3 Steps to Finding the Perfect Dress Shirt


Here at Nordstrom Men’s Shop, we strive to make it as easy as possible for you to look your best. It should go without saying that this objective applies wholeheartedly to the crucial foundation of every man’s office wardrobe: Dress Shirts.

Let’s be clear. We all have a closet full of shirts with buttons and collars—but are you well-stocked with true dress shirts? There are certainly some make-or-break distinctions: A dress shirt should be long enough to tuck in with ease. It should fit comfortably at your neck with the top button done. And its sleeve should extend precisely to the hinge of your wrist, to ensure that all-important sliver of shirt cuff shows when wearing a jacket.

With those points in mind, we present 3 simple steps to finding a dress shirt that fits precisely how you want it to.

1. Know Your Size. Because true dress shirts come in sizes that pertain to your neck and arm measurements (the first and second numbers on the tag, respectively), it’s vital to know your stats. Visit any Nordstrom store to get measured by an expert, or learn how to measure yourself here. Armed with this info, you’ll be ready to pull the trigger as soon as you find the shirt you want.


2. Find Your Fit. As the video above suggests, we categorize the dress shirts we carry into three classifications: Regular Fit, Trim Fit, and Extra-Trim Fit. Please note that due to the vast array of brands we carry—and each brand often offering its own multiple fits—the classifications above are merely jumping-off points to get your search started on the right path. For down-to-the-decimal analyses of how individual fits from best-selling brands measure up, please refer to ‘Find Your Fit’ dress-shirt guide.


3. Get It Custom. After mastering your correct size and preferred fit, if you still find that your off-the-rack dress shirt is even a fraction of an inch off from how you’d like it, we encourage you to visit a Nordstrom Tailor. You’ll find them on-staff at every Nordstrom store, and they can either adjust a shirt from your favorite brand to your exact specifications, or help you order a fully customized dress shirt, Made-to-Measure.


Now that you know the ropes, feel free to look around. Start with our Editor’s Picks, organized conveniently by Fit:

Regular Fit. L-R: Nordstrom Smartcare | Canali | Hugo Boss | David Donahue
Shop All: Regular-Fit Dress Shirts 

Trim Fit. L-R: Hugo Boss lavender | 1901 | Burberry London | Hugo Boss dark blue
Shop All: Trim-Fit Dress Shirts 

Extra-Trim Fit. L-R: 1901 contrast collar | 1901 button-down | Hugo Boss | Calibrate
Shop All: Extra-Trim-Fit Dress Shirts 


[Tailor-shop photo via British GQ. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Abe August 5, 2013, 1:23 pm

    Terrible video. Why did you use different models for each cut? It would’ve been more helpful if you used the same model for each of the cuts in order to see what the differences would be.

  • Justin, Blog Editor September 3, 2013, 9:47 pm

    Hi Abe, thanks for reading and for your comment. This is a question our team debates often. Ultimately, we recommend that men with different builds wear different shirt fits, and decided to demonstrate that in the video. Bear in mind also that the video above alludes to the 3 general fit categories we divide our selection of shirts into, and that each category houses multiple brands, each with their own unique nuances. To get a more precise idea of how a specific shirt fits, look for the short videos on many of our dress shirt product-detail pages.
    —Justin, Men’s Blog Editor

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