How Slim is a Slim-Fit Shirt? | For Big & Tall Men

The slim fit shirt. What a misleading name. They should have called it the slim-ming fit shirt...maybe it was the added cost to print 4 extra letters? Who knows.

But that’s precisely what a slim fit does. It frames your body and creates a flattering look.

An ill-fitting shirt can either make you look like a bed sheet ghost or someone who’s suffocating in a straight-jacket. The slim fit shirt, in the right size, can help remedy this issue.

In this guide, we’re going to debunk some slim fit shirt myths and talk about sizing.

Slim Fit Fact: They’re Not Tight or Skinny

If your shirt is tight, you have the wrong size. A slim fit shirt tapers towards your waist slightly, and takes a couple inches off your sleeves.

This creates a cleaner look when you wear your shirt without a suit or sport jacket over it.

Slim Fit Fact: They Won’t Make You Look Big

Tailored to outline your chest, waist, and arms, slim fit shirts create a trim, athletic look.

With a slight taper at the waist and arms, all excess material is removed, to show off your refined silhouette.

Slim Fit Fact: They’re Not Just for Formal Events

You can find this cut on both sport shirts and dress shirts, because it’s versatile and highlights your best features.

By giving you a professional, yet casual appearance, you can impress in any boardroom and on any boardwalk.

How Should My Slim Fit Shirt Fit?

During the Industrial Revolution (late-18th century), throughout Europe and the US, clothing manufacturers began churning out clothing and textiles at an alarming rate.

This brought the rise of ready-to-wear fashion and standardized fits. The straight/classic fit emulates the boxy cut of this era.

Men were left wearing a billowy, baggy garment, or forced to have it tailored to their measurements.

In more recent times, we’ve established various cuts and fits, including the slim. 

Here’s what to expect from your new slimming shirt:

Sleeve and Shoulder Width

Slim fit shirts are meant to be a tailored fit. This means that the sleeves and shoulders only give you the room that you need for mobility. Nothing more, nothing less.

The shoulder width will be about 2 inches shorter than a classic fit shirt. Make sure that it’s not too snug, baggy, or restrictive.

If you have long limbs, a slim-fitting shirt can feel tight when you're bending your arms.


The midsection of a slim fit shirt is supposed to be tapered. It should not be tight or loose around your waist. 

If you can pinch more than two to three inches of fabric, size down.


The chest of the shirt should not be excessively loose. You may feel like it’s tight if it’s your first time trying this cut - if you don’t see any pull lines, you’re fine.

Pull the fabric and use this general rule: no more than six inches. Too much fabric causes the material to bunch.


Slim-fitting shirts have smaller armholes. This allows for comfortable everyday movement and a clean look, though they're not intended for strenuous activities.

If you like the look but need something with more allowance, try one with stretch, like the sport shirts from Robert Graham.

Embracing Trends

Dressing in Big & Tall fashion does not mean that trends pass us by - in fact, many trends embrace us.

That’s why we’ve curated items like slim fit shirts to keep you looking stylish, confident, and comfortable.

Fashion will always change but you can count on us to bring you the best!

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