Finding a well-fitting women’s dress shirt is a universal problem for most women. Whether we like it or not, the body shapes differ and the button-up can never be perfect without incorporating one’s shape and structure. In order to end up looking elegant, polished, and chic in your new shirt you should take time to find the right shirt for your body shape.
Why the Right Fit Matters
Fit is probably the most important characteristic of your dress shirt. You want your button-up to add to your essence, to flatter your natural form. You want it to give you a professional, well-put-together, and confident appeal.
This can only happen if the shirt matches your body shape. The perfectly fitting women’s dress shirt is contoured, fitting closely to your shape, complimenting your body type and by no means skin-tight. It determines your comfort level, your confidence, and ultimately also how you interact with other people (feeling insecure about their looks never did anyone any favors).
Simply put, when you look good, you also feel good. Both personally and professionally.
Choosing a dress shirt as per body shape may seem confusing but with a few steps you can solve the problem at home with a measuring tape in hand.
Step 1: Take Your Measurements
Knowing your body shape makes a huge difference in the way you shop for dress shirts as well as for other clothes. Your body shape is the proportions of your body in relation to your shoulder, bust, waist, and hips measurements and in order to figure it out, you need to measure yourself.
Wear as little clothing as possible and stand straight with arms to the side. It is best to ask someone to help you for the most accurate results. Make sure that the measuring tape sits on the surface of the skin but doesn’t compress it.
Take the following measurements:
- Bust: measure around the chest over the fullest part of the bust. Measure over a bra, especially if you typically wear one.
- Waist: measure around the narrowest part of your waist (usually above the belly button).
- Hips: measure around the hip over the fullest point of the buttocks.
Step 2: Determine Your Body Shape
There are 5 common body shapes that will guide you in choosing the best dress shirt: triangle, inverted triangle, circle, rectangle, and hourglass. Now that you know your measurements, you can determine which of the five you identify with the most.
Triangle is slender on top and wider in the hips. Your hips are the largest of the three measurements (at least 5% larger than your bust) and the waist is the smallest.
It is best to look for a fitted dress shirt that highlights your waist. Just make sure the shirt is not too roomy at the bust and not too tight at the hips. To avoid pulling at the hips, it may be a good idea to look for a shirt that hits above the widest part of your hips.
Inverted trianglehas larger proportions on top than on bottom. Your bust is the largest of the three measurements (at least 5% larger than your hips) and your hips are the smallest of the measurements.
Your ideal dress shirt is fitted, accentuating your waistline. Pay attention to how it sits at the shoulders and bust – make sure there is neither gaping nor pulling.
Circleis characterized by a circular outline, with no definition at the waist. Your bust and waist are larger than your hips (your hips are at least 5% smaller than your bust). Your waist is the same or wider than the bust.
A well-fitting dress shirt is crucial to avoid pinching (the shirt is too small) or billowing (the shirt is too big). Look for a shirt that contours your body without hugging too tight.
Rectangle is the most straight-forward body shape. These bodies have fairly similar measurements for all areas with bust and hips almost the same (within 5% of each other) and the waist not very well defined (less than 25% smaller than your bust).
When you find the right dress shirt, it can do a lot to add dimension to your frame. Look for a fitted fit that adds structure to your upper body and defines your midsection.
Hourglassbody shape is named for the contoured shape of the waist compared to the bust and hips. Your bust and hips are almost the same (within 5% of each other) while your waist is well defined (at least 25% smaller than your bust and hips).
Look for a fitted dress shirt that highlights your waist while also sitting well at the bust. Avoid gaping at the bust at all costs.
Step 3: Find the Correct Size
If you are shopping at the physical store, you can find the correct size by simply trying on the various options. However, if you are shopping online, you will need your measurements once again to compare those to the brands size chart.
Choose the size that best fits all of your measurements but most importantly the largest one. If you find that you are between sizes, it is advisable to choose the larger size.
Where to Look?
If you are okay with shopping online, you should check out Ella Hopfeldt’s women’s dress shirts. This brand has developed their own proprietary fit system based on unique sizing where body shape and size make up each of their four shirt fits.
Women’s fitted dress shirts are their specialty, and they offer quality shirts for women of all body shapes.