The Dress Shirt

Please read the Wikipedia article on shirts here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirt. (I intend not to repeat something which is already available somewhere else.)

However, you should know that a dress shirt without a breast pocket is more formal than a shirt with a breast pocket. However, I always like a breast pocket in my shirt. Therefore, all my tailored shirts have breast pocket. Only some of my readymade branded shirts don’t have a breast pocket.

The main element of the dress shirt will be:

  1. The material / texture
  2. Color
  3. Single color or pattern
  4. Collar
  5. Cuff
  6. Buttons
  7. Length
  8. Pleats
  9. Yoke

1. Material

There are various materials available for shirts. Most good dress shirts are made of natural fiber or a mixture of natural and man-made fibers. Natural fibers are cotton, linen, silk, wool, etc. There are various types of man-made fiber these days.

2. Color

Shirts are available in all sorts of colors. However, for formal wear white, various shades of blue, and other pastel colors are preferable. My favorite shirt colors are blue and pink. However, what color of shirt you wear also depends on the suit you are wearing (if you are wearing a suit).

3. Plain or patterned

Shirts can be plain or patterned. Patterns are a bit difficult to get it right and therefore needs a bit of skill to use it.

4. Collar

Check this Wikipedia article about collar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collar_(clothing).

The picture below shows some popular types of shirt collars.

Collar styles
Shirt Collars

5. The shirt collar

If you wear a suit, only two things of your shirt will be visible under the suit: the collar and the sleeve. Therefore, the collar is the most important element of a shirt. There are different collar styles and the style suitable for you depends on the shape of your face. For example, if you have a round face, a long thin collar is more suitable for you because it helps to elongate your round face. Similarly, if you have an elongated face, a spread collar is more suitable as it will not elongate your face.

Remember that the purpose of the shirt collar and a tie is to frame your face and make it more presentable.

The following information is from this web page: http://jang.searchwarp.com/swa347489.htm

Most men wear a standard traditional point or button down collar dress shirt, either out of habit or because stores do not offer other choices. The problem is that these collars may not flatter the shape of your face. Here is a simple guide to help you decide which collar style looks best on you

a. Round Face

You have full cheeks with a rounded jaw line. Narrow point collars help to thin and elongate a round face. The best collar styles for you have straight points with a traditional or narrow spread. Stick to a traditional point for versatility, button down and hidden button down for a sportier look, narrow point for a fashion look and tab collar for a formal, dressy look.

Best Collars: Standard Point, Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, and Tab Collar

Avoid spread collars; they make your face appear wider and fuller.

Worst Collars: Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

b. Square Face

You have a square jaw line, which gives your face a broad, square, angular appearance. Square faces look best wearing traditional point collar shirts for versatility, narrow point collars for a fashion look, button down and hidden button down for a sporty look and tab collar shirts for a formal look.

Best Collars: Standard Point, Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, and Tab Collar

Avoid spread collars; they make your face appear wider and fuller.

Worst Collars: Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

c. Triangular or Diamond Face

You have pronounced cheekbones and a narrow, pointed chin, which gives your face a “diamond shape.” To make your jaw line appear wider, choose shirts with a medium spread to wide spread collar.

Best Collars: Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

Avoid narrow spread collars, including button down collars; they make your jaw line appear weak.

Worst Collars: Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, and Tab Collar

d. Oblong or Rectangular Face

Oblong faces tend to appear long with a u-shaped jaw line. You need collars with a wider spread to give your face the appearance of fullness. Choose medium spread collars for everyday and wide spread collars for a formal look.

Best Collars: Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

Avoid narrow spread collars, including button down, hidden button down and tab collars; they make your face appear long and narrow.

Worst Collars: Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, and Tab Collar

e. Oval Face

 You are fortunate because you can wear any collar style. Enjoy wearing traditional collars for an everyday look, button down collar shirts for a sportier casual look, tab collars for a neat, dapper appearance, or wide spread collars for a formal look.

Best Collars: Standard Point, Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, Tab Collar, Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

  • Cuff

For dress shirts, two choices are available. Buttoned cuff or French cuff (also known as double cuff).  The image below shows some popular types of shirt cuffs:

  • Buttons

The button of choice for most high-end shirts is buttons made of mother of pearls (MOP). Unfortunately, I have not been able to buy any good quality MOP shirt buttons in Dhaka. However, they may be purchased on-line if you have an international debit or credit card.

  • Shirt Length

A dress-shirt must be long enough so that it can be tugged securely under the trousers. Too short a length will result in the shirt being unraveled. If the wearer’s preference is to wear trousers is just above the hip, then the shirt should be lengthened even more to compensate for the difference.

  • Pleats

Pleats are folds at the back of the shirt. To pleat or not is a personal choice. If you decide to pleat, then you have three choices: normal pleat; reverse pleat; or box pleat. For tailor made fitted shirts, I do not like pleats. Most readymade shirts seem to have pleats.

  • Yoke

The yoke of a shirt is what sits on the shoulders, just below the shirt’s collar. The yoke is a very important part of the shirt because the fit of the shirt will depend on how comfortably the yoke sits on your shoulders. Many good quality shirts will have a split yoke. I would not only insist on split yokes for all my tailor made shirts, but also the two yokes must be measured individually from the vertebrate to the ends of left and right shoulders. If will be surprised to know that length of you two arms are not identical!

8 thoughts on “The Dress Shirt

  1. Hey there,
    I love the way you dress, very sharp!
    I would like to know which tailor you would recommend in Dhaka to get shirts made and also where I can find collar pins.
    Do let me know.
    Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your compliment. My shirts (including trousers and suits) are made by Dapper Bespoke, located in the lobby of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Kawran Bazar, Dhaka. The price of shirt varies between Taka 3,000 and 5,500, depending on fabric.

    2. By the way, you can also order a shirt with collar pin. Use of the collar pins require the shirt collar to have perforations. Collar pins are available in two types–safety pin type as well as dumbbell style. All collar pins are made with pure silver and the price ranges between Taka 3,000 and 5,000 (depending on quantity of silver).

  2. I enjoy your website, and admire your dedication to dressing fastidiously. It is also probably the best single source of info on the subject of mens fashion Ive come across recently – reminding me of the time when I was younger, when I used to write about fashion for India’s leading textile company. However I have one small suggestion: pl do consider tweaking the landing page. The image of mountains somehow doesnt match the rest of the content and thus confuses the browser and dilutes the impact. (Likewise the opening story on Sigiriya etc). I think this would help sharpen your site’s impact as a mens fashion reference worldwide. All the best!

  3. King:

    Thanks for your blog. I’m writing you from Colombia.

    I recently purchased a light pink checkered shirt. Is very nice, but I don’t know how to match it. My suits are either dark navy or charcoal gray. What would you suggest for suit and tie with that specific shirt?

    Thanks!

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