How It Should Fit: The Length and Hem of a Men's Shirt



A discreet word from Topper on the subject of shirt hems: “The hem of a gentleman's shirt has as much impact on his appearance as the bottoms of his trouser legs - although rather less visible in normal circumstances. Too high and the shirt "rides up." Too low and an unwanted "skirt" of extra material clutters an area better kept clear and flowing. Just right and the shirt ‘sits’ as it should, providing the wearer with the combination of comfort and effortless style he always wanted.”

As ever, Topper is right. The length ofmen’s big and tall shirts is an often-overlooked detail that can make a real and important difference to the look and feel of the fit. It’s the last part of the whole shirt fitting jigsaw puzzle, top-to-bottom. Getting the length right means the difference between an elegant transition from shirt to pant, or an obvious interruption that attracts the wrong kind of attention.

Since different looks require different treatment, tucked-in or not tucked-in, more can go wrong than you might think. Here are some common problems with shirt length that we see good men enduring unnecessarily.

“The Poncho”

Help Me Topper: I have a shirt that’s un-tucked, draping off the shoulder, straight down to the waist, with the excess freely hanging off of the body - like a poncho.

Topper’s Diagnosis: You are likely the owner of shirt that has a much wider waist than the person currently wearing it.

Topper’s Top Tips: First, check the fit in the chest and in the shoulders. Ultimately, it’s probably better tucked-in. Or maybe even turned in – to the next charity collection.

“The Miniskirt”

Help Me Topper: The back hem of my shirt hangs down past the pockets of my pants, reaching the inseam.

Topper’s Diagnosis: It may be that the back hem of the shirt is longer than the front, or that both are too long.

Topper’s Top Tip: Tuck it in! Long back hems were actually designed to help keep shirts tucked in. The end of the hem of your shirt should end at a point corresponding to halfway down your back pocket.

"The Mushroom Cloud

Help Me Topper: Excess fabric keeps coming un-tucked and hanging over the waist of my pants, causing a sudden billowing and mushroom-cloud-like appearance.

Topper’s Diagnosis: Maybe you traded excess length for room in the chest or purchased a low-quality fabric that doesn’t hang as it should. Either way, the shirt might be better un-tucked - or not worn at all.

Topper’s Top Tip: Find your true, right size at Westport Big & Tall and know that every time you shop here, you will find something that will properly fit you, and in every key dimension.

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