Allowances for New Dress Shirt Shrinkage

Allowances for New Dress Shirt Shrinkage

I received this question from a reader:

How much shrinkage should I allow for when I select new dress shirts?

Here’s what I shared with them:

As your custom tailor, naturally we allow sufficient fabric for shrinkage, so you never have to worry about ending up with a shirt that’s too small. If you still want to know the basics of shrinkage, remember that cotton fabrics will generally shrink more lengthwise (from top to bottom) than across (from side to side). Some shirts may shrink up to half an inch in length.

Check that you can fit one to two fingers between your neck and the collar. This allows room for ease in wearing and for any shrinkage. Most shirts will allow plenty of length in the body of the shirt, but make sure the shirt sleeves are long enough to lose half an inch and still reach to your wrist easily.

J Kent Erickson
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