The History Of Menswear Told Through NYPL’S Digital Collection: Part 11

Earlier this year the New York Public Library shared 180,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, and much more in a digital public domain collection for the very first time. In it, we unearthed menswear ads from over one hundred years ago. In this series, we explore them. Discover part nine below, and find the other parts here in case you missed them.

Arrow Donchester Dress Shirts 1915

The Proper Fitting Men's Dress Shirt

This Arrow dress shirt ad for the Donchester shirt from 1915 shows how important a good fit has always been to achieving the best look. This is the second Donchester ad we’ve taken a look at. In this ad, similarly to the other, they bring home the importance of a better fit by highlighting that the bosom of a Donchester Shirt – like good manners – is never out of place. However, the illustration style is a bit more whimsical in this ad, and only features black and white which is less attention calling.

They go on to describe a common problem of ill-fitting dress shirts: muffin top, and purport that their shirt solves for it. When a men’s dress shirt isn’t tailored properly through the torso and is then tucked in, all that extra fabric puffs out around the waist creating what most closely resembles the top of a muffin. This is the most prevalent—and in our opinion, the least pardonable—fit problem.

That’s why Arrow claims that their shirt doesn’t buckle up and bulge out of the waist-coat opening. Nearly 100 years later, our signature tapered fit solves the same problem and many more; it’s a great way to find a shirt that feels like it was custom made for you, right off the rack.

Which ill-fitting problem do you most often encounter?

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