I'm on a crusade to change the standard thinking about purchasing dress shirts.
The standard thinking goes like this…
A dress shirt is an afterthought. In my view it needs higher standing — a bigger priority in the outfit-buying process.
Why is a dress shirt so important?
When the foundation garments — in this case, a dress shirt — are of high quality, you feel good, so good you act differently, move differently, and gain a new confidence. That's the “best-dressed attitude”.
Here's an overview of what to look for when purchasing a quality dress shirt so you can be on your way to that best-dressed list — whether it's amongst your colleagues at work or in the press for the latest fund-raising event.
Men's Dress Shirt Fabric
The education of fabrics is an involved one and an important one to be sure but I want to talk here about emotion. Feel the fabric. Let the shirt fabric fall over your hand and arm. It's that easy. Quality fabrics feel soft, supple and hang in a relaxed manner.
This is vital for the dress shirt to feel good on your body. So choose a dress shirt fabric you really like. Period.
A beautiful densely-woven Egyptian cotton can feel luxurious to some, while a classic Pima cotton sets off that feel-good response in others.
The point is to purchase a dress shirt that will be comfortable and move with you. The longer, smoother fibers of a quality fabric next to your body all day is a joy, boosting you to the next level of comfort and attitude.
Here are a few words about the solid vs. print debate. Solid color dress shirts are the safe classic. You simply can't go wrong with a solid color and is definitely the best choice if your wardrobe dollars are limited.
Prints can be printed on or woven into the fabric. The higher the quality, the more likely it is the fabric has a woven-in design. In a woven design, the yarns are dyed prior to weaving, then the computerized looms make the pattern. Woven designs are richer, more textural and luxurious.
Choosing Quality Style Elements Of The Man's Dress Shirt
Let's first talk about cuffs. And just to be clear, dress shirts always have long sleeves. So there's the classic button cuff which will get you through most of your life.
A quality dress shirt cuff will be free from wrinkles or folds and have straight topstitching. The vent will be generous and may have another little button.
French cuffs may say more about style than about quality. French cuffs are great, don't get me wrong, and they can make an elegant statement with an heirloom pair of cufflinks, but they are not the deciding factor in terms of quality.
So when shopping for a dress shirt, you will find high-quality with both Button Cuffs and French Cuffs. Collars dictate style as well. Click here to read more about collar styles.
In terms of quality, the collar should always fold over in a relaxed and natural fashion – never forced or with diagonal wrinkles. In the construction process, collars must be cut and sewn with finesse to be successful and a quality tailor will see to it that this crucial part of a dress shirt is done right.
Crooked, off-kilter collars cannot be pressed straight. They will always be wrong.
Fit For The Best-Dressed Man
Your attitude may really be affected by a well-fitting dress shirt. And don't think I'm only talking about model-type physiques.
Clothing that fits well with any body type is the biggest determining factor in how well you'll feel and look. Repeat – fit is the most important factor in how well you'll feel in your clothes.
Custom made dress shirts are the answer to fit issues for all body types. It simply can't be stressed enough that a well-fitting dress shirt can change how you feel every time it's worn.
No more pulling or adjusting. Imagine feeling comfortable and relaxed and fabulous looking. Since I'm on this crusade of elevating dress shirt stature, I'll throw in one more cliche: quality of life.
In conclusion, finding quality in a dress shirt is not a daunting task, and the rewards are well worth it. The reward is a dress shirt – your vital foundation garment – that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and give you that best-dressed attitude.
Confused with how a men's dress shirt should fit when worn? You've come to the right place!
Check out our article on How A Men’s Dress Shirt Should Fit