Knowing the difference between a classic fit shirt and slim fit shirt is extremely important for making sure you are choosing the correct garment for your body shape. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the two types of formal shirts, helping you determine which style is the right one for you.

What is the Difference Between Classic Fit Shirts and Slim Fit Shirts?

While the overall shape will certainly be noticeable between a slim and classic fit shirt, perhaps the biggest difference is that there are larger sizes available in the classic version compared to slim. While our slim fit shirts can only be worn by men with neck sizes of 17.5” and below, the classic fit designs go up to 20”. The bigger neck size you choose, the larger the shirt will be everywhere else.

What is a Classic Fit Shirt?

Traditional with a relaxed shape, a classic fit shirt is the perfect everyday companion. It is cut more generously at the waist to create a straight silhouette and offers extra room for ease of movement and optimum comfort.

What is a Slim Fit Shirt?

Cut closer to the body to flatter the physique, a slim fit shirt is narrower at the chest, waist and hem, as well as being slightly shorter in length. In comparison to a classic fit, there is a lot less fabric, so you’ll find that it can look considerably neater once tucked in.

How Should a Classic Fit Shirt Fit?

Fitted but with plenty of room for movement, a classic fit shirt should be generously proportioned with extra fabric at the arms, chest, waist and hem. It can be worn by men of all shapes and sizes, however it is best suited to those with larger frames or anyone who prefers shirts to be fitted looser across the body.

How Should a Slim Fit Shirt Fit?

Slim fit styles should be tailored close to the body without being too tight. If you find that your shirt is pulling tight across the chest or arms, your shirt is too small. To ensure you’re choosing the right size shirt, we suggest taking a look at another of our blog posts here.

Not just suitable for slender builds, a slim fit shape can actually be quite slimming for larger frames too.

When to Wear a Classic Fit Shirt

Classic fit shirts are the ideal choice for work, as they provide the breathability and mobility that is required for a busy day at the office or a strenuous commute into the city. They can also be a great option for wearing underneath a suit at a wedding, giving you plenty of room for the three-course meal and complimentary wine.

When to Wear a Slim Fit Shirt

Because slim fit shirts are cut closer to the body, they often create a more streamlined shape. As a result, they tend to work best for occasions that require an elegant ensemble, such a black tie event, wedding or awards ceremony. They can also work well at weekends when tucked into your favourite pair of chinos and teamed with a lightweight sports jacket.

Find your perfect shirt fit


Browse our wide selection of formal men’s shirts to ensure you’re always looking your best. With many British styles and designs to choose from, including new shirts for summer, you’ll be spoilt for choice.


If you think the classic fit is the right style for you, take a look at our range of classic fit men’s shirts. Made from the finest quality materials our shits are available in many different colours and designs to suit your taste.


Expertly tailored and finished to the highest standards have a browse of our slim fit men’s shirts, designed to flatter your body shape. Providing the utmost comfort we have plenty of designs available for both formal and smart-casual occasions.


You can always go that extra step forward and take a look at our extra slim fit men’s shirts, a contemporary style that is cut very close to the body, creating a streamlined silhouette. Extra slim fit shirts are the perfect choice for a gentleman looking for a tailored fit.

Discover our full range of shirts for men. If you're not sure of what size you need, take a look at our guide to finding your perfect shirt size.