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The Dress Shirt is a Foundation of Your Outfit

Dress shirts are one of the most ubiquitous and important articles in menswear. They provide a central point of interest around which the rest of your outfit is built and also play an important role in framing your physical appearance and contributing to your physical comfort.

Therefore, it is critically important that you find a dress shirt that complements your personal style, body, and wardrobe. There are, however, a shocking number of styling options for men’s dress shirts. On the one hand, this reality should enable every man to find a great fit and style that works for his needs, but on the other, it can be daunting to wade through all the details.

Men's Dress Shirt Styles - How To Choose the Perfect Collar, Placket, Cuff & Fit

You need not worry, however, because this guide will provide you with all the information that you need to not only select a dress shirt that looks and feels great but to also build a collection of dress shirts that will be the perfect focal points for countless stylish outfits.

What a Dress Shirt Is

At its most fundamental level, a dress shirt, also known as a day buttoned shirt, is a garment that features a collar and full-length opening fastened with buttons or studs.


Traditionally, this shirt was effectively an undergarment, always being worn beneath a waistcoat and jacket. Nowadays, dress shirts can be worn without additional garments, although within the Classic Style, it is still conventional to see dress shirts usually paired with jackets.

Different Dress Shirts Serve Different Functions

Because dress shirts are available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and cuts, they can vary greatly as regards the situations or occasions for which they are appropriate. A pink and white striped dress shirt might be the perfect complement to a summer suit while on vacation in Italy, but it would not be appropriate in a professional office setting, like a law firm.

Certain dress shirts and dress shirt features can even be expressly reserved for very particular shirt occasions and dress codes. Two obvious examples are the Black-Tie Evening Shirt and the White-Tie Evening Shirt, which are sometimes, confusingly enough, referred to as “Full-Dress” shirts.

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