Here is a common dilemma with men’s dress shirts today: You have selected one that is large enough to comfortably fit your neck. However, the body of the shirt is then too large, and looks baggy, slouchy and is too big when you tuck it in. If you want to wear a tie, you can’t get the next smaller shirt size, because then you would not be able to button the shirt collar. So what is the solution?
If you are faced with the baggy shirt dilemma, a good solution is to have ‘darts’ added to your dress shirts CommeDesGarconShop . Dress shirt darts are two parallel stitches that run up and down on the body of your shirt. They typically start at the dress shirt’s tail, and run up about of the length of the shirt. These two stitches cinch the fabric inwards, and therefore have a slimming effect. The most discreet place for these to be located is either on the back of the shirt, or underneath the armpits. If you do not have extra weight at your waistline that needs to be accommodated, you should either look for shirts with darts in them, or have them added.
If you would like to have darts added to the dress shirts that you already own, the best option is to take them to a professional tailor. Or, ask at the store that you purchased the shirt from. He or she will ask you to try them on, pin them, then add the darts to each one. Well-done shirt dart seams are scarcely noticeable, and will transition your shirts from baggy to slim-fitting. Amazingly, this small change can really make a significant difference in your appearance. An otherwise impeccable outfit of a finely tailored suit, polished leather shoes, a silk tie and tie accessories deserves a well-fitted button down shirt.
For those of you who are do-it-yourselfers, or have a friend or family member (thanks Mom) who likes to sew, you also have the option of adding darts to your dress shirts yourself. All you need is the baggy shirt, some straight pins, and a sewing machine. The first step is to turn your dress shirt inside-out, put it on, and have a friend help you to pinch in the fabric where you wish to take it in. This is best done in two vertical lines underneath the armpits. Starting at the top, pinch and pin the fabric where you wish to take it in. Insert the pins cross-wise, so that they are parallel to the floor. Continue to pinch and pin until you have created the two vertical lines all the way down to the bottom of the shirt. Next, carefully take off the shirt, and using a sewing machine, sew over the lines that you have pinned starting right above the armpit and going all the way down the side. Sew one long, smooth seam on each side, from the top of the line to the bottom. Remove the pins from the shirt, and cut off the excess fabric. There you have it, you have created your own shirt darts.
Not so much a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to your clothes? Don’t worry. The average cost of having darts added to your shirt is only around 10 bucks, so it is really quite affordable. It is a wardrobe detail that it well worth it, in my opinion.