Six Considerations When Buying a Dress Shirt

Choosing a dress shirt is much more involved than it sounds. Unfortunately, not every man realises this. We tend to pick up a shirt, try it on and decide on impulse whether or not it’s good enough. But if you know these six points to consider, the dress shirt you buy is guaranteed to look better on.

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1. The fit

Many men believe fit means body hugging, it doesn’t. A good fit has two qualities: it makes the shirt comfortable and allows freedom of movement, and it flatters your torso. The variations on this are: slim fit, normal fit and loose fit. As the name suggests, slim fit is ideal for thinner men with little muscle. Normal fit suits more muscled men. Loose fit is for those with a fuller torso. Once you know your fit, you’re halfway there.

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2. The fabric

Although a purist will swear by cotton, there are different times when a different fabric will be better suited. In summer, lightweight cotton provides good moisture and heat conduction but for a hardworking, easy care shirt, polyester might be your choice. Just remember not all dress shirts are as easy care as Farah shirts.

3. The collar

Like a woman’s hairstyle, the collar frames your face. Most of us don’t know if we’ve got a square, round, oval or heart-shaped face. So the only way to find out what works is to try on a variety of collars. Check out the range at to see what will suit you.

4. The placket

Most dress shirts offer a standard, fly front or ‘no placket’ front. Like the collar the vertical strip of fabric where the button holes line up draws the eye and will flatter you, or not. Contrary to logic, the lack of a placket is the most formal option.

5. The buttons

When your dress shirt is seen in its entirety, the buttons play an important role in telling the viewer the shirt is fitting well. You want a nice straight line of buttons standing to attention. Whether they’re plastic or pearl, make sure none are missing.

6. The Cuffs

And finally, never underestimate the power of the cuff. After all, if you’re wearing a jacket and tie, this might be the most visible part of the dress shirt.