction of being the first shirtmaking shop in the world. This shirt is made from poplin cotton and comes in a classic light blue color.
3. J Crew Ludlow Premium Dress Shirt
Yup, the Ludlow Shop is still one of the best places to go for affordable tailoring. This dress shirt is made from 100% cotton and has a unique dobby weave, giving it a pleasant textured feel and luxuriously dressy look. Break this one out for big meetings.
4. Theory Sylvain Good Cotton Slim-Fit Button-Down Shirt
Theory is known for making minimalist clothing with technical fabrics, and this dress shirt combines cotton with polyamide and elastane for stretch and comfort. It works well with tailoring but is cut high enough to wear as a casual button-down. It comes in several stylish colors, like this blush tone they call “thistle.”
5. Bonobos Trim Fit Stretch Dress Shirt
In terms of variety, it’s hard to beat Bonobos, which offers dress shirts in every color and print imaginable. This dress shirt has a subtle dot print and comes in classic blue. It’s cut from cotton with spandex for comfortable movement.
6. Everlane The Slim Fit Japanese Oxford
BEST OXFORD SHIRT
Oxford shirts are technically more casual than true dress shirts, but in all but the most formal settings, you can wear an oxford with a suit. That’s why oxford shirts are one of the most versatile pieces you can have in your closet. Everlane is all about versatile wardrobe staples, which is why it’s no surprise they make an excellent take on the Oxford. It’s made from 100% Japanese cotton and comes in white, light blue, grey, slate and white/blue stripes.
7. Eton Slim Fit Twill Dress Shirt
If you like to make a statement with your dress shirts, look no further than Eton. This shirt is the most eye-catching piece on this list, but it’s pretty low-key by Eton’s colorful standards. The white shirt has contrasting blue buttons and piping. It’s made from 100% cotton.
8. Polo Ralph Lauren Slim-Fit Stretch-Oxford Shirt
Ralph Lauren revolutionized men’s fashion by bringing back big repp ties, bucking the era of slim Mad Men suits. But Ralph doesn’t play by the rules, not even his own. That’s why Polo also offers slim-fit shirts, like this oxford, which is cut from a blend of cotton and stretch fabric. As an oxford shirt, it’s a great piece for more casual wear, too.
9. Banana Republic Slim-Fit Dress Shirt
BEST SUBTLE PATTERN
Banana Republic has tons of solid, reasonably-priced tailoring options, including this simple poplin dress shirt. It’s cut in a slim fit, and it has a subtle plaid pattern that’s only really noticeable up close. Colors include blue, white and lavender. These shirts are sized by letter, rather than collar and sleeve length.
10. Nordstrom Trim Fit Glen Plaid Non-Iron Dress Shirt
BEST NOT-SO-SUBTLE PATTERN
Nordstrom’s house brand is a great place to stock up on everything from sleepwear to suiting, and they’ve got a variety of reasonably priced dress shirts. This option is made from a non-iron fabric and has an eye-catching glen plaid pattern. Nordstrom’s dress shirt options also include floral dress shirts and solid color options.
11. Brooks Brothers Stretch Milano Slim-Fit Dress Shirt
Alongside Levi’s, Brooks Brothers is pretty much synonymous with American clothing. This dress shirt comes in a twill fabric that’s been treated to resist wrinkles, plus elastane for stretch. It has barrel cuffs and a traditional collar.
12. Suitsupply White Royal Oxford Slim Fit Shirt
Bespoke suits are cut entirely from scratch, but the term bespoke has loosened over the years, coming to encompass pretty much anything that can be at all customized. And out of deference to tradition, we won’t call Suitsupply’s dress shirts bespoke — but given how many choices you have, they come pretty darn close. You can choose the collar height, the hem shape and everything in between.
13. Tom Ford Slim-Fit Cutaway-Collar Cotton-Poplin Shirt
If you want a dress shirt that’s the embodiment of luxury, Tom Ford is the brand to turn to. The shirt is cut from cotton-poplin and has a cutaway collar with mother-of-pearl buttons. It’s made in Italy from 100% cotton. It’s not non-iron or stretchy, but when you have a shirt like this, a little extra care and effort are worth it.
14. Old Navy Slim-Fit Everyday Oxford Shirt For Men
Old Navy is an underrated brand when it comes to affordable everyday clothing. This oxford shirt is made from cotton with a touch of spandex for stretchiness. It has classic oxford shirt styling, with a button-down collar and single chest pocket. It’s available in regular or tall, and it’s sized by letter.