Tapered Fit Vs. Slim Fit - What’s The Difference?

Tapered Fit Vs. Slim 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.

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 slim fit vs tapered fit.

What is the difference between Tapered Fit Vs. Slim Fit. The main difference is the shape of the garment, tapered is wider at the top and slimmer at the bottom, while slim fit is generally cut slim all over. So depending on your body shape is how you will benefit most from the two different types of fit.


If you are shopping for a new pair of jeans for example, you might become inundated with slim-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 slim fit is cut close to the body. Slim fitting clothes are tighter than a regular or loose cut but not as skin tight as a skinny cut.

tapered fit vs slim fit - whats the difference

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 slim 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 tapered shirts here.

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

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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.

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.

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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 slim-fits just don’t make the cut.

So what’s it going to be slim 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 Slim Fit?

A slim fit, put most simply, is one that is cut close to the body. Clothes that come in a slim-fitting style are cut closer to the body than a regular fit but not as tightly fitted as skinny clothes. For example regular jeans are often baggier from top to bottom while skinny jeans sit snug on the body from waist to ankle.

Slim-fitting clothes will therefore still have a small margin of space within them for movement. This makes the slim fit one of the most popular and stylish of the last couple of decades. Skinny clothes come and go in fashion, whereas slim fits are a lot more timeless. As a whole, slim-fitted clothing can also be a lot more flattering for various body shapes too.

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It’s good to note that while you will get a more relaxed appearance with a slim fit compared to a skinny fit, slim fitting clothes are still on the tighter end of the spectrum. This makes them perfect for anyone who wants to avoid that baggy ‘dad’ look that was stylish in the 90s.

They also make a suitable option for most body shapes- regular to athletic- as the slim fit offers some level of comfort without being oversized. If you have muscles, a skinny fit can over- exaggerate them, while a loose fit can make you look dragged down.

The slim fit therefore offers a safe middle ground that shows off the body, particularly in regards to the shoulders, chest and legs.

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

Jeans/ Trousers

Slim-fitting jeans/trousers are more relaxed than skinny cuts but are still form-fitting to the shape of the body. They will therefore show off the shape of your thighs and calves, as opposed to looser fits which will hide your shape.

Slim fit jeans and trousers suit men of slender shapes as well as more athletic builds. If you’re a man with a more athletic build, you might well find that skinny fits make you look like a caricature of yourself.

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Your muscles will be over emphasised and if you’re someone who is top heavy, then you’re bound to look disproportionate. Slim fit jeans are much more flattering and still give you that slimmed down look that is very much in fashion nowadays. Slim fit trousers are also a hot trend for more formal dressing, including suits which are usually paired with a slim fitting jacket. 

T-Shirts

While trousers and jeans come to mind when talking about slim fitting clothes, any type of garment can be slim fitting. One that especially applies to this is the T-shirt. Slim-fitting T-shirts similarly have a much narrower cut from top to bottom in comparison to more traditional fits.

The shoulders and chest also sit more firmly to the body, while the main component of the T-shirt s fall down straight against the torso. Slim fitting T-shirts are more snug but are not too tight, which makes them a good choice for layering underneath shirts and jackets. 

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Unlike looser fitting T-shirts, slim-fitting T-shirts can also look much more sleek and slender, perfect for dressed up smart, casual wear. Thankfully, most body shapes can get wear slim-fitting T-shirts, but the majority of slim-fit T-shirts on the market are marketed to slender men.

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

This is because they’re not too loose that they hide a slim frame under layers of fabric nor are they too tight that they cling to the body. 

The T-shirt has become somewhat of a blueprint for men’s casual wear so it makes sense to understand how a slim fitting T-shirt should look.

One of the main things to consider is that a T-shirt in a slim cut should sit well to the shoulders and the sleeves, firmly to the top of the shoulders (the seam of the sleeves should sit flat on top of the shoulders). This is a great way of checking if your T-shirt fits you well enough.

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Polo Shirts

The same can also be said of slim-fitting polo shirts. Slim-fits are the best way to avoid bagginess around the shoulders, chest and torso, which if you are a slender man, you really want to avoid.

A lot of loose polo shirts almost look like they’re hanging off the body, or that the arms aren’t properly fitted to the biceps. Today’s polo shirts aren’t just for playing sports, they’re also huge fashion statements in menswear, so getting one that looks sleek for work and play can do wonders for your style.

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Henley Shirts

Just like T-shirts and polo shirts, henley shirts are also much more stylish for the 21st Century man when worn in a slim-fit. Again, the average, slim man will find this fit the best for his body shape as opposed to someone carrying more weight around the midsection, however slim-fits are generally flattering for most body types.

A good fitting slim-fit henley shirt will look form-fitting without being too tight that it ends up looking small. 

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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. 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. 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.

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 tapered fit menswearWhite Tapered Fit Shirt and Olive Tapered Fit Shirt

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. 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.

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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. 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.

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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. This is especially good news for those with broader shoulders and chests who need that extra shape to show off their physique.

slim fit vs tapered fit t-shirtNavy Tapered Fit T-Shirt

Without it, T-shirts can look shapeless and the body- wider than it actually is. 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.


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!

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 vs slim fit shirtNavy 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.

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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.

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.

White Tapered Fit Henley

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.

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.

Is Tapered The Same as Slim Fit?

Although they are similar, tapered fit and slim fit are not the same. Slim fit is designed to be a slimmer fit than a regular fit but not as fitted as tapered. A tapered fit is wider on the top and narrows towards the bottom.

So for jeans a tapered fit will be wide at the top of legs and narrow down towards the ankles. For shirts and tops the fit would be wider around the chest and shoulders and narrow down towards the waist.

Which is Best Slim Fit or Tapered Fit?

Deciding which is best between the two will depend on both your preference and you body type. If you have a slender physique then a slim fit is best but if you have wider shoulders and a narrow waist then you should choose a tapered fit. If however you prefer a tighter fit and you have a skinner build you can go for a tapered fit.

What is Slim Tapered Fit? 

Slim tapered fit relates to jeans specifically. This fit is slimmer though the top of the legs around the thighs and hips. It then has the tapered shape down through the knee and ankle. This hybrid is a fusion of tapered fit, skinny fit and slim fit.

Tapered Fit vs Regular Fit - What's the Difference?

When comparing tapered fit with regular fit there is an even bigger difference in the fit. The main difference between regular fit vs tapered fit is the how it's cut and fits the body. Regardless of the type of garment, tapered fit is cut closer to the body to provide a much more snug to the contours of the body than a regular fit. Regular fit is typically designed for the masses so is typically much looser around the arms, waist, shoulders chest and hips.

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.

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.

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tapered fit vs slim fit polo shirtWhite Tapered Fit Polo 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.

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.

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

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