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Everything you need to know about buying formal shirts

Make sure you get some nice dress shirts in advance to be ready. Every man's closet needs a few dress shirts, preferably in various colors to accommodate a wide range of events. There is no denying that the days of strict clothing requirements in the workplace are numbered. Fast gaining ground is business casual attire, which we've covered in detail in our business casual guide. This classic shirt, however, will continue to have its place in more formal situations.

 

Everything you need to know about buying formal shirts

Why You Should Always Wear a Dress Shirt to a Formal Event

The focal point of any formal ensemble should be the wearer's shirt. Even if your suit jacket and pants are impeccable, the shirt will steal the show.

Your shirt is the first layer of softness on your skin. Its primary mode of operation is to rest on your skin continuously. Therefore, a poorly selected formal shirt will annoy and inconvenience you.

Here are some of the things to keep in thought when searching for the ideal formal shirt:

 

Indicators You Use

Small, medium, and large aren't nearly adequate when purchasing a formal shirt for important events. There is a whole big range of body types out there, and all of us would benefit from a formal shirt that fits almost as well as it looks.

Measurements for dress shirts are often taken to the nearest quarter inch. Thus, it is important to learn your exact dimensions. Measurements of your sleeve length, collar breadth, waist, and chest area will be required. Fortunately, we have tips on measuring sleeve length and other important measures before purchasing a dress shirt online.

 

What Kind of Fit Do You Prefer In A Dress Shirt?

Here and here, we go into much more detail regarding the proper way to wear your shirt. For the sake of this discussion, however, we shall restrict our attention to the purchase of dress shirts. The greatest choices for a formal shirt today are slim and standard fits. What you decide to wear it with, how it flatters your figure, and your personal preference is all major factors to consider.

 

What Kind of Fit Do You Prefer In A Dress Shirt

While a thin-fit shirt may look better on certain people, a standard fit may make them feel more comfortable, depending on their preferences. Smaller men tend to like thinner shirts and larger men tend to favor normal shirts, but this is not always the case. All may feel at ease in a business casual setting with the correct choice of shirt. Remember that "slim fit" and "normal fit" are not interchangeable. The wrong size, not the improper fit, is usually to blame when a high-quality formal shirt doesn't work out.

 

To Use Proper Material

We've already established that your shirt is the first line of defense in maintaining a pleasant body temperature, so selecting a fabric that will do just that makes sense. A good, rich, 100% cotton formal shirt is hard to top in a world of hundreds of shirt materials and fabric mixes. Cotton is exceptionally breathable and soft when it comes to formal shirts for men,  so it won't irritate your skin no matter what else you're wearing. Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester if you're looking for a formal shirt or any shirt of quality. A mix of cotton, even if just a minor percentage. These aren't very comfortable, might make you appear and feel cheap, and cause skin irritation with prolonged use.

 

Style of Collar 

Dress shirts can have either a cutaway collar or a straight-point collar. While the latter is reserved for dress shirts alone, the former is worn with everything from jeans to a suit. Therefore, what is the distinction? An easy way to remember the difference between a cutaway and a straight-point collar is to look at the distance between the collar points. 

You may trim your face down with the classic look of a straight-point collar. It may be worn with or without a tie (on informal occasions). A four-in-hand knot complements a straight point collar when worn with a tie (check out our article on tie styles here).

The cutaway collar is broader in the collar area and is on purpose so that your tie knot can take center stage. Common in more formal settings, it looks good with or without a tie. However, a thicker, more cushioned Windsor Knot is recommended when used in pairs.

 

Cufflinks and buttons for your new dress shirt?

Cufflinks are typically seen as a must-have accessory when wearing a dress shirt. Some cuff links are indeed more flashy than necessary. On the other hand, a superb pair of shoes may take a nice shirt to the next level.

 

Another thing to remember is that because French cuffs are doubled over, they are folded inside out. They stand out a little more due to their increased size.

But if you're not like cufflinks, you'll need a shirt with a barrel cuff (that's buttons). Select one with opulent button fabric, such as mother of pearl or corozo.

Depending on your desired aesthetic, you should be familiar with and examine several different styles of collars.

 

Point Collar
The most common collar for dress shirts is typically paired with a slim suit and a little knot on the tie. It's a great choice for a day filled with breakfast meetings, business, and casual networking because this collar can be worn in a formal or casual setting.

It's All About That Wide-Spread Collar

This collar often called a Windsor collar, is wider and may be worn at an angle, exposing more of the wearer's shirt and tie. Because of the thickness of the collar, this style is best reserved for more formal occasions and is rarely seen without a tie.

It's All About That Wide-Spread Collar


One with Buttons
The button-down collar is the go-to for a laid-back vibe. This collar style is the least formal option, and it's often worn without a tie (but you should always tighten your buttons).

 

Sleeves with Buttons or a Barrel Cuff
One cuff that wraps around the wrist and fastens with a button is the most common and classic cuff style. A more professional appearance is achieved using square, round, or angled corners and several buttons.

 

Cocktail Cuff
Maybe we might dub this the "Connery Cuff" after Sean Connery, who wore a similar one in the Dr. No movies. The cocktail cuff, often known as a "turnback," is one of the lesser-known but increasingly popular cuff styles. A double-length barrel cuff folds back on itself, with rounded edges to reduce snagging.

French Cuff

Even if it's required for more formal occasions, the traditional shirt cuff may be worn daily without drawing any unwanted attention. This cuff wraps around the wrist and is secured using cuff links instead of buttons.

 

Final Thoughts

So these are the few things that everyone is obliged to keep in mind when buying formal shirts.