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Regular Fit vs Classic Fit: What Is the Difference?

Whether you want to buy a suit, a shirt, or a pair of jeans, you will find yourself faced with a choice between many kinds of cuts. Like classic and regular, some of these offer a looser fit that will feel comfortable for people with many different body types. But when you compare regular fit vs classic fit, what exactly is the difference?

Regular fit clothing usually offers a looser fit than classic fit clothing. Regular fit pants and jeans provide a wider leg above the knee than classic-fit pants, and regular fit shirts offer broader shoulders and a box pleat at the center back. Classic fit shirts and pants feature straight lines and a comfortable but not baggy fit.

In this article, you will learn the key difference between regular and classic fit. You will discover how these popular styles compare to slim and modern fit. Finally, you will learn what to expect in regular and classic shirts, jeans, and suits.

Regular Fit vs Classic Fit

What is Regular Fit?

Lee womens Regular Fit Straight Leg Jeans, Anchor, 12 USRegular fit shirts, suits, and pants offer a generous cut and plenty of extra fabric in the shoulders, side seams, and legs. This cut has a one-size-fits-all appeal as it is intended to comfortably fit people with any body type.

This style promotes ease of movement and functionality and loose, roomy comfort. Regular fit does not look trendy or sleek and modern, but it can present a neat, traditional appearance.

While a regular fit can fit anyone, you will not find this style ideal if you prefer close-fitting garments. Whether you want jeans, pants, suits, or shirts, regular fit clothing will hang loosely from your body and offer lots of bulky straight seams.

For example, regular fit suit jackets have larger armholes than most other jacket styles. They also offer a fraction more length in the shoulders and typically have straight side seams that create a boxy style of jacket as well.

In pants and jeans, regular fit usually means wider legs above the knee and straight legs below the knee. This may vary from one brand to another, though!

What does regular fit mean in shirts? Generally, regular fit button-down shirts will include a box pleat right between the shoulder blades. This provides extra material in the torso and waist. This style of dress shirt has remained popular for almost a century, but it does have the downside that it will poof at the waist when tucked in.

Regular fit t-shirts look like a rectangle with sleeves attached. They do not have fitted sides or extra room for muscular shoulders like an athletic cut or a slim-fit shirt.

What is Classic Fit?

Amazon Essentials Men's Classic-Fit Wrinkle-Resistant Flat-Front Chino Pant, Taupe, 35W x 34LA classic fit in shirts, suits, or pants presents a very traditional appearance with loose but not baggy lines and fit. The idea of a classic fit is to create a comfortable but more precise and professional style.

Some brands define a classic fit as the biggest, bulkiest cut available, so this can vary depending on the brand. You will want to make sure you read up on a new brand before buying a classic fit shirt, suit, or pair of pants for this reason!

Other brands use names like a straight fit or natural fit instead of a classic fit.

A button-down shirt in a classic fit will often include a box pleat at the bottom of the yoke, just like a regular fit. It may have tapered side seams, though, or a slightly more fitted cut. In t-shirts, a classic fit often comes with slightly tapered side seams and sometimes special details like a shorter hem that looks good untucked with slacks or khakis.

What does classic fit mean in men’s pants? These pants will feel loose but will have slightly slimmer thighs than most regular-fit pants. This small difference can help professionals avoid an overly boxy look.

A classic-fit suit jacket will have broad shoulders, wide sleeves and armholes, and extra room in the chest. In most cases, the jacket will hang down below the waist and will not taper in, creating a more open, square look at the waistline. You may also see a classic-fit suit called a traditional cut or an American-style suit.

One of the great things about a classic cut in suits and pants is that it is one of the more popular, most sold styles in the world! This makes it easy to find a suit jacket or pants in this style whenever you need to go shopping.

Regular Fit vs Classic Fit: Key Points

For a quick comparison of these popular styles, check out this chart!

 RegularClassic
AppearanceLoose, boxy, very roomyLoose but more traditional appearance
ComfortVery comfortableComfortable but may incorporate a fraction less material
CutTypically very boxy, with lots of straight seamsA loose cut, but may use a more narrow fit and some tapered seams
Body ShapeFits anyone, especially people with rounder body typesComfortable for any body type, but offers a slightly more professional appearance
ShouldersCut loose and broad, with wide armholes for comfortCut loose and broad, with wide armholes for comfort
ChestVery roomy, with extra space created by a box pleat at the center backRoomy, but may or may not have box pleats or other types of pleats at the back to incorporate extra material
SleevesFull and loose at the top, often tapering to the wristRoomy but not as full as regular-fit
WaistUsually falls below the natural waistTypically sits at the natural waist
SeatLoose and roomyLoose and roomy
Leg OpeningVery wide, with a straight leg below the kneeSomewhat wide, with a straight leg below the knee
Width Below KneeVaries from brand to brand, but usually quite wideVaries from brand to brand, but usually a little more narrow

What Is the Difference Between Regular Fit vs Classic Fit?

Difference Between Regular Fit vs Classic Fit

The main difference between a regular fit and a classic fit is that in most brands, a regular fit will provide slightly more fabric in the garment than a classic fit.

Is classic the same as regular fit? Technically, regular fit and classic fit have key differences, such as wider or more slender shoulders and looser or tighter upper legs in pants.

However, this does vary from brand to brand. Some brands use the terms classic, regular, and straight fit interchangeably to mean the same loosely fitting style. Other brands may not offer both classic and regular fit.

This style is usually the loosest, bulkiest cut offered by any brand. You can also find terms like American fit, straight cut, or traditional cut used in place of either classic or regular cut.

Appearance

Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit 100% Cotton Long-Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt, Charcoal Heather, X-SmallAt first glance, classic and regular fit clothing will have a pretty similar appearance. Both styles offer a looser, bulkier version of a garment than either a slim fit or a tailored fit.

For brands that offer both a classic and regular fit, the classic will usually have a marginally more tailored look. The regular cut will offer the most fabric, which can hide the most but can also look overly puffy depending on your body type.

Most of the time, in things like t-shirts and pants, the actual measurements of the garments will show that classic fit contains just a little less fabric than a regular fit. But this may not hold true for every brand, so make sure you investigate before making a purchase!

Comfort

There is very little to choose between regular and classic fit for comfort. If you like extra room in the upper leg in your pants, you will find a regular cut in trousers more comfortable.

But both styles offer lots of fabric in the chest and shoulders in shirts and jackets, so they will both fit loosely and provide lots of room for movement. A regular cut in tees and button-down shirts may have wider side seams, providing a puffier and more airy shirt that could feel more comfortable to some people.

On the other hand, if you want to look professional and feel comfortable at the same time, you might want the slightly more streamlined look of a classic fit in your button-down or jacket.

Cut

The main difference you will find between regular fit and classic fit usually lies in the cut. This means the actual shapes of fabric cut out to make the garments you wear.

Regular fit usually (though not always) includes slightly more fabric. This gives regular fit garments a looser shape or cut.

The differences in the cut are most easy to visualize if you picture a pair of regular fit vs classic fit trousers. Regular fit trousers spread out farther in the upper leg because they have a wider cut in the thigh. Classic fit pants will fit the shape of your leg a little more closely because they do not include that extra fabric in the cut.

Body Shape

The great thing about both regular and classic fit styles is that pretty much anyone can look great in this kind of clothing! Classic fit and regular fit shirts and jackets embrace the same basic styles your dad or even grandpa probably wore. These loosely fitting garments can easily hide a rounder body type or provide a wide range of movement for someone with a more slender body.

You should wear regular fit trousers or pants if you have wide thighs or if you just like a loose line in your pants. You should wear classic-fit dress pants if you want to feel comfortable while maintaining a more professional appearance with a bit more of a silhouette in the leg.

You should wear a regular fit shirt if you have a rounder body type or just like an especially airy feel in your button-down shirts.

You should wear classic fit shirts if you want something not too loose or too slim, that kind of falls in between regular fit and slim fit cuts.

Shoulders

Amazon Essentials Men's Regular-Fit Long-Sleeve Casual Poplin Shirt, Blue, Checked, MediumBoth classic fit and regular fit shirts and jackets typically provide extra-wide shoulders. Paired with wide armholes, this creates a loose-fitting shirt or jacket that can comfortably embrace people with various body types.

Most brands offer either a regular fit or a classic fit style of the shirt instead of both. But if a brand does sell both types of styles, you will usually find that the shoulder measurements will be the same for both cuts.

Chest

Both regular fit and classic fit shirts will offer a generous amount of fabric in the chest, though the precise measurements do vary a lot from brand to brand.

The amount of fabric in a shirt’s chest or upper torso area often depends on the pleat at the center back. Most regular-fit shirts incorporate a box pleat, which is a way to fold extra several inches of material into the back of the shirt. This allows a very loose, comfortable chest area in regular-fit shirts.

Some classic fit shirts also feature a box pleat, but others use smaller double pleats or diagonal knife pleats instead to create a shirt with more of a shape.

Sleeves

Both regular and classic fit styles of shirts and jackets will have wide armholes and loose sleeves, but the shape of the sleeve may vary between these styles. Regular-fit sleeves often have a wide upper sleeve at the shoulder but will then taper or narrow down to the wrist. Classic-fit sleeves offer a full cut that will look slightly less puffy than the regular-fit sleeve with its very wide top.

In t-shirts, both styles usually just have very boxy, rectangular sleeves, though.

Waist

This is a big generalization because it can vary widely from brand to brand, but classic fit pants usually sit at the waist like traditional trousers. Regular fit pants often have a waist that falls just below your natural waist, giving you a more comfortable fit if you have a broader or rounder body type.

Seat

In general, regular-fit pants will offer a looser seat than classic-fit pants. Regular fit pants offer slightly wider upper legs than classic-fit pants. Both regular and classic-fit pants, jeans, and dress pants will have a loosely hanging seat area, rather than fabric that clings to your posterior!

Leg Opening

Whether you want jeans or suit pants, both classic fit and regular fit almost always feature a straight leg opening. This means that the pant leg will fall in a straight leg from the knee to the ankle, giving you a very loose, wide circle at the leg opening. This can vary in width from one brand and type of pants to another, but it will always be quite wide!

Width Below Knee

Overall, regular-fit pants have a looser cut than classic-fit pants, but both styles typically have a straight leg below the knee. This means that whatever the circumference of the pant leg at the knee, the leg opening will have that same measurement!

For regular-fit pants, this provides a wide, straight leg below the knee. Classic-fit pants may have a more narrow fit at the knee, leading to a slightly more narrow but still straight leg below the knee.

Regular and Classic Fit Compared to Other Popular Styles

Another good way to understand regular and classic fit is to compare these cuts to other popular styles.

Is Classic the Same as Slim Fit?

Classic fit is not the same as slim fit, though it looks a little more slim fit than a regular cut would! If you lined up all three styles in the same brand of clothing, you would find that regular fit provides the loosest, roomiest clothing, with a classic fit in the middle and slim fit featuring the most narrow style.

A classic fit has a middle-of-the-road style that makes it the perfect choice for anyone who wants to feel comfortable while maintaining a business-casual look appropriate for the office. Slim fit, in contrast, tends to offer a sleek, fitted silhouette for someone who has a narrow body type and wants to look especially modern.

What is the Difference Between Modern Fit and Regular Fit?

The main difference between modern fit and the regular fit is that a regular fit suit, shirt, or pair of pants will contain much more fabric and look boxier than modern fit clothing.

Not all brands offer a modern fit, but this stylish cut usually lies right between the shape of a classic fit and a slim-fit cut in clothing. It has fitted lines but does not fit the shape of the body quite as much as a slim-fit style.

Regular fit, of course, has that “dad jeans” vibe with its loose, boxy lines.

Relaxed vs Regular Fit Shirt

The biggest difference between relaxed fit and regular fit shirts is that relaxed fit is typically a little bigger and looser. Not every brand offers a relaxed fit, but this cut is always the biggest loosest version of a garment!

In pants, a relaxed fit means extra space in the seat and thighs.

Classic Fit vs Straight Fit

Classic fit and straight fit sometimes mean the same things, but if a brand offers both cuts, you can expect the key difference between these styles is that straight fit may not offer quite as much extra fabric as a classic fit. Mind you, both styles have a comfortable fit with clean lines. But straight-fit pants will have a tighter seat and waist area than classic fit pants.

Many brands offer either a classic fit or a straight fit, as the styles do look quite similar in most cases.

Comfort Fit vs Regular Fit Shirt

The biggest difference between comfort fit and regular fit shirts and t-shirts is that comfort fit styles include a little more room, especially in the chest or upper torso. Some brands use the term “comfort fit” instead of “relaxed fit.” The idea remains the same–this is the slightly larger, slightly looser version of the shirt that will hang on your a bit more loosely than a regular fit.

In some cases, comfort-fit shirts may also use fabric with a tiny bit of elastic woven into it. This varies from brand to brand, though!

Regular Fit vs Classic Fit: Types of Clothes

You may also find it helpful to consider regular fit vs classic fit shirts, jeans, pants, and suits.

Shirts

Amazon Essentials Men's Regular-Fit Wrinkle-Resistant Long-Sleeve Solid Dress Shirt, White, 17.5' Neck 34'-35' SleeveClassic fit shirts often feature a slightly narrow shape than regular-fit shirts and t-shirts, though this is not always the case!

Some brands offer just a classic or a regular fit, as the styles of shirts sometimes look quite similar.

In most brands, a classic-fit tee will have slightly tapered sides, though it will still have broad shoulders and loose sleeves. A regular fit tee, in contrast, will have straight side seams and will look very rectangular.

Jeans

Lee mens Regular Fit Straight Leg jeans, Pepperstone, 34W x 32L USWhile most brands sell regular fit jeans, you do not find classic fit jeans as often. Instead, you can get a loose-fitting pair of regular fit jeans or a tightly fitting pair of slim fit jeans from the most popular brands.

Regular fit jeans offer a somewhat boxy appearance, with broad thighs and straight legs below the knee. They always have a roomy seat and often feature a mid-rise waist that sits just below your natural waist. If you want even more room in your jeans, you can get a slightly larger version by going with a relaxed cut!

Pants

Mountain Khakis Women's Camber 105 Pant Classic Fit, Firma, 8 PetiteThe big difference between regular fit and classic-fit pants is that classic fit trousers or khakis will have a slightly narrow shape.

Classic fit pants often feature a tailored upper leg and may have a pleated front for a looser shape or a fitted front for a more narrow silhouette. They do not fit tightly by any means, but they give you a classic, traditional look that has a professional appearance.

Regular fit pants hang more loosely and can even look a little baggy in some cases. They work better in relaxed environments, though you may find them the most comfortable choice for a business casual workplace!

Suits

P&L Men's 2-Piece Classic Fit 2 Button Office Dress Suit Jacket Blazer & Pleated Pants Set Silver GreyWhile you will find a big difference between relaxed fit and classic fit suit pants, you may not find much difference in the jackets. Both types of jackets will have broad shoulders and straight, loose sides to provide a very roomy fit. They also typically offer wide armholes and quite full sleeves.

One of the big advantages of buying a regular fit jacket is that a professional tailor can easily alter this roomy garment to fit your particular body type. Plus, a regular fit suit jacket hangs loosely enough to mask the curves of a rounder body type or provide lots of range of movement for anyone who does not like to feel confined.

Conclusion

The biggest difference between regular fit and classic fit cuts in clothing is that regular fit often incorporates a little more fabric for extra room. If you’re looking for jeans or pants, a regular fit will give you looser pant legs above the knee, perfect for anyone with a curvier body or extra-muscular thighs.

In shirts and jackets, both regular and classic fit usually offer straight side seams, roomy shoulders, and wide armholes. Some brands use slightly tapered side seams in classic shirts to give a hint of tailoring to the outline of the shirt. Classic fit shirts may have looser sleeves than the full sleeves on a regular fit shirt, though

Have you ever worn a classic fit shirt or a regular fit shirt? Which did you like better? Leave a comment below to let us know!