What Type of Dress Shirt Suits You?

16 Feb

As Promised in:
“How to Choose a Suit”

Dress shirts come in all different types, there are different fits, sleeves and collars, different designs, cuffs, nicknacks and embellishments.

A shirt is a shirt, a lot of things don’t matter about your shirt, what matters is that the shirt works on you.

The main things are:

Face Shape

Neck Size

and Body Type

Colour-complexion matches and considerations are a universally important factor, it is not only a consideration for shirts but for everything, we will therefore discuss it elsewhere.

Your face comes into play because despite what the adult industry tells you, it is the thing first noticed. You want to leave a good impression, don’t you? The idea is to deviate from extremes, an extremely round face should be made to look longer, a long one should be shortened, this is why oval is seen as the ideal.

Your body plays a role because too loose looks sloppy and too tight, well, you’ve seen for yourself what that can do.

Standard shirt fits in descending order are:
Traditional Fit
Regular Fit
Extra Slim
and combinations of the preceding.

Also know your measurements, every man should be able to call in an order to a good tailor and get a perfect fit having never met the tailor. If you cannot do that now, have that skill down by next Tuesday. Or at least get started on it by then.

Middle-Pleat, no pleat and side-pleat are options that come with a shirt too, we are just being thorough, these are inconsequential and are only a preference, they hardly affect the look of the shirt and will not change how it looks on you.

Cotton is the preferred material, there are always arguments as to which cottons are of the most superb quality, the top three are generally considered to be Sea Island Cotton, Egyptian Cotton and Pima Cotton. Pima Cotton is the rarest of these and they are in descending order for average price.

Weaves Consist of the Following types:
Broadcloth-A thick, durable, plain design
Oxford(pinpoint is thinner, Royal Oxford is thicker)-A basket-weave design
and Twill-Parallel diagonal ribs, this often looks triangular

Forward Point-A traditional design with origins in military uniform, this will work well if you have a round or oval face
*Ainsley Collar-Softens face, good for those with pointy faces or features
*English Collar-Wider than Ainsley, popularised by the Prince of Wales
*Londoner Collar-As wide as it gets.
Snap-tab-Basically envelopes your neck, this is good if your neck is long
Polo-Often refers to a short, button collar, this is more casual, which by nature should not be worn with a suit and which will probably accentuate the width of your face
Golf Collar-This collar, rounded, much like American, “golf polo shirts,” is best for men with angular or chiseled features. This is part of the Eton school uniform, it is thus often referred to as the, “Eton Collar.”
Tennis-This collar has long points and is meant to balance a round face. It was once very popular and worn by the likes of Cary Grant.
*If your face is wide, round or square, avoid this collar.

Which pretty much leaves the cuffs:
French cuffs use cufflinks, these are completely optional and annoying to put on and take off at times. Like anything nice they take maintenance, polishing, putting away, not losing, not scratching etc.
Barrel Cuffs look like barrels, they have one button and two button varieties. This too, is all a matter of preference.

Now you know all the basic concepts of shirt-matching. The real focus is on the collar, the spread of which dictates tie knots. My one suggestion is that you keep an open mind, try out a few things and do not go to a low-end store. You needn’t purchase Turnbull and Asser or Ted Baker, but do not go for the Walmart brand.

If you work too hard to control your wallet, your wallet will control you; think of your relationship with it as a partnership, give a little, take a little.

If you have any questions about this article please feel free to ask.


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