Regular, Big and Tall mens shirts
Shirts are made of woven cloth. The natural fibers used in the past were cotton (the most frequent), linen (the oldest), ramie, wool or silk. Nowadays, artificial fibers such as polyester or polyester blends are often used, due to their low cost and low maintenance. However, while high quality cotton shirts can survive with care a few decades, a polyester/cotton blend may be used in more demanding environments. Linen produces a cool fabric that wrinkles heavily and is not recommended for missionaries. Cotton polyester blends are therefore the standard material recommended for missionary shirts.
Yarns from these fibers are woven into a variety of different weaves, the most notable of which, for missionaries, is Poplin. Plain Oxford or pinpoint Oxford weaves are popular as casual fabrics, so are generally used in combination with a button-down collar, while royal Oxford is versatile enough to be used on both sporty and formal shirts. There are many other weaves or variations on these, including end-on-end patterns, where alternate white and colored threads are used, giving a mottled appearance, or more exotic weaves, including voile and batiste, which are extremely light fabrics only used for summer shirts or on the unseen parts of formal shirts. For missionary clothing, the white poplin or oxford is recommended.
In the US, ready-to-wear sizes of dress shirts traditionally consist of two to three numbers such as 15½ 34-35. 15.5 refers to the neck size in inches in girth (measured from center of top button to center of corresponding buttonhole) and a sleeve length of 34 to 35 inches (measured from midpoint of the back and shoulders to the wrist). Since the sleeve and neck size do not take into account waist size, some shirts are cut wide to accommodate large belly sizes. Shirts cut for flat stomachs are usually labeled, "fitted", "tailored fit" "athletic fit" or "trim fit". The terms for fuller cut shirts are more varied ("Traditional", "Regular" etc.) and sometimes explained on a shirt maker's website. Additionally, "Portly" or "Big" are often used for neck sizes of 18 inches or more. Very casual button-front shirts are often sized as small, medium, large, and so on. The meaning of these ad-hoc sizes is similarly not standardized and varies between manufacturers.