Rolandstronghammer

New Member
25
United States
New Jersey
Paramus
Good Afternoon,

I am trying to better understand the various ways to take in a dress shirt so that I can make the best decision. From what I understand there are two ways to do it. The first way would be to take in material along the sides. The problem with this from what I can gather is that it removes equal material from both the front and the back. Since most men have a bit of a belly and a flat/hollow back, it may look good from the front while still leaving excess material in the back. The second method is creating darts which is where some of the fabric above ones "love handles" is folded over. Pros are these can be let back out if I gain weight. Cons are some people find darts unsightly.

Have I missed anything. Is there anything else I should consider?

Thank you,

Roland
 

Tempest

Honors Member
3,469
United States
NJ
Windham Park
Front darts are done on men's shirts? I'm familiar with lower back ones. From a construction standpoint, I'd figure darts to be less work, as there is no flat felled seam, or even cutting, needed.
 

cellochris

Super Member
1,573
United States
Massachusetts
Boston
I have two white shirts exactly the same. One was tailored the first way, one was darted in the back. I do not mind the materials taken in along the sides. The darted shirt I only wear with jackets; I do not like the look.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
30,087
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
Over the past 50+ years I've had countless shirts tapered to provide a more streamlined fit and, based on my admittedly somewhat flawed memory(;)), all have been taken in along the side seams. Darts have less place on a shirt than they do on a sport coat or suit jacket (IMHO)!
 

Spex

Super Member
1,937
Canada
Ontario
Toronto
Darts on dress shirts (meaning not button down collars with box pleats) around my city seem to be common. I don't mind them and they serve their purpose to shape the back of shirts, as in this day and age many men go jacketless. I would not find darts on the back of a box-pleated OCBD to be a good look.

I'm not sure that it's true that taking in material from the sides means that an equal amount needs to be taken from the front and the back. Can anyone attest to this?
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
7,799
United States
NY
New York
Darts can clean up the back of the shirt, but they don't take in that much. It's common for both taking in the sides and adding darts in the back to be necessary for a great fit. I don't find darts on a shirt all that unsightly. They're only in the back, and they give the back a cleaner shape. I prefer darts over a baggy back.

I'm not sure if the front and back of a shirt can be taken in at different amounts. The geometry of taking in the back more through the side seams may not work as well as adding darts.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
1,542
United States
new york
new york
Darts on dress shirts (meaning not button down collars with box pleats) around my city seem to be common. I don't mind them and they serve their purpose to shape the back of shirts, as in this day and age many men go jacketless. I would not find darts on the back of a box-pleated OCBD to be a good look.
When taking in the side seams it is not necessary to take the same amount of material from the front and the back. Who ever is doing the alteration will determine how it should be done - none from the front and some from the back, unequal amounts from front and back, etc.

Paul Winston
Winston Tailors/ www.chippneckwear.com
 

WA

Honors Member
3,967
United States
WA
Bellingham
With a custom shirt the details should be figured out at the fittings, no need for darts.

Mass-produced shirts come finished, as do m2m. There are less adjustments here, unless a lot of seams are undone and resewn. Then might as well have done custom. What Paul Winston says above seems best for pre-made.
 

orange fury

Connoisseur
5,091
United States
Texas
Houston
Consult with a tailor- almost all of my shirts are altered by taking in at the sides, but I had a couple shirts that my tailor did darts on (due to the initial fit/cut of the shirt, he told me it would create a better fit than he would be able to get out of reconstructing the whole shirt). I don't mind back pleats, but front pleats on men look horrible

Edit: just saw Paul's post, ill defer to his expertise
 
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