The classic men’s dress shirt is 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. You may instinctively dismiss bespoke shirting as a costly option, however it often works out at the same price you would pay for an off the rack designer brand, so it really is worth investing a little and getting it 'made to fit'. Just as a badly worn shirt can destroy your look, a well fitted one can truly enhance it.
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 will 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 is 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? 100% 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 shirts 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 smart shirt repertoire goes, these are the five essential dress shirt styles you should have hanging in your wardrobe...
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.
The white tuxedo shirt – perfect for an invitation to a black-tie do, including a wedding if its taking place after 6pm. 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
The blue shirt – almost every male complexion looks good in a blue shirt. Redheads like Prince Harry look particularly good in various shades of blues.
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 a classic choice, but if you are a bit more adventurous, try some interesting stripe olour combinations.
The checkered shirt – again, this pattern adds a bit of personality to your look.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Depending on how formal you want to get, dress shirts have different sorts of collars and cuffs that range from casual to super formal.
Style tip - if you’re wearing a white or shirt made from fine fabric, avoid wearing an undershirt beneath as it will show through. If the fabric is thicker and dark, v-necks are better than crew-necks peeking.
Browse our full range of men's shirting fabrics here. We receive new deliveries of the finest materials and latest weaves, regularly.