How T-Shirts Should Fit

You may be wondering, “Why do I need to know how a t-shirt should fit me?”

For us shorter men, t-shirts haven’t fit properly since we were kids. As with any clothing, the t-shirt is designed with the average height of 5’10” in mind. When you look at your t-shirt in the mirror, you’ll often find that there’s some bunching going on at the bottom. Some guys have accepted this as normal (I know I have), but it shouldn’t have to be that way.

In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how a t-shirt should fit. And by the end, we hope you feel confident in choosing the best t-shirts for you.

Your T-Shirt — How It Should Fit

Shoulders

If you’ve ever been measured for a suit before, you probably already know that the shoulders of the suit are one of the most important details to get right. Well, for a t-shirt, it’s the same. Other aspects of a t-shirt can be altered by a tailor, but the shoulders are the only part that nothing can be done to.

You want the seam of the t-shirt to sit right where your shoulder meets your collarbone. This doesn’t have to be a perfect match, but the closer you get to this fit, the better off you are.

Sleeves

For the sleeves of a t-shirt, there are two main things to consider: the sleeve length and the sleeve width. These measurements are up to your personal preference, but generally speaking, you want to find a good middle ground for both measurements.

For sleeve length, we suggest the length to end around the middle of your arm. If the sleeve is longer, it makes your arms look short. When it comes to your sleeve width, you want enough room for your arms to breathe while still providing a slimmer silhouette.

Body

The body section of a t-shirt is made up of three parts: your chest, your stomach, and your hips. Across each part, you want your t-shirt to be close to your body, but not too tight to where it looks like a compression shirt. There should be a little bit of space between your body and the t-shirt itself.

Length

This is the most common fit mistake that plagues us short men. The bottom of a t-shirt bunches up and looks messy and oversized. Yet we deal with it because it’s all we’ve known our whole lives.

A great-fitting t-shirt should fall right at the top of your hips and end in the middle of your fly. There should be minimal, if any, bunching.

Collar Options

Depending on your personal sense of style, you have two popular choices when it comes to collar options — crew neck & v-neck. Crew necks are simple and classic, while v-necks are more of a style preference. When you wear a v-neck, you don’t want to wear one that is too deep. The choice between crew and v-neck are based on style preferences and seasonality, and both are great options as long as they fit well.

Common Fit Mistakes

Mistake #1: Body and Sleeve Length

A proper-fitting t-shirt should have the correct body and sleeve length for your measurements. The most common mistake we see in men when it comes to this is that their t-shirts are too long. This goes for both the body and the sleeve length. 

Mistake #2: Fit and Cut

Along with the length, the fit and cut of the body and sleeve are an important aspect of how a t-shirt fits. The common mistake when it comes to this is that the t-shirt is too baggy or too tight. The right fit is one that hugs your torso but isn’t skin tight.  

Mistake #3: Quality of Material

This is an area most men don’t think about when it comes to their t-shirts. Since t-shirts are a knit fabric item, they’re more likely to change shape and fit over time. When you wash and dry them multiple times, they’ll usually change shape. The best way to combat this is making sure your t-shirts are made of high quality material.

Generally speaking, high quality t-shirts are made of 100% pre-shrunk cotton, but depending on the fabric style (heathered or solid), the fiber mix itself may differ. For example, heathered colors are made of cotton mixed with another fiber in order to produce the desired color. These colors are often a mix of cotton, polyester, and rayon. 

The Ash & Erie Difference

Perfect for men under 5’8″

We’ve crafted the perfect t-shirts for the shorter man. The biggest difference you’ll notice is in the length of the tee, but our sleeves, shoulders, and overall cut are made for us shorter men.

We worked with the top fabric manufacturers in the world to come up with the softest materials for you to put on your body. Trust us, you’ll want to sleep in these tees.

As with other articles of clothing, such as jeans, the fabric affects the fit due to its durability. As time goes on and you continue to wear your t-shirts, there’s a chance it will begin to loosen and stretch. The way to avoid this is by ensuring you buy quality fabric as well as following the care instructions mentioned on the inside tag.