Whenever you’re browsing for a new shirt, you’re likely to come across the phrase “relaxed fit” a time or two. But with so many different terms used to describe clothing, it can be confusing and downright overwhelming to remember what they all mean. Therefore, to add a bit of clarity to your style choices, today we’re going to answer the question: what is a relaxed fit shirt?
A relaxed fit shirt is designed to fit looser than a regular shirt, without being overly baggy. Since these shirts don’t hug your body too tight, and thus, make movement easy, they are an ideal choice for everyday comfort wear. Moreover, they can be a great option for summer and casual occasions.
That said, if you don’t know what you’re doing, a relaxed fit shirt can come off a touch sloppy. Because of that, today, we’re going to dive into everything you need to know about relaxed fit shirts, including how to style this popular fit.
What Different Shirt Fits Are Available?
When shopping online and comparing shirts, it can be overwhelming to understand the different fit options. The last thing you want to do is buy a shirt for it to arrive and be a completely different shape and fit than you expected.
By understanding the different phrases used regarding fit, you’ll find it easier to select a shirt for your body type.
A regular fit shirt is the most popular shirt option and is what most men opt to wear every day to work. These shirts are designed to fit the average body and usually aren’t suitable for men who are particularly husky or slim.
It hangs slightly loose to the body, offering a comfortable experience for the wearer.
This shirt style isn’t particularly concerned with style and is a more functional piece of clothing. The length of this shirt will usually reach below your hips, offering material to tuck the shirt into your pants. To make things even more confusing, there are also classic fit shirts. These are broader across the shoulders than regular fit shirts but otherwise are reasonably similar in style.
For a more stylish shirt fit, many men opt for slim fit shirts. They are designed to fit tight to the body and are cut to fit around the waist and midsection closely.
Though, you’ll find these shirts hug tighter to your arms, which makes them a less than ideal option if you have a bulky upper body.
Another popular choice nowadays is the modern fit, which offers an option that falls in between classic and slim fit shirts. It is shaped at the waist but is still comfortable enough for wearing every day. On top of these styles, there are also more formal shirt options, which are designed to be worn with tuxedos or suits.
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What Is A Relaxed Fit Shirt?
As I already mentioned, a relaxed fit shirt is looser than a regular fit shirt, however, it isn’t extremely baggy. They are the ideal shirt for casual occasions and everyday wear, and you won’t find them too tight or suffocating on your body.
To put it in simpler terms, a relaxed fit shirt gives you a little extra room for movement.
Oh, and to add to their comfort and airy-feel, they are oftentimes made from lightweight material that won’t make you feel like you are wearing a swamp.
This is the ideal shirt for casual office environments or weekend lunch dates. It creates a straight yet relaxed shape when worn, so it’s ideal for anyone with a larger upper body, mid-section, or those that just don’t like to feel restricted by their clothing.
How To Choose The Best Shirt Fit For Your Body?
Now that you understand the differences between the various fits, it’s important to know what to look for when buying a new shirt. Regardless of whether you opt for the relaxed fit or one of the other fits mentioned earlier, you’ll want to ensure your shirt is appropriate for the occasion at which you plan to wear it.
By planning the rest of your outfit in advance, you can eliminate the issues you will face when trying to pair your new shirt with pants and a jacket later on.
As a good rule of thumb, a good shirt should sit comfortably on your body without being too restrictive or tight. You want the arms and torso to have room to move without being excessively loose on your body.
When selecting a dress shirt, your buttons shouldn’t strain on your torso at all, as this is a clear sign of your shirt being too small. Additionally, your sleeve should end approximately half-way between the bend of your wrist and the base of your thumb.
As far as your collar, allow about two-fingers of space between your neck and collar when it’s fully buttoned.
By following these comfort guidelines, you’ll find a shirt that you can wear all day without feeling restricted. Though, in addition to the fit, it’s also important to consider both practicality and comfort when buying a new shirt.
How Can I Style A Relaxed Fit Shirt?
A relaxed fit shirt will make a great addition to any man’s wardrobe. However, due to its slightly looser fit, there are a few things you should consider when styling this item.
For instance, you should rarely combine a relaxed fit shirt with a pair of oversized pants. Why? Because it can make your whole outfit look a bit sloppy and mismatched.
Rather, you should opt for a slim-fitting pair of pants or jeans that provide the perfect contrast to your relaxed fit shirt.
For casual occasions such as visiting a bar or restaurant, you may find regular or slim fit jeans to work well with a relaxed fit shirt.
As far as shoes, you’ll want to keep these smarter for work occasions or dress down with sneakers for more casual events.
What Is The Best Shirt Fit To Wear For Everyday Workwear?
When it comes to office wear, most men opt for a regular or classic fit shirt, depending on their body shape and preferences. These shirts are easy to style with any pants and jacket combination and are a staple outfit in most men’s wardrobes. However, offices nowadays are becoming far more relaxed with their dress codes, so men and women alike are opting to show off their personal style.
So, while we generally recommend slim or modern-fitting clothes for business settings, relaxed fit shirts, when styled correctly, can look smart and fashionable.
Your main consideration will always need to be looking professional and appropriate for the workplace. You know how strict your boss is about your work attire. So, on days where you are meeting clients, it’s best to steer clear of any daring, or comfort-first, ensembles.
The Bottom Line
A relaxed fit shirt is a comfortable option for anyone who finds regular or classic shirt fits to be restrictive. It is the ideal choice for more casual settings and a great option for smart-casual wear on the weekend.
Of course, as with any shirt, you want to ensure a relaxed fit shirt still fits your body well. In other words, if you have a slighter frame, a relaxed fit shirt might actually drown your body shape. Even worse than that, it can and make you look sloppy for work or an evening out.
Whatever shirt fit you choose to wear, it’s all about styling and accessorizing your outfit to create a fantastic overall look for the occasion.
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