How To Pick the Best-Fitting Shirt for Your Special Day

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Your dress shirt will be what pulls your wedding outfit together. It's all about comfort and confidence, so here's your guide to getting it absolutely right.

Getting the Length Right

Unless your wedding is super-casual, chances are you’ll be wearing your shirt tucked in for the ceremony. If you’re keeping that look going into the evening, choose a relatively long shirt – that way, you won’t have to worry about it escaping. If you can raise your arms like wings without your hem drifting too near your belt, your shirt is the right length.

If you’re planning to relax the dress code once your vows have been said, choose one that’s a medium length. This will look natural and be more practical when you untuck your shirt and hit the dance floor. If your shirt covers the whole of your fly when it’s outside your trousers, it’s too long to wear untucked.

Choosing Cuffs And Collars

Cuffs can be tough to get right, so here’s the deal: An average buttoned shirt cuff should reach about a quarter of an inch past than the sleeve of your suit jacket. For a fancy French cuff, make that half an inch. This will keep you looking smart when you move your arms.

Depending on who you ask, your collar should leave room for either one or two fingers between it and your neck when fully buttoned up. It's also important to ensure it doesn’t bulge at the back, and that it’s not so high that it hides your neck entirely. Your collar style should complement your face shape as well as your tie – for example, if you’re self-conscious about a wide face, choose a straight-point design rather than a cutaway collar.

The Perfect Fit

When pinched at the waist, a well-fitting dress shirt should have no more than three inches of give. If you’re wearing an undershirt on the big day – a good idea if your shirt is a bit translucent or you’re worried about wet patches – you should err on the generous side.

Your sleeve seam should sit just where your shoulder starts to slope towards your arm. If it’s any higher, it might pinch uncomfortably. Sleeves should end at your wrist – not above it, and not over the heel of your hand – and be wide enough to cover a watch (if you wear one). They should look crisp and neat when your arms are out straight. If they wrinkle, they’re too short and if they billow, they’re too long.