How do I find T-Shirts that fit like... some of my other T-Shirts?
August 15, 2017 11:19 AM   Subscribe

I started working out a year or so ago, and my formerly-scrawny upper body has noticably changed shape as a result. This has created a pretty stark divide among my former T-Shirts, all of which felt much the same before this started - two in particular are now outrageously flattering, while most are now uncomfortable to wear (usually tight at the front of the neck) or look slightly silly.

It's clearly a matter of cut, rather than just 'size' or 'bagginess' or whatever - wearing the ones that look good, I feel as though I'm strapped into a body-conforming device!

None of the T-shirts has anything written on the label besides "small" or sometimes "medium", so there seems no way of specifying the properties of the good ones have and seeking them out. Is this something a tailor/alterer could help with?

I rarely wear T-Shirts as an outer layer, so I'm not super concerned with their design, but I'd prefer plain so that they don't show through a shirt.
posted by piato to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Worth a try: these t-shirts fit my not-quite-scrawny-any-more torso much more flatteringly than anything else I've found, plus they're inexpensive and a bit longer than other shirts (I tend to shrink shirts, so this is important to me.)
posted by davejay at 11:56 AM on August 15, 2017

Can you specify if you are M/F?
posted by monologish at 12:13 PM on August 15, 2017


Sorry, I should have specified that!
posted by piato at 12:14 PM on August 15, 2017

Threadbase has apparently disappeared, their website just returns an error now. But they did a lot of actual research on clothing sizes. Here's some press they got:

Threadbase Analyzed 800 T-Shirts to Create the Ultimate Size Chart.

You can still find their full analysis using the Wayback Machine: > > T-Shirts Unravelled
posted by reeddavid at 12:18 PM on August 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Who manufactured the good and bad t-shirts? Brands often do tend to favor certain body types. Uniqlo's womens tees fit narrow shoulders well while American Apparel's unisex tees were absurdly boxy in the shoulders, and Old Navy bottoms will always be too big in the hips for me regardless of size. If you know the manufacturer of your good t-shirts and/or can describe how your torso has changed shaped, The Internet might be able to advise you on specific brands. Sometimes product descriptions will say "slim through the hips" or "loose fit" but often it's just eyeballing the photos and word of mouth.

Reddit would be a good place to go digging around for t-shirt fit info, the Male Fashion Advice subreddit is pretty active. There's probably even somewhere where you could post photos of yourself in the good and bad shirts and get more details and recommendations than you ever wanted.
posted by yeahlikethat at 12:57 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Lay the good fitting shirt flat over top of the poorly fitting ones, or vice versa. Make sure it's totally flat, with no wrinkles. Compare the shoulder width, the arm opening size, the length, and the width. This will tell you what about the good shirts differ from the bad ones.

You can have a tailor take in a shirt, or shorten it. You usually can't do much about the armholes, and obviously you can make anything bigger. If that isn't going to make the bad shirts match the good shirts, don't bother taking them to a tailor.

Also check out Calvin Klein undershirts, they seem to have a flattering fit for many guys I know that work out. You can get them online or at most department stores.
posted by ananci at 1:57 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

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