A dress shirt is a more formal shirt, which can usually be seen worn with tailoring or formal accessories such as ties and bow ties. It features a collar and buttons leading down to the end of the shirt. This piece was once an undergarment, being worn under waistcoats and blazers. Now, it’s not just worn with tailoring, it can be worn alone to create more formal looks.
The dress shirt is one of the most important pieces of a man’s wardrobe, setting the tone for a formal, or at least dressier outfit. Nailing the dress shirt will mean understanding it – you need to find your ideal fit, collar type and of course, work out how you are going to wear it.
Where can I wear a dress shirt?
● For professional engagements – with a suit
● For casual days where you still want to look your best – with a Fresh Clean Threads v-neck t-shirt, slacks, and brogues, for example.
● For formal occasions – with a suit or with dressy pants
● For a date night – set your date’s heart racing by unbuttoning your dress shirt for a laidback touch
How can I find my fit?
The key to nailing the dress shirt is to find the most flattering fit for you. Here are a few tips and tricks of the trade to ensure that you look your best:
● Be wary of brands that use generic sizing for their dress shirt (S, M, L, etc).
● Trust brands that utilize measurements such as neck and arm length. This will ensure a better fit.
● Alternatively, you can get a bespoke shirt made to your measurements for the perfect fit.
● Choose the fit you’re going for – slim fit, classic fit or modern fit.
Which fabrics exist for dress shirts?
Choose your fabrics wisely, they can make or break an outfit. They can elevate or cheapen your outfit. Here are some of the main fabrics that dress shirts come in:
● Cotton: A classic for shirts generally, and a more sustainable option too. Cotton is breathable and comes in a variety of weaves to suit your climate. You won’t work up a sweat in a classic cotton dress shirt!
● Linen: Ideal for the summertime, linen is breathable and lightweight and will feel amazing against your skin.
● Silk: The ultimate luxury fabric – silk dress shirts are perfect for dressier occasions. It is an option for high-end shirts, and it will add texture to your formal outfits.
What collar types exist?
Now you know more about dress shirts generally, it’s time to narrow it down to collar types. That way, you can choose shirts that will complement your outfit and the occasion.
● Straight collar: Also known as the point collar, this collar type is very versatile. It can be worn alone or with a tie or bowtie. It’s one of the easiest styles to wear, as it can be worn in a more casual manner or for an occasion.
● Windsor spread collar: This is a traditional British collar, which really calls for a tie. It is a more conservative collar that is appropriate for most occasions.
● Button-down collar: A button-down collar is a more pointed collar with button finishings. This old-school style is still worn today, as the buttons help to keep the collar in place.
● The cutaway collar: The cutaway collar is a pointed style that doesn’t spread as wide as the straight collar or Windsor spread collar does. It accommodates room for a larger knot if you plan to wear it with a tie.
● The club collar: The club collar is a more rounded collar and has a more vintage feel. This will add a unique touch to your wardrobe.
● The band collar: The band collar features no collar leaves and appears almost like a high neckline. It is a more formal variation of the collar.
Congratulations – you are now an expert in dress shirts and particular collar types. Now, you have no excuse to not upgrade your shirt collection right away!