What you like, Red Flags, and Shirts that Fit: #30folds30days, Double Winged Puff, Day 24

There comes a point in life when you start to know what you like in someone that you date. Sure, some people can come along and surprise you, but for the most part, by your mid- to late 20’s you have certain traits you look for. Physically, mentally, emotionally. And other things that are red flags. Things that you stay away from. My baseline for avoidance is girls that read the articles in Cosmo past age 22.

But everyone’s different. And eventually the quirks, strengths and weaknesses of a person just sort of meld with yours and start to work out. You get closer, it turns into a relationship Other times, you ignore the red flags and things you don’t like, because you really like some other part of that person. Usually that ends up with angry calls and texts at 2 am.

Sometimes I ignore the fit of shirts because I like the pattern, it’s really nice fabric, or very well made. But I never should. Like the really attractive crazy person, eventually there will be regret.

Like dating partners, all shirts are different. A medium in one store is not the same as a medium in another All brands of shirts fit differently, meaning even though you may like the style and coloring of a Massimo Dutti shirt, they just don’t fit right.  And just like the red flag that is easy to ignore when dating someone, it’s also easy to ignore fit on dress shirts because you like the brand, pattern, or fabric. The real key to a shirt is how it actually hits the points of their body, and starting from the question of “does it fit?” This is one area that women are much better at paying attention to in their fashion choices.

However, there are three basic areas to look for on a shirt and the most important is collar. If you don’t have a good fitting collar, don’t buy the shirt. The rule is that you should be able to fit one or two fingers comfortably into the space between your neck and the collar.  Get a measurement of your neck size using a tape measurer and a friend. Most mens shirts in the US are in inches, and your measurement should come out somewhere between 14 inches and 18 (very beefy) inches. European measurements are often in centimeters, so you may need to convert.

The other thing to look for is sleeve length. Your sleeve should hit right about at your wrist bone. Don’t go too long for sleeve length or there will be a bunch of extra fabric and it will look like you’re wearing your dad’s shirt. Occasionally, shirts will come in two lengths in the arms. These should have two buttons on the cuffs.  Same thing with the arm holes. Look for the arm holes to hit slightly above your shoulders. You want to avoid the dimple at the shoulder, or again, avoiding too much fabric bunching at the shoulders making you look like you’re wearing your dad’s shirt.

This is not a Small, Medium, Large situation. Your shirts should have exact measurements in neck and arms. For example my size is 15 1/2 inches and 33 inches.

Lastly, if your shirts have too much fabric bunching at the waist, it is also too big. Most slim and average guys should opt for slim fit shirts. Even men who are a bit more rotund should look into slim fit shirts so long as it doesn’t create a too much meat in a sausage casing situation. Most traditional fit shirts are going to be huge, and not really suited to wear with contemporary suits. Some men’s shirts have darts in the back, which are simple seams which reduce the amount of fabric in a back of a shirt. Some men like them others don’t but it creates less bunching in the back, and a cleaner look to the shirt. I’d avoid it for pattern or striped shirts, as it may throw that off, but otherwise it’s a good option.

In the coming weeks, look for a series of posts from SMK Style on tailored shirts, that will hopefully help avoid the problem of buying shirts off the rack.

Today’s fold is the double winged puff fold. A simple variation on the winged puff from the first week, that adds nice layers and a variation.

1. Start with a your square. For this fold it cold be large or small. I’d recommend silk to give you the nice billowing puff, but cotton could work as well.

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2. Fold ind half diagonally.

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3. Fold the bottom of the triangle up towards the top.

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4. Then fold it down so that the two edges are even.

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5. Fold one side halfway in to the center.

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6. Fold the other side halfway in to the center.

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7. Tuck the long tails back under the fold.

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8. PLace into the pocket and fluff. You may need to pull the inside up and out somewhat.

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And there you have it. We’re coming back again tomorrow and looking to get back on track to close out the last week, so stay tuned. Any questions: seamus@smkstyle.com

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