Shrinkage in dress shirts is an unusual problem since the manufacturer has already allowed for the normal 2% shrinkage. Manufactured shirts are normally designed so when they shrink 2% they will be at the promised size. If your dress shirt shrinks all over, you probably have a defective shirt and the manufacturer should be held responsible. Men’s dress shirts will often shrink anywhere from 1/4 to 3/8 inches after repeated laundering.
What happens when you have a shirt laundered a few times and it eventually shrinks either in the sleeve, cuff or collar? This may be the result of the cuff or collar interfacing shrinking while the outer fabric does not, causing the shirt to seemingly get smaller only in the area of the shirt body.
The interfacing is an inner layer of fabric covered by the outer fabric found on cuffs, collars, and placket in dress shirts. The interfacing gives the cuffs and collars extra strength and body in these important parts of the dress shirt. If the interfacing is not preshrunk before the shirt is made, then there will be shrinkage in the collar and cuffs.
When buying a dress shirt, take into consideration shrinkage in deciding what size shirt to buy.
When shirt collars get older, the facing inside does not hold its shape. You can add starch or a front collar clip, or even better place your dress shirts on a wooden hanger. Wire hangers do not hold the shirts shape continuously.