What Makes a Good Dress Shirt

Posted on June 25, 2010


A dress shirt worn properly would be one that has a good fit, proper collar style, sleeve length and cuff size. Men in suits should remember that a good look entail not just a stylish accessory or a tailored suit, but more importantly, a well-fitted dress shirt. Below are some rules on how to properly wear a dress shirt.

First, consider the collar size. Close the top button of the shirt and insert two fingers into the space between the neck and the collar. If you can easily slide your two fingers between this space, then the collar size is right for you. Know that the shirt will shrink and if this space is not present, you’ll find that your dress shirt will be a little too tight for you once it has been washed.

Moreover, the collar points should be under the jacket and not move loosely especially when worn with a tie. You should not find a space above the tie’s knot and the collar points should touch the shirt.

Second, there should be no extra fabric showing once the shirt is tucked in. It should fit snugly around the torso and not appear too full around the waist or it will be too tight that it is already difficult to move.

Third, the length of the sleeve should end past the wrist bone, or the space between the thumb and the wrist. The right length of the shirt, on one hand, can be measured by tucking the shirt in and raising the arms. The shirt should remain tucked in the pants once you raise your hand. Ideally, the length should reach the crotch so it won’t pull from the pants when seated.

Fourth, the cuff should have a tight fit on the wrist. It should move with your arm and not slide up or down or move too freely. You’ll know that it is too large when you can insert your arm even when the cuffs are fastened. The cufflinks design should also complement the color of the shirt. Additionally, such cufflinks match certain cuffs. Know whether your pair of cufflink will look best on a barrel, French, double, or convertible kind of cuffs.

And lastly, the shirt must look formal and neat. It should be wrinkle free and properly ironed. You should be able to combine stiffness and smoothness. Follow the washing instructions so your dress shirt will last a long time. Make sure that buttons are present and do not hang loose. Maintain the shape by hanging them in wooden hangers. An undershirt is not really necessary but if you wish to wear one, make sure that it is the same color as the dress shirt.

A properly worn dress shirt will complete the elegance of your look. Take heed of the mentioned tips and you’ll never wear an ill-fitting shirt again.

Posted in: Fashion 101