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How to Make a Big Shirt Smaller for Guys

Have you ever bought a shirt that you absolutely love, only to find out that it’s too big for you? It’s frustrating, but don’t worry! There are ways to make that big shirt fit you perfectly.

Shirts that are too big can be uncomfortable and unflattering. While some may choose to return the shirt or give it away, others might want to keep it and make it work. Fortunately, there are several ways to alter a shirt to make it smaller, even for guys.

If you have a shirt that’s too big, don’t give up on it just yet. With a few simple alterations, you can make it fit like a glove. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to make a big shirt smaller for guys, so you can wear it with confidence and style.

What You’ll Need

Big Shirt: Start with the shirt that you want to resize. Ensure it is clean and in good condition.

Measuring Tape: Use a measuring tape to accurately measure the dimensions of the shirt, including the chest, waist, and desired length.

Pins: Pins are essential for temporarily securing the fabric while you make adjustments and alterations. They help ensure accurate fitting before sewing.

Sewing Machine or Needle and Thread: Depending on your sewing skills and preference, you can use either a sewing machine or a needle and thread. A sewing machine provides faster and more precise stitching, while hand-sewing allows for more control in delicate areas.

Scissors: Have a pair of sharp fabric scissors to cut excess fabric and trim seams if necessary. Make sure they are suitable for cutting through the shirt fabric.

Seam Ripper: A seam ripper is handy for removing stitches when you need to take in or alter existing seams. It helps in precision and prevents accidental fabric damage.

Tailor’s Chalk or Fabric Marker: These tools allow you to mark areas for alterations and new seam lines on the shirt. They easily wash off or disappear when no longer needed.

Iron and Ironing Board: Ironing is crucial for achieving neat and professional-looking results. Iron out any wrinkles and press the fabric before and after making alterations.

Fusible Interfacing (Optional): If the fabric of your shirt is thin or delicate, using fusible interfacing can provide extra stability and prevent stretching or distortion during the resizing process.

Elastic (Optional): If you choose to use elastic to make the shirt smaller, have the appropriate width and length of elastic on hand. Make sure it is durable and suitable for your desired fit.


If you have a shirt that could fit a giant, you may be wondering how to make it smaller so that it fits you. It can be a bit of a challenge to make a shirt smaller, especially if you are a guy, as men’s shirts don’t have the same tailoring options that women’s clothing does. But don’t worry, there are plenty of methods you can use to make a big shirt smaller for guys.

One of the easiest ways to make a big shirt smaller for guys is to simply tuck it in. If you have a long shirt that fits loosely, tucking it in can help to create a slimmer silhouette while still looking great. You can also try a few knots or a belt to further cinch in the shirt, giving it a more tailored look.

Another option is to get creative with the fabric. If you’ve got a shirt with a lot of extra material, you can use scissors to cut away some of the excess fabric. This will help to make the shirt shorter and narrower.

Just make sure to be very careful when cutting the fabric, as one wrong move can ruin the entire shirt. You can also take the shirt to a tailor to have it altered. A tailor can expertly take in the sides of the shirt, making it fit your body shape.

This is a great option if you don’t want to do the alterations yourself, or if you don’t have the tools or skills to do so. Finally, you can add accessories to your shirt to make it look more tailored. A nice belt or a stylish scarf can make a big difference in how the shirt looks.

You can also add a few buttons or a zipper to the shirt to help make it fit more snugly. With a little bit of effort, you can make a big shirt smaller for guys. Whether you choose to tuck it in, take it to a tailor, or accessorize it with a belt or scarf, there are plenty of ways to create a great look with your oversized shirt.

Step 1: Measure Your Shirt

If you’re a guy looking to make a big shirt smaller, the first step is to measure it. Knowing the exact measurements of your shirt will help you determine the best way to make it smaller so that it fits you perfectly. Taking precise measurements will also help to ensure that you don’t take off too much fabric and end up with a shirt that’s too small.

To get started, you’ll need to get a measuring tape and measure the length, width, and sleeves of your shirt. Once you have these measurements, you’ll be able to figure out which alterations will be necessary to make the shirt fit you better.

Step 2: Cut Your Shirt

Making sure that your shirts fit perfectly can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have a hard time finding clothes that fit off the rack. If you have a larger shirt that’s too big for you, don’t worry there are some simple steps you can take to make it smaller for the perfect fit. To start, you’ll need to cut the shirt.

This may seem intimidating, but don’t worry it’s simpler than you think. Here is a simple guide to help you cut your shirt so that it fits your body better.

Step 3: Sew Your Shirt

Making a large shirt smaller for a guy can be a great way to get a custom-fit look without having to buy a new one. Whether you’ve bought a shirt that’s too big or you’ve found one in your dad’s closet, you can make it fit for you. To do this, you’ll need to use a few simple tools and techniques.

Start by gathering some sewing supplies, like measuring tape, pins, needles, and thread. Then, try on the shirt and mark where you need to make alterations. Finally, sew the seams of the shirt to get the desired fit.

With a few simple steps and a bit of patience, you can create a great-looking shirt that fits you perfectly.

Select a Suitable Location: Find a well-lit area with a mirror where you can try on the shirt comfortably

Remove any tags or Packaging: Take off any tags or packaging that may interfere with trying on the shirt.

Put on the shirt: Slip your arms through the sleeves and pull the shirt over your torso. Ensure that the shirt is oriented correctly, with the front facing forward.

Assess the fit: Stand in front of the mirror and evaluate how the shirt fits your body. Pay attention to the following areas:

Shoulders: Check if the shoulder seams align with your shoulder joints. They should rest at the edge of your shoulders without hanging off or pulling.

Sleeve length: Observe where the sleeves fall on your arms. Ideally, they should reach the base of your wrist or just slightly above it.

Collar: Make sure the collar sits comfortably around your neck without feeling too tight or too loose. Ensure that it doesn’t bunch up or fold excessively.

Chest and torso: Assess how the fabric drapes over your chest and torso. It should fit comfortably without being overly tight or too loose. Look for any areas where the fabric pulls or wrinkles excessively.

Hemline: Check the length of the shirt. The hemline should end around your hips or at a length that is visually pleasing to you.

Make Adjustments: If you notice any areas that require adjustments, consider the following options:

Tightening or loosening: If the shirt is too tight, consider unbuttoning the top few buttons or moving to a larger size if available. Conversely, if it’s too loose, try tightening the buttons or opting for a smaller size if appropriate.

Sleeve adjustments: If the sleeves are too long, you may need to roll them up or consider getting them shortened. Conversely, if they are too short, you might need to choose a different size or style that accommodates your arm’s length.

Collar adjustments: If the collar feels uncomfortable or ill-fitting, you may need to explore different shirt styles or neck sizes that better suit your preferences.

Tailoring: In case the shirt requires significant adjustments, such as taking in the sides or altering the length, you might need to consult a tailor for professional alterations.

Re-evaluate and repeat if necessary: After making any adjustments, try on the shirt again and reassess the fit. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the overall look and comfort.

Finalize the adjustments: Once you are happy with the fit, take note of any changes you made or measurements you need for future reference. If necessary, reattach any tags or packaging that you removed earlier.

By following these steps, you can make final adjustments to your shirt to ensure it fits well and meets your expectations.

Final Adjustments

Before wearing the shirt, it’s important to try it on and make any final adjustments as needed. This may include adjusting the collar, sleeves, or hemline to ensure a proper fit. It’s also a good idea to check for any loose threads or buttons that may need to be reinforced before wearing. Once all adjustments have been made, the shirt is ready to be worn with confidence and style.


By following these steps, you should now have a smaller shirt that fits you perfectly! While you may not have shrunk the shirt, you have certainly made it shrink to fit you. No matter how big the shirt may have been, you can now wear it with confidence, knowing that it fits you perfectly!

Frequently Ask & Questions

Can I make a big shirt smaller without sewing?

Yes, you can make a big shirt smaller without sewing by using fabric adhesive or fabric tape. These products allow you to temporarily alter the size of the shirt by attaching the excess fabric together. However, keep in mind that this is a temporary solution and may not provide a permanent alteration.

How can I shrink a big shirt without damaging it?

To shrink a big shirt without damaging it, you can try washing it in hot water and then tumble drying it on high heat. This method may cause some shrinkage, but results can vary depending on the fabric. It’s important to check the care label of the shirt to ensure it can withstand high temperatures. Remember, shrinking a shirt too much can also affect its shape and fit.

What are some sewing methods to make a big shirt smaller?

There are a few sewing methods you can use to make a big shirt smaller. One common technique is taking in the sides by sewing a new seam along the existing seams. Another method is to gather the excess fabric at the back and sew it down to create a more fitted look. You can also consider adding darts to the back or front of the shirt to remove excess fabric and create a more tailored fit.

Is it possible to resize a big shirt by cutting and resewing it?

Yes, it is possible to resize a big shirt by cutting and resewing it. This method requires more advanced sewing skills and should be approached with caution. You can start by turning the shirt inside out and pinning the areas that need to be taken in. Carefully cut along the pinned lines, leaving a seam allowance. Then, sew the new seams and try on the shirt to ensure the desired fit before finishing the raw edges.

Can I use elastic to make a big shirt smaller?

Yes, you can use elastic to make a big shirt smaller. One common technique is to add elastic to the sides of the shirt by creating a casing and threading the elastic through it. This allows you to gather the fabric and create a more fitted appearance. However, keep in mind that this method may alter the overall look and style of the shirt, so it’s important to consider the desired outcome before proceeding.

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