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How a denim shirt should fit

How a denim shirt should fit

Once favoured by cowboys, soldiers, and ranchers in the 19th century, the denim shirt has (thankfully) transitioned from utilitarian uniform to the layering hero it is today. It’s an icon of casual style, replete with all the practicality of its humble roots yet never out of place alongside more contemporary pieces. Its versatility allows for year-round wear, as it can be a midlayer during colder seasons and outerwear (over a tee) during warmer weather. But even an item as fail-safe as a denim shirt requires the right attention to detail when it comes to fit. Read on for our stylists’ tips.


A denim shirt shouldn’t be too tight, but shouldn’t drown you in fabric either. If you’re wearing it as an overshirt, it should be loose enough to fit a t-shirt underneath without being oversized. If you’re wearing it as an underlayer, it should follow the shape of your body and button up easily without splaying.


The shirt should taper just below your hips, falling past the waistband of your trousers (or jeans if you’re rocking double denim). 


On the sleeves, the seam should line up to (or be just over) your shoulder. As a fabric, denim can be a bit firm, so go for sleeves that allow for lots of movement in the arms. Over time, the denim will start to relax and you can roll up the sleeves.


The collar shouldn’t be too restrictive and should fit around your neck comfortably – despite the fact you’re unlikely to do up the top button. If you’ve got pockets on your denim shirt, make sure the buttons are closed to avoid any sloppiness.

Words: Ashiana Pradhan
Photography: Angus Williams
Styling: Freddie Kemp