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Slim Fit vs. Regular Fit: What’s the Difference?


Let’s cut to the chase: there’s a chance that you wear slim-fit shirts when you really should be wearing regular ones. We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but no one has a less realistic view of their bodies than men.

That’s okay. Ultimately, what everyone wants (and what we here at Mizzen want to help you find) is a style that fits right, feels good, and looks great. So, we’re going to start by breaking down slim fit vs. regular fit, why there’s nothing wrong with wearing either style, and why understanding your personal body type will make it easier to find the right clothing for you.

Why fit matters 

Your shirt exists to help. No matter your body type—whether you’re a GQ model or you’ve gone all-in on the dad bod—a well-fitting shirt will only make you look better. The wrong fit does the opposite.

For example, an oversized Hawaiian shirt could make you look like you’re drowning in excessive fabric. On the flip side, a well-fitting short-sleeve button-down has a more modern look that you can wear confidently to both the office and a family BBQ.

Additionally, every guy has a different body type. Some of us have the shoulders of a CrossFit athlete, while others have the belly of a beer pong champion (both strong in their own right). Because of this, certain styles simply look better on certain body types

But what’s my body type, you ask? Great question.

There are three main body types that people usually fit into; ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph. Ectomorphs tend to be long and lean like endurance athletes. Mesomorphs are more muscular and compact, like running backs. And endomorphs are typically bigger dudes with a little more body fat (shoutout offensive linemen).

Now that you understand your body type, let’s dive into which shirt fit will look best on you.

Slim fit 

If you prefer clothes that lay close to your skin, slim fit is your style. Unlike other looks, slim-fit clothing is designed to hug the body without being overly tight, creating a modern, polished look.

There are many different slim-fit clothing items, but their shared benefit is versatility. Since slim-fit shirts look more tailored than regular shirts, they are easy to dress up or down. Got an important meeting to attend? If you’re wearing a slim-fitting shirt, just throw on a blazer, and you’re good to go. What about drinks at the country club? Grab a slim-fit casual button-down and you’re ready for an Old Fashioned.

At Mizzen+Main, our trim fit (aka slim fit) shirts are designed to create a custom look right off the rack, saving you a trip to the tailor. The trim fit features include:

  • Closer fit to the chest
  • Modern length
  • Slimmer sleeve
  • Tapered waist

Our favorite thing about this style is that it looks great on everyone (even the big guys). Lean ectomorphs tend to struggle with clothes looking baggy. Since our trim fit shirts lay close to the body, there isn’t much excess fabric hanging around, giving them a more clean-cut look. For larger endomorphs and athletic mesomorphs, oversized clothes can make you appear bigger. Fitted shirts help create more of a shape, making it look like you’ve been hitting the gym even if you’ve just been hitting the cheeseburgers.

The key is picking the right size. If you’re an ectomorph, our trim fits are true to size. If you’re an endomorph, we’d recommend ordering one size up from what you typically wear. We’ve found that folks who usually wear medium t-shirts look great in large trim fits. So, when in doubt, size up. 

Regular fit 

Historically, regular fit clothes like pants and shirts had a relaxed fit and created little to no shape. This made clothes look baggy on skinny guys and created a boxy appearance for the bigger guys. Luckily, men’s fashion has come a long way since then. While some regular fit clothes still look bulky, most modern brands have given standard fits a refresh making them look sharp but still feel relaxed. This makes it easier for you to move freely without looking like you’re wearing your Dad’s old polo. 

Like our trim fit shirts, the classic fit (aka regular fit) is a versatile wardrobe staple perfect for both formal occasions and more casual settings. 

We respect a guy who prioritizes comfort but wants to look good in the process. That’s why we created our classic fit to include:

  • Additional 4” of room in the torso and waist
  • Additional 1.5” of room in the biceps
  • Darts in the back, providing a tailored style

If you’re a bigger guy who needs a little more room, or if you simply need the mobility to play some cornhole, this classic fit is the style for you.

How should a shirt fit?

A good-looking shirt is more than just a stylish fit. You also need to get the right size for your body. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying shirts on:

  • The shoulder seam lines up with your shoulder bone
  • Two fingers fit between your neck and the collar
  • Sleeves end where your palm meets your wrist

Additionally, you want to pick a fabric that lays flat. If your shirt wrinkles easily, you’ll look like a hot mess, no matter what style you’re wearing. So, opt for wrinkle-resistant fabrics, like polyester and spandex.

Lastly, you want a shirt you feel comfortable in. As we enter summer, look for clothes that are moisture-wicking. That way you’re not showing off your pit stains during your next work presentation.

Try the shirt finder

When you look good, you feel good. That’s why it’s important to buy clothes that flatter your body and match your style.

If you’re having a hard time choosing a shirt then take our 3-minute shirt finder quiz to find the perfect shirt for you.