tailored fit vs slim fit shirts

Tailored Fit Vs Slim Fit Shirts - What's The Difference?

In recent years it’s become more common for men’s fashion retailers to offer a variety of fittings for dress shirts.

Here at Tapered we specialise in muscle fit shirts but the problem is, knowing the difference between them, and it can be hard finding the right fit.

The main difference between tailored fit and slim fit is that tailored fit is cut closer to the body replicating the "tailored" look. Typically it will have the appearance that it's altered to your own measurements. While slim fit is a generically closer cut to the body but still designed for the masses.

We have previously referred to the difference between muscle fit vs slim fit. Here is a quick guide to the main differences between tailored fit vs slim fit so you can find the best fitting dress shirts for your body.

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tailored fit vs slim fit

Slim fit shirts

A slim fit shirt is exactly what it says it is – slim fitting. They’re designed to fit close to the body, usually by tapering the cut through the midsection and waist.

However, this also results in there being very little room in the upper body, something that will come as a hindrance to those with a more muscular build.

Is Tailored Fit Tighter Than Slim fit?

A tailored fit is typically tighter around the torso and body than a slim fit. A slim fit shirt is also more tailored (fitted) around the arms than standard fitting shirts, but can surprisingly be very baggy around the waist.

Check out our collection of fitted shirts right here.

One of the most notable issues with a slim fit shirt is the fact that there’s usually no stretch to the material, so they’re either going to be very tight or too baggy; there’s unfortunately no middle ground.

In short, slim fitting shirts are ideal for those who are just that – slim – but they’re definitely not the best choice for those with a more athletic build. 


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The problem with slim fit is that if the wearer wants to look their best, the shirts will probably still require tailoring. Slim fit shirts offer a greater allowance around the arms, chest, and waist than a tailored fit shirt.

They are designed to cater to a wider market than tailor fit shirts, which are ultimately targeted at a more niche audience. 

tailored fit vs slim fit infographic by Tapered Menswear


 Tailored Fit Shirts - What Does Tailored Fit Mean?

A tailored fit shirt is generally the same as a slim fit, and is still designed to offer a flattering fit for the wearer by gentling tapering towards the waist. They also fit slightly differently around the arms and chest, although the difference will vary between brands. Essentially, mens tailored shirts are meant to emulate the experience of visiting an actual tailor who would size the shirt specifically for you.

The irony of course is that tailor fitted shirts are mass-produced, like all other shirts, and so it’s impossible to create a tailored shirt that fits everyone.

Tailored fit shirts aren’t particularly specialised in their allowance around the chest, arms, or waist, and so still aren’t suitable for an athletic build. These shirts are often made of 100% cotton, which sacrifices a degree of comfort.

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How Should a Tailored Shirt Fit?

A tailored shirt should fit impeccably across the body:

  1. Collar: Snug around the neck, allowing two fingers to slide in comfortably.
  2. Shoulders: Seams should sit at the edge of the shoulder's natural line.
  3. Chest: Flat against the body without strain or billowing.
  4. Waist: Tapered to align with the torso's curve without being too tight.
  5. Sleeves: Proper length ending at the wrist bone, slim but allowing free arm movement.
  6. Length: Ideally covering the belt line, suitable for both tucking and untucking.

Tailored Fit Vs Slim Fit

Ultimately, the biggest difference between slim fit and tailored fit is the allowance around the key areas: the arms, the waist, and the chest. If a brand sells both kinds of fit, it’s likely there will be very little difference between the two, and many wearers still can’t find the answer to their problems.

Many brands use the terms “slim” and “tailored” interchangeably, so beware of this when you're in the market for a new shirt.

Tailored Fit vs Classic Fit Shirt

Much like a regular fit shirt a classic fit shirt is cut relatively loose to the body. A classic fit shirt has more of an emphasis on comfort and function rather than fit.

It is made with a much broader shape across the chest and shoulders and doesn't taper in at the waist. It's more of a rectangle, boxy shape that wouldn't appeal to someone looking for a fitted shirt.

What is The Difference Between Traditional Fit and Tailored Fit?

A more relaxed and roomier fit is offered by traditional fit, while a closer, body-contouring fit is provided by tailored fit, resulting in a sleeker appearance.

The precise shape of the wearer is considered in tailor fitted shirts, whereas more generalised measurements are used in traditional fit.

Slim Fit vs Tailored Fit Suit

Slim fit suits, fashioned with a contemporary, body-hugging appeal, are typically sculpted to fit more snugly on the wearer's body. This style accentuates the chest, waist, and arms with a narrower cut.

Although the tighter fit might reduce some degree of movement due to less fabric usage, it ultimately shapes a streamlined silhouette. It is particularly complementary to men of a leaner build.

Tailored Fit Suit Meaning

What is tailored fit suit? Tailored fit suits are usually customised to mould perfectly to an individual's body. This fit permits each element of the suit to be fine-tuned according to the exact dimensions of the wearer, creating a personalised fit.

The wearer's preferences largely shape the final product, with the flexibility to specify the snugness or looseness of each part of the suit.

However, it's worth noting that the term "tailored fit" can sometimes lead to confusion, as it is employed by some brands to classify a certain style of ready-made suits.

In such circumstances, tailor fitted is seen as a compromise between the slim and traditional fits.

It offers less room than a classic suit, but isn't as snug as a slim fit suit. This fusion style caters to a broad range of body types, striking a balance between a modern and a comfortable fit.

Is Tailored Fit Better Than Slim Fit?

Now you know the difference between the two fits you can make an informed decision which is better for you.

Tailored fit is better for those who prefer a close fit to the body whereas slim fit is better for those who like a bit more room around the torso. Choosing which is personal preference and your body type.

Trim Fit Meaning

What is trim fit? Trim fit is a relatively new term coined for the fit of shirts in particular. Trim is is a style designed to hug the body more snugly than traditional or regular fit shirts.

By eliminating excess fabric typically seen around the waist area, a more tailored, sleek silhouette is achieved. Ideal for slender or athletic builds, these shirts give the wearer a modern, sophisticated look, enhancing their profile for both casual and formal settings.

Trim Fit vs Slim Fit

Designers tailor both trim fit and slim fit cuts to give a more streamlined look by reducing excess fabric on the body. While slim fit hugs the body closely, the wearer's silhouette is emphasised.

Excess fabric around the chest, waist, and arms is removed, making this cut a favorite for slender folks or those drawn to a modern, snug look.

On the other hand, trim fit is presented with a slightly more relaxed profile than its slim counterpart. A bit more room is provided, especially around the waist and chest. Traditional cuts are more relaxed than both these styles, but their snugness differs.

What is Modern Fit vs Tailored Fit?

A modern fit shirt is very similar to a slim fit shirt but not as fitted as tailored fit shirts. It provides slightly more room in the chest and arms without being as loose as a regular fit. If you want something a bit tighter then go for a tailored fit shirt.

The main reason to look for a tailored fit shirt is for the fit. Fit is paramount. You want to avoid that frustating extra baginess in the waist that often comes with off the rack shirts...

TAPERED Fit Shirts

So now we know the difference with tailored fit vs slim fit. Finding a shirt that fits your body as it should can be very difficult. With the introduction of TAPERED fit shirts however, you now have the option for shirts that are fitted, but have enough stretch to provide comfort for all day wear in comparison to slim fit.

Whether you are slim, athletic or a bodybuilder. Ditch the baggy shirts and wear shirts that look and feel like a bespoke piece! Check out our best seller here.


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Our TAPERED fit has been developed by leading Tailors and industry experts to provide you with a revolutionary fit, you won’t ever need to take your shirt to a tailor again or give lots of different measurements.

Perfect for those seeking a muscular fit, or bespoke tailoring - ready to wear! For athletes looking for a perfect muscle fit shirt, considered the best shirts for a muscular build.  Our Tapered collection also includes muscle fit t-shirts muscle fit polos and slim fit henleys.


Our revolutionary cut provides a 10" drop from chest to waist.
Fully fitted in chest and shoulders whilst tapering sharply down, giving a tailored look. No more bagginess in the waist.

Enhanced Darts

Expertly tailored darts at the back, for the perfect fit.

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Stretch Cotton

Super soft, breathable and allows complete freedom of movement.

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Perfect for the office. 

With our non obtrusive logo stitched subtly on the wrist makes our TAPERED Fit Shirt ideal for formal occasions.

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