Skinny Fit vs Tapered Fit by Tapered Menswear

Skinny Fit vs Tapered Fit - What's The Difference?

Knowing how to dress yourself is not just about styling your outfits. It is also, and most importantly, what fits your body the best.

Get the fit of your clothes right and the rest will all fall into place. Get the fit wrong and it is likely you will feel uncomfortable and unconfident in what you are wearing. Especially with fitted clothing.

While choosing the cut of your clothes is based partially on fashion trends, it is always better to choose clothes that flatter your body over solely what is in fashion.

That’s why it really does help to get clued up about the different types of fits. After-all, a man who is knowledgeable about what suits him is likely to find choosing the right clothes a breeze.

But with so many different types of fits and cuts out there, which ones should you be investing in for your body shape? More specifically when it comes to skinny fit vs tapered fit. What is actually the difference between the two and how can you get the best out of them for your body shape?

If you are shopping for a new pair of jeans for example, you might become inundated with skinny fit this, tapered fit that. So knowing the differences can save you time and money in the long run.

The main difference between the two is that a skinny fit is cut close to the body. Tapered fitting clothes are tighter than a regular or slim fit but not as skin tight as a skinny cut.

tailored fit vs tapered fit

They also have less material as a whole, which helps to avoid that oversized look that you often get from looser fits.

The tapered fit in comparison, is a close relation of the skinny fit and is cut close to the body too but unlike its counterpart is cut wider at one end and becomes gradually smaller towards the other.

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

Skinny and tapered fits apply to all types of clothing items too: T-shirts, shirts, polo shirts, henley shirts, jackets etc. While skinny fits have been popular for quite some time, tapered cuts are making waves in menswear today.

Some reasons for the popularity of the tapered cut include that it reduces the amount of fabric used, gives the wearer a more form-fitting look and works well for men with athletic/ muscular body shapes.

Not only that, it is equally the closest thing to having your clothes professionally tailored. Tapered shirts and T-shirts for instance have a wider upper half that then gradually narrows in at the waist- almost as if they have had the bespoke treatment.

While tailoring encompasses much more, tapering is still a form of it and one that is now available to the masses, whether the clothing is casual or smart.

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At Tapered Menswear we are proud to say that we’ve mastered the tapered fit for men with athletic builds who want more out of their clothes. More style. More comfort.

comparing tapered fit and skinny fit

Long Sleeve Green Tapered Fit Polo and White Tapered Fit Henley

And a truly confident fit. T-shirts, shirts, henleys and polos are cut in a v-tapered shape to compliment the natural curves and contours of the body. Here for you for all of the times that skinny fits just don’t make the cut.

So what’s it going to be skinny or tapered? Read our handy guide to find out the differences between the two and which one would work best for your body shape.

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What is a Skinny Fit? 

Skinny fits have been hugely popular in fashion over the last decade and continue to prove why they are such a hit with trendsetters everywhere in 2022. But what actually is the skinny fit and how does it look in various types of clothing?

Before the skinny cut, there was the slim fit, which as the evolution of fashion goes, eventually paved the way for the skinny fit.

With slim fitting clothes, less fabric was cut than that of the regular or loose fit and were cut much closer to the body than its predecessors.

The skinny fit took this one step further and cut clothes as close to the body as possible. This of course gives the wearer a much more snug appearance. So in essence, the skinny fit is usually as tight as it gets on the clothing fit spectrum.

Check out our tight fitting shirts here at tapered menswear.

white skinny fit shirt comparing to tapered fit shirt

While the slim cut still has some movement to it, the skinny fit has a lot less room to move. That doesn’t make it uncomfortable per se, because many people wear their skinny fits on a daily basis.

It does mean however that your clothes will mould to your shape more than other types of fits. If you’re someone who likes to show off your shape therefore, then you certainly can’t go wrong with a good skinny cut.

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Jeans/ Trousers

Skinny trousers and especially jeans are probably the most popular and common example of a skinny fitting garment. We’re sure you’ve worn/wear skinny jeans or have come across them in passing at the very least.

You probably even know someone who is rarely seen without their skinny jeans nowadays. Skinny jeans and trousers have become more of a default style in the last 10 years and continue to be a staple for many people.

This type of clothing in a skinny fit is cut close to the body to mould to the shape of the legs from top to bottom.

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While very narrow, they don’t have much room for movement but work well for men with average builds and athletic shapes. They’re also ideal for styling with causal and more smart casual wear.

With skinny trousers you can definitely layer up on top with a t-shirt/shirt combo. You can also wear them with a dress shirt for a more ‘going-out’ vibe.


Skinny fit T-shirts, like trousers are also cut close to the body. This means that they have a narrow shoulder and chest area as well as a close cut around the torso.

All in all a skinny cut is very uniform from top to bottom, so you know what you’re getting with a skinny piece of clothing.

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A skinny t-shirt is a good choice for men with slender upper halves. Or equally, those who wish to show off more of their bodies.

I.e. bodybuilders and men with muscles. It should be noted that a skinny fit T-shirt, like trousers, should not look or feel uncomfortable.

navy skinny fit t-shirt


If it looks like you are wearing a t-shirt that is one or two sizes too small, you most likely are. A well-fitted skinny T-shirt will hug your body and its curves but will ultimately still feel comfortable.

This cut of T-shirt is also extremely versatile as the lack of excess fabric at the waist, streamlines the T-shirt.

Unlike a loose, baggy t-shirt, which means you can layer it under shirts and jackets too.

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What Does a Skinny Fit Shirt Mean?

Similarly with a skinny fitting dress shirt, the cut is kept as close to the body as possible in order to minimise the amount of material pooling from the waist.

This is important for many men, (especially those with bulkier upper halves and narrower waists) who have often felt like traditional cuts didn’t take their shape into account.

If you’re wearing a suit for example, a loose fitting shirt when tucked in to the waist can balloon, giving you that awkward rounded shape.

The thing with the creation of the skinny cut, was that it gave the wearer that slimmed down look and did not bunch up at the waist unnecessarily.

black skinny fit shirt, compared to tapered fit

Grandad Black White Tapered Fit Shirt

Even if you do not tuck your shirt in for a more casual look, a skinny cut will still have less material to give you more shape and structure throughout your look. Perfect if you are teaming it with a smart jacket and a pair of slim fitting trousers.


Polos were originally made in loose fits and then later on in slim fits. Just like every other piece of clothing discussed, they eventually got the skinny makeover. This resulted in polo shirts that were form-fitted to the shoulders, chest and torso.

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For men who always wanted to wear polos but found them to have too much excess material, the skinny cut revolution meant that they could show off more of their body and actually get away with wearing a polo shirt that wouldn’t make them look swamped under flowing fabric.

skinny fit polo

Navy Tapered Fit Polo

This was a huge win for men of a more muscular build, who often struggled with looser fitting polo shirts in the past.

Likewise, the sleeves on a skinny fitting polo shirt, were also made to hug the biceps, which removed that unflattering, sunken vibe that many men got from sloping shoulders in the past.

Today, skinny fitting polo shirts look great with casual wear, including jeans.


Of course the classic henley shirt was also given the skinny overhaul, and much like the polo shirt, allowed men with muscles or more athletic builds to join in on the hype.

Today, henley shirts can be short or long-sleeved and as such, a skinny henley will also have sleeves cut close to the arms.

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They will likewise be cut close to the chest, so that the iconic henley neckline sits flush against the skin to show off the wearers shape.

Again, skinny fitting henley shirts are a good choice for both average shaped men and those with more athletic builds.

For casual wear, the skinny henley shirt looks incredibly modern and stylish, so you really can’t go wrong. 

What is the Difference Between Skinny vs Tapered?

The primary difference between a tapered and a skinny fit is that a tapered fit is usually wider at the top and then narrows towards the bottom.

A skinny fit on the other hand stays the same from the top of the garment to the bottom.

For a tapered cut this is the same for all types of clothing (just like skinny fits)- jeans, trousers, t-shirts, shirts, etc.

Take a pair of tapered trousers for example. The trousers will be wider at the waist and gradually narrow further down the leg.

This is usually a preferred choice for men who need/want a bit of movement in their clothes, but who still want that tailored- esque shape within their clothing.

tapered fit shirt in navy

Is Slim Smaller than Skinny?

In effect, no, a slim fit is not smaller than a skinny. This is because a slim fitting piece of clothing will be cut with slightly more material than its skinny counterpart.

While close to the body, it does not mould to the curves and contours of the body as much as a skinny garment does.

You could almost think of a skinny fit as pulling on another layer of skin. It’s going to be tight. Whereas a slim fit will still have some movement within the fabric and some space- perfect if the skinny look isn’t for you.

And hey, it’s not for everyone!

What is Tapered Fit

The main difference between a tapered fit and a slim fit is that a tapered fit is wider at the top and then narrows inwards- be it at the waist of a shirt or the legs of jeans.

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It doesn’t matter what type of clothing it is, a tapered cut can be applied to pretty much everything- Shirts, trousers, jeans, jackets.

While the tapered fit is similar to the slim fit it is also close to tailored clothing. Historically, tailored clothes for men were the go-to.

what is tapered fit?White Tapered Fit Shirt and Olive Tapered Fit Shirt

Then in the early 20th Century, men began having their suits tapered at the arms of the jacket and the legs of the trousers as fashion statements among the wealthy.

While a reluctant change, it signalled the start of a great change in menswear and laid down the way for men to be more expressive within what they wear, allowing them to show off their shape.

Moving through the decades, the tapered fit has become more and more popular with men who wanted tapered clothing to be casual as well.

Men who are body builders or athletic in build, are now wanting to show off their shape in the best possible way and sometimes, slim fitting doesn’t always do the trick, whereas a tapered fit gives them the best of both worlds.

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After-all there is less unnecessary fabric used and the fit overall is much closer to the curves of the body.

So what does a tapered look like? If it helps, think of tapering as a v shape. You can apply this to top half clothing and bottoms, where the top of the V will graduate down to the point.

Tapered Fit Jeans/Trousers

Slim fitting jeans do not taper or narrow and so the final look can end up being pretty boxy looking. For men with muscles, slim-sit clothing can still hide their muscles, where they would want to show them off.

That’s where tapering comes in handy. Tapered jeans/trousers narrow further down the leg so that the waist is looser and the ankle, tighter.

For many men tapered cut jeans/trousers are great for showing off bulkier leg muscles with a delicate tapering to fit to the contours of the leg muscles.

This is unlike skinny jeans which are skinny from waist to ankle. Tapered doesn’t have to be too obvious either.

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Today, the best kinds of jeans allow for a comfortable waist that very gradually tapers further down the leg, to almost look like a slim fit. This is great if you don’t want to over-exaggerate your legs but still want to pinch in your trousers slightly.

As for more formal/smart casual trousers, tapering has been used for a long time now and give the wearer more of a silhouette to their shape. Great if you’ve been working on your legs and want to show them off.

Tapered Fit T-Shirts 

As with all other tapered garments, tapered t-shirts are also cut with a wider upper half that pinches in towards the bottom. In this case, the arms and chest of a T-shirt fit snuggly like a slim-fit and then narrow from the waist down.

One of the biggest advantages of this, is that less material is used and of course, less material is covering up the curves and contours you wish to show off.

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This is especially good news for those with broader shoulders and chests who need that extra shape to show off their physique. Without it, T-shirts can look shapeless and the body- wider than it actually is.

tapered fit t-shirt in navyNavy Tapered Fit T-Shirt

Tapering in T-shirts helps to create balance. So even if you opt for slim-fit trousers to keep your legs in proportion, a tapered T-shirt can help do the same.

Check out the Tapered Menswear T-shirt range.

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Tapered Fit Shirts

Here’s thing with dress shirts or more formal shirts, they can be a real pain if the fit is off.

Looser fits when tucked into the waistband (even some slim-fit styles) untuck themselves and budge, creating a billowing or a puffed up look and no man in a suit wants to look like that, trust us!

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Tapered shirts therefore are much better at keeping the shirt in place, so that you aren’t constantly tucking it in.

Not only that, but a shirt with too much excess material at the waist is only going to throw your proportions off too, especially if you are a bigger man or a man with muscles.

tapered fit shirt in white by tapered menswearWhite Tapered Fit Shirt

If your shoulders and chest are already broad, a muffin-top is only going to make you look rounder.

With a tapered- fit shirt, the v shape will hug your waist and sit smoothly against your body when tucked in or not. It will also help the rest of your suit/formal wear look sleek.

Check out the Tapered Menswear shirt range.

Tapered Fit Henley Shirts

Henley shirts can come in tapered fits? They sure do. When henley shirts first came on the scene in the 19th century, they were often worn loose for work and sport. Over time they developed into slim fitting shirts as well as loose fits.

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Today, tapered henley shirts can certainly be found on the market (our new Tapered Menswear henley shirt range for one). This helps bring them into the 21st century and allows more men of different sizes to be able to wear them.

For a man with a bulkier or more pronounced build, a henley, which may have previously been a no-go, can look flattering, comfortable and show off his physique.

tapered fit henley in whiteWhite Tapered Fit Henley

This is because much like tapered T-shirts and shirts, there is less fabric around the waist to billow and hide the body. Instead, tapered cuts mean the wearer can layer his henley under jackets and still look more streamlined with the rest of his look. 

Check out the Tapered Menswear Henley Shirt Range.

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The Best Tapered Fit

While there is nothing wrong with a slim-fit as such, tapered clothing is simply the next step in the evolution of menswear. It was this idea that prompted Tapered menswear to create clothing that gives men that something extra.

Our T-shirts, shirts, henley shirts and polos were drawn up out of the desire to provide men with their most true-to-self fit yet.

All of the clothing in our range is expertly crafted and cut in a V-tapered shape, the closest cut still available out there, so that you the wearer can show off your physique like you deserve to. 

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The chest and shoulders have the snug fit of a slim cut, while the arms hug the biceps so that there is never any overhang.

The v-tapered cut also reduced the amount of unnecessary material flowing from the waist, so that you also never have to worry about looking shapeless ever again.

Olive Tapered Fit Shirt

Our clothes, whether formal or casual cater to every man but especially those with more muscular builds who otherwise struggle to find clothing that suits their physique off-the-rack.

Whether formal or casual, you are guaranteed to find something that shows-off your hard work at the gym, keeps you in proportion and still offers you high-performance quality through and through.

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Our ranges are made with high-quality cotton stretch material, to mould comfortably to your body, while still giving you all the space you need to move.

And with something for every occasion, you’re bound to find something that works for you and your style. 

Available in both long sleeve and short sleeve muscle fit shirts.

Want to start your tapered journey? Check out our range today.

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