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A Guide to Men's Dress Shirts - How to Get it Right

The classic men’s dress shirt. A wardrobe staple and generally the centre-piece of any man's outfit. An ill-fitting shirt can really ruin your appearance, but it’s not always easy finding one that’s perfectly cut for your body. However, though you may instinctively dismiss it as a costly option, bespoke shirting is often available for the same price you’d pay for an off the rack designer brand, so it really is worth investing a little time in having a few custom shirts made. Just as a badly worn shirt can destroy your look, a well fitted one can truly enhance it.

Ryan Gosling

There are some basic principles to adhere to when it comes to men’s shirting, so if you follow these general guidelines, you should manage to cultivate a quality shirt collection that’ll cut the mustard wherever you go;

Firstly, how should a shirt fit? Basically, your dress shirt should have a snug fit without being restrictive – if you can’t hug your friends without feeling like you’re in a straightjacket or the material threatening to split, it’s too tight. If the material billows around you as you walk, it’s too big.

The next thing to look at is what are the best shirting fabrics? Cotton shirting is the predominant choice for quality men’s shirts. Yes, it’s more expensive than some other shirting fabrics or cotton-blends, but cotton shirt fabrics are lightweight, crisp and breathable and therefore far more comfortable (and less likely to make you look dishevelled), especially in warm environments.

And as far as your basic shirt repertoire goes,  these are the five essential dress shirt styles you should really have hanging in your cupboard...

The white dress shirt – a fresh, white, classic button-down, collared shirt. A light cotton with some texture is ideal, like the lovely cotton herringbone above, or this cotton jacquard with its fine basket weave.

Chris Hemsworth
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Superfine White Cotton Herringbone Shirting
White Diamond Cotton Jacquard Shirting
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The white tuxedo shirt – hopefully you get invited to a black-tie do (like a wedding) every once in a while, in which case, you’ll need a proper tuxedo shirt. Tuxedo shirting requires an opaque white fabric, like a cotton twill or a cotton piqué. Piqué is a popular choice because it’s slightly stiffer and provides a more starched, formal look.

George Clooney - right every time
White Pure Cotton Piqué Shirting
White Pure Cotton Piqué Shirting

The blue shirt – almost every male complexion looks good in a blue shirt. Redheads like Harry look particularly good in baby blues.

Prince Harry
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Royal Blue/White Cotton Shirting
Blue Modern Stripe Cotton Jacquard Shirting
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The striped shirt – can be a bit less formal than a solid colour and adds a bit of flair. A white on blue stripe is the classic choice, but if you know what’re doing, some colours can be added.

Alexander Skarsgård
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Cream/Blue Striped Superfine Cotton Shirting
Black & White Stripe Cotton Jacquard Shirting
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 The checkered shirt  – again, this pattern adds a bit of personality to your look.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
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White/Blue Check Printed Cotton Shirting
Blue & White Checkered Superfine Cotton
Purple & Yellow Checkered Cotton Shirting
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Finally – and please take note of this style tip - if you’re wearing an open necked shirt and like to put on an undershirt beneath it, make it a V-neck. Crew-necks peeking out through your top aren’t a mature or stylish look.

Browse our full range of men's shirting fabrics here. We receive new deliveries of the finest materials and latest weaves, regularly.