You might think that all dress shirts are created equal; and to a point, they are. But for men that have broad shoulders on an otherwise slender or even skinny frame, finding the right dress shirt may seem daunting. But there's hope: Key in on style points such as fit, fabric, colors and collars, and you'll find the best shirt that shows off your fit frame in no time.
Dress shirts are fitted, straight or loose and billowy. If you have a slender frame with broad shoulders, find a shirt that fits your shoulders first and doesn't have too much fabric around the middle. If you choose a shirt that's too billowy, you'll look like a teenager in his dad's shirt. A fitted shirt is ideal: it has at least 4 inches of extra fabric to allow for wearing ease and is tapered from the shoulders to the waist.
The Sleeves and Cuffs
Make sure your dress shirt's sleeve lengths are the correct length for your arms and that, when buttoned, the cuffs don't extend beyond the top of your wrists where they meet your hands. If it falls further, either the sleeves are too long or you may need to move the buttons over to decrease the cuff size. Slender men with broad shoulders can pull off wearing French cuffs and cuff links, which draw the eye away from the shoulders.
The Fabrics and Patterns
Avoid soft fabrics like silk and satin in favor of sturdier fabrics, such as cotton, linen, and cotton and polyester blends. The reason is this: softer fabrics hug curves and only serve to bring attention to your slender frame, especially if you have broad shoulders. Sturdier fabrics have more structure and don't cling to your frame as softer fabrics will. You can also wear bolder patterns -- such as plaids, paisleys and stripes -- that heavier men can't generally get away with, so enjoy!
Shirt Features that Flatter
Most dress shirts have a plain button placket and a single left breast pocket. Additional pockets -- or pockets that are placed lower on the shirt -- flatter the slender framed man. Additionally, unique buttons add flair and texture while drawing the eyes in different directions, so they don't settle on your shoulders or your slender frame. Opt for dress shirts with collars, as the overall look keeps the eye moving over the whole torso as well.
Shelley Moench-Kelly is a writer and editor whose clients range from L'Oreal and www.Makeup.com to the McGraw-Hill Companies and FIDM. She has interviewed notables such as Dr. Andrew Ordon of “The Doctors” and the legendary Vidal Sassoon. Her first book, "Egg," is slated for release in 2016.