Fitted Vs Slim Fit - What's The Difference?

Fitted Vs Slim Fit - What's The Difference?

Style is so much more than dressing according to trends. It is also about feeling your absolute best in what you are wearing. Which of course comes down to choosing the right fits for your body.

If the cut of your clothes isn’t right for your physique, you’re likely to feel uncomfortable in what you are wearing, regardless of how stylish it is. Hence, why you should, no NEED, to learn about the different fits and what they do for your body shape specifically.

That being said, as trends evolve there are a hell of a lot more styles on the market and a whole load of buzzwords to contend with, which can make it trickier when shopping around. This is especially the case when some of those cuts share similarities with each other.

How do you actually distinguish between a slim and fitted cut? The main difference between fitted and slim fit is fitted clothing is cut tighter around the torso than a slim fit. A fitted cut also solves the problem of the boxy slim cut by offering more shape to the body. As such, a fitted shirt is often cut with the curves and contours of the body in mind. 

better fitting clothing by tapered menswear

Understandably, it can be an absolute minefield. It’s also no wonder that many men feel like they will just never find the right clothes for their body shape.

If you are currently asking yourself “but aren’t slim fits and fitted cuts the same thing?”, then you are somewhat on the right track. In many ways both fitted and slim fits are related to one another.

They both, for example, are cut closer to the body as opposed to a regular or loose fit. This means that they show off the person’s shape much more than the previous. On the other hand, the fitted look has evolved from the slim fit.

Looking for shirt that fit the body perfectly? Check out our collection of fitted shirts here.

The main difference being that a slim fitting T-shirt or shirt will fit tighter and narrower on the arms and chest, but looser on the torso. Compared to a fitted T-shirt which will hug the entire body (particularly at the waist) to enhance the physique for the optimal shape.


The two terms can and are sometimes used interchangeably but this understandably causes people confusion when buying clothes labelled as either or. Both fitted and slim fits have influenced each other over the years, but that doesn’t mean to say they are one and the same.

Likewise, T-shirts, dress shirts and polos are all available in fitted and slim fits, so that doesn’t make it any easier when choosing new clothes. You might have even struggled with this yourself.

If that is you, then arming yourself with the knowledge on how to tell your slim fit apart from your fitted style, can make the buying process much simpler. Saving you time and money in the long run.

slim fit vs fitted clothingBlack Denim Tapered Fit Shirt

If you have been scratching your head trying to work out what the difference is between the two fits, then we’ve got the 101 guide on everything you need to know to make the whole process that bit simpler.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with all of the tools you need to buy your shirts, tees and polos in the right fit for your body. 

Tapered Menswear also happens to be the number 1 destination for fitted dress shirts, T-shirts, polo shirts and more, for the trend-setting man who wants his clothes to perfectly fit and look fashionable at the same time.

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Is Fitted the Same as Slim Fit?

Slim fit and fitted are somewhat on the same side of the spectrum in that they are both cut closer to the body then say a traditional loose or regular fit. That doesn’t mean they’re exactly the same thing though and knowing the distinctions between the two, as well as how to distinguish your fitted from your slim fit, can make all the difference to you when buying your new clothes.

Furthermore, understanding how your body shape looks in both cuts can also make the biggest of changes in how you wear your clothes.

In essence, the slim fit has been a massive influence for the fitted style. Today, fitted cuts are a top trend and while slim fitting clothes are still very much in trend too, the slim has certainly paved way for the more fitted look in recent years. As with anything in fashion, things evolve.

is fitted tighter than slim fit?Long Sleeve Green Tapered Fit Polo and White Tapered Fit Henley

That doesn’t mean to say the fitted shirt is anything new, because in reality, the fitted style is a hybrid of the slim fit and tailored clothing. But it has in many ways, taken the best from the slim fit and adapted it to the man of 2022 who wants slightly more from his clothes.

Slim fits are still very much popular but there is certainly competition from the fitted style. So what are the differences between the two.

A slim fit unlike a regular or loose fit is cut closer to the body. In comparison to a regular fit, there will not be as much loose fabric, particularly at the top of the shirt, which will be narrower. The slim-fit is a good choice for men who don’t want the slouchy look of a regular fit.

The loose baggy look is much less fashionable then it was in say the 80s and 90s. Because of this style evolution over the last 2 decades, men have wanted sleeker clothing choices that don’t hide the body under unnecessary fabric. 

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The fitted cut on the other hand, is a close relation of the slim fit, but comes next in the evolution of menswear styles. Extremely popular in 2022 and beyond, the fitted cut is becoming the go-to for men both in casual and formal settings.

The fitted cut itself, imitates the slim cut in the shoulders, chest and sleeves, which are cut close to the body - Taking what many people consider the best of the slim fit.

However the major difference between the two is that fitted style (in regards to T-shirts, dress shirts, polos etc) has less material around the waist and torso. This makes the entire shirt fitted from top to bottom, unlike its predecessor.

Slim Fit Clothing

What exactly should you look out for when looking to buy clothes in slim fits? It helps to break down the clothing item into components and consider how it will benefit your body shape, or equally hinder your style efforts.

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Slim Fit T-Shirts And Polo Shirts

A slim-fitting T-shirt or polo will have a fitted chest, shoulder and sleeve. While the torso section of the garment will fall straight against the body. A loose fit in comparison can make you look bogged down under layers of fabric that don’t really need to be there.

slim fitting polo by tapered menswearWhite Tapered Fit Polo Shirt

A slim fitting T-shirt can therefore give you that slicker vibe. They can also be dressed up much more than a casual loose fit. Slim fitting T-shirts are great for layering under jackets and coats. They also work extremely well with straight cut jeans, slim fit trousers or even skinny cuts. 

Likewise, most off-the-rack slim t-shirts are made with the ‘average’ slim body type in mind. This helps give men of a slimmer build more shape out of their clothes, whereby a regular or loose fit would swamp them.

The characteristics of a slim fitting T-shirt mean that everything is cut closer to the biceps, shoulders and chest to remove any unnecessary material that will give you that sunken look.

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Slim Fit Dress Shirts

The dress shirt, is often the foundation piece of any formal suit or outfit, so it’s quite right that you want it to look good. With the old fashioned loose fitting dress shirt however, these usually had that needless abundance of fabric at the waist.

Of course,  which when tucked into the waistband of the trousers, this puffed up giving a less than favourable muffin-top shape. For a man in a formal setting, this is simply not the ideal look for him. A slim-fit in contrast will be much more streamlined and look smoother in formal settings.

slim fit dress shirt in NavyNavy Tapered Fit Shirt

The shoulders and sleeves will be cut closer to the body, while the waist will sit straight on the body for a slimmed down look. Slim fitting dress shirts can be worn as smart casual wear with a blazer and slim fitting trousers.

Or even as part of your formal suit. The main criteria however is to make sure that you don’t get that baggy look. For slim men of an average build, having a shirt that sits slimly on the body is a much better alternative.

Is Fitted Tighter Than Slim?

A fitted cut is always going to be tighter than a slim fit. However, tighter does not mean uncomfortable or too small and this is where some people can get confused. If your shirt is one or two sizes too small for you, then it is small.

Not fitted. A good fitted shirt will always fit you comfortably. If you’re not sure, then ask yourself whether you feel physically comfy in your shirt. If you feel restricted in movement (particularly around the arms) then it is likely that you have a small shirt rather than a good fitting fitted one.

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You can often test this by lifting your arms when trying on the shirt and checking for any resistance within the arms or chest. A fitted shirt, T-shirt etc should not stop you from moving about or make you feel uncomfortable in anyway. It can be tough to find the right sizing, but trying on the shirt or tee before purchase can help you make the best decision.

is fitted tighter than slim difference

White Tapered Fit Shirt and Olive Tapered Fit Shirt

If you are still unsure, ask a friend or even an expert to guide you. Ultimately, you know your body well enough to decide whether something is actually small, or fitted and comfortable. Trust your judgment when shopping and look out for sizing issues to save you from making any costly mistakes. 

A good fitted shirt does not only make you feel comfortable, it also has a few benefits to consider. One benefit being that the fitted cut will feature techniques such as darts in the back of a dress shirt, or a tapered cut at the waist (check out Tapered Menswear while you’re here).

These techniques which has been derived from professional tailoring practises like darting, allow for clothing to be crafted in an almost bespoke method. The techniques of cutting fabric into a fitted cut help remove any excess fabric, so that you don’t have any overhang or bagginess which can make it look like your clothes are wearing you, rather than the other way around.

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This also helps you when shopping around for the perfect, shirt or polo. Gone are the days where you’d have to go an visit a tailor to get this shaping out of your clothing. Now, they exist to the masses and cost a lot less than a visit to your friendly local tailor.

A fitted cut also solves the problem of the boxy slim cut by offering more shape to the body. As such, a fitted shirt is often cut with the curves and contours of the body in mind. Perfect if you are a man with bigger muscles.

Where traditional cuts and even the slim fit can hide your shape, the fitted cut enhances those areas of your body that you really want to show off. 

Another big plus about a fitted shirt or T-shirt is that it is a flattering cut for most body shapes. If you are slim and looking to switch up your usual slim-fits, a fitted style can make a fantastic step up.

For those with bulkier, more muscular or athletic builds, fitted cuts are even more ideal. A fitted cut seemingly solves the problem of the boxy shape of the slim cut by offering more structured shape to the body. As such, a fitted shirt is often cut with the curves and contours of the body in mind. 

This is the same for all types of shirts as well. T-shirts, dress shirts, polos, henleys - anything traditional that has since been given the fitted cut treatment is going to give you that stylish up-to-date look and keep you feeling your best.

Many men with more athletic builds have struggled in the past to find clothes that suit their physique and so with the introduction of the fitted cut into fashion, this seemed to solve a long-lasting conundrum. 

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Fitted Clothing

What does a fitted shirt, T-shirt or polo look like? Again, it helps to break it up into its various sections and see how they will work with your body shape.

Fitted Dress Shirts

While slim fitting dress shirts solved one issue, they still didn’t completely resolve the entire problem. Even with slim fitting dress shirts, the wearer still had the problem with excess material billowing from the waist, particularly if he was a bigger man with a narrower waist.

Fitted shirts in contrast, give the wearer a much more proportional shape and keep the excess fabric at bay. This is also helped with bespoke techniques such as darts at the back of the shirt, to give more shape.

Fitted dress shirt by Tapered MenswearOlive Tapered Fit Shirt

That’s why the introduction of fitted shirts on the market has helped men with athletic builds feel more confident about wearing formal clothes.

Fitted T-Shirts 

Similarly the classic T-shirt (which was often made with the average, slim guy in mind), has seen the evolution from loose fitting, to slim fitting, to fitted, in recent years.

Like the dress shirt, bodybuilders and men with athletic frames are finding that they have much more choice in their wardrobes. Fitted t-shirts and polo shirts, give the wearer a much more structured silhouette thanks to the reduction of fabric around the midsection.

This makes a vast difference in the overall look of a T-shirt, even compared to a slim fit. Fitted T-shirts help to show off the body in a more proportional way and work well with men who have narrower waists.

Fitted T-shirt by Tapered Menswear

Navy Tapered Fit T-Shirt

Fitted T-shirts work fantastically well paired with slim fit trousers and jeans, to enhance that ‘in-proportion’ look. Likewise, they can also be dressed up or down for a casual/smart-casual vibe.

Fitted Polo Shirts

Even polo shirts can now be fitted and thankfully so! With the classic polo shirt for instance, the looser fits sat awkwardly on the body. Sleeves slopped under the shoulder. The neckline sat loose and the overall fit on the torso looked unflattering on most men.

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Many men with bigger, more muscular builds often had to miss out on wearing polo shirts because of this. Luckily, the fitted polo shirt changed that. Polos that are cut closer to the body give off a much stronger look and the reduction of material around the midsection keeps the shirt looking slender at all times.

Just like fitted T-shirts, fitted polos are also likely to look better for both casual and smart casual settings too. Win, win!

Fitted polo shirt by Tapered Menswear

Long Sleeve Green Tapered Fit Polo 

What Are Tight Fitting Shirts Called?

Tight fitting shirts don't have their own name as such, tight shirts are tight shirts. Too tight is when buttons are gaping at the front and this is when the shirt is too small for you. A fitted shirt can be too tight for you if it's uncomfortable and there is button gape, which is not a good look. Any type of fitted shirt should be finely fitted in all areas and follow the male silhouette, without looking tight. 

The Best Fitting Shirts For Men

Fitted shirts certainly exist on the market, but none compare to our very own Tapered Menswear range. If you are on the look-out for fashionable fitted shirts, then you’ve come to the right place.

At Tapered Menswear we have mastered the craft of creating T-shirts, dress shirts and polos for the muscular guy. Born out of our own frustration of finding the perfect fitting shirts, Tapered Menswear reimagined the traditional shirt for the modern man. Today our shirts are constructed with our very own unique tapered fit to enhance your physique and give you more confidence out of your clothes. 

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All of our shirts are expertly cut close to the body. Arms are closely fitted in the biceps at an optimal length to flatter the bicep peak. While the cut of our shirts also sit snug on the shoulders and chest.

Our v-tapered shape cut  equally helps to reduce the amount of material around the midsection to give you your guaranteed dream shape- Meaning, no more annoying material where you really don’t want it. We believe that we have solved an age-old problem that many men with bigger builds have faced. 

Whether a casual T-shirt or a formal dress shirt, our sophisticated  range gives you the bespoke treatment, without the middleman or the hefty price-tag. Made for you, you will find that our shirts give you everything you need to succeed at style.

best fitting clothing for men by tapered menswear

White Tapered Fit Shirt

Not only that, they’re also completely comfortable. Made from 100% cotton, that moulds effortlessly to your shape, you can work and play in our shirts and expect comfort all day long. 

We have also recently added the classic Henley shirt to our range for even more choice. Why not give Tapered Menswear a chance. No more ill-fitting shirts. No more money spent on a tailor.

Check out Tapered Menswear today and see for yourself.

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