Whether for work or leisure, every man should have a nice collection of shirts he will enjoy to wear. It is very important to wear quality shirts that fit well and look right.
This is why, when you are looking for a shirt, you should always make a choice while being in the know. There are some key things you should check when you want to purchase one (or more) new shirts, but it’s also a good thing to know where to start shopping. The big retailers are often a good idea, but you can also find some gems in other stores, both online and offline. In fact, alternative stores are often a better idea if you are looking for a more special experience. For example, Mill No.8 is a US brand that offers custom-made shirts, but also pants and accessories such as ties and bow ties. Their shirts are made from 100% Egyptian cotton and look the part too. Such stores are often a good idea to check out, as they usually offer experiences that are quite different from ordinary stores.
So, whether you are buying your clothes from an online boutique, from a physical one or from a large retailer, there are some essential things to keep in mind when choosing a shirt.
Here they are.
A dress shirt is meant to be tucked in your pants, which is why you should always check that it is long enough to be tucked in your trousers and remain there. In general, 12 inches / 30 cm below your waist should be more than enough to tuck, most times even less than that will do the job. Basically, your shirt needs to fall almost at the lower end of your bum before putting on your pants. This length has a lot to do with your height, as shorter men need shorter shirts and taller men might need longer ones. It is important that the shirt is not too short that it won’t stay tucked in your pants, but also that it is not so long that it adds a lot of bulk to your pants.
Sleeves and cuffs
The fabric from which any garment is made is very important. Natural fabrics have a better feel than synthetic fibers and allow your skin to breathe, while synthetic won’t allow your skin to breath and can even cause rashes.
Usually, cotton is the preferred choice by most men. It is very durable, breathable and quite easy to care for. A good shirt will use two-fold, also called twisted cotton, which is a fabric that will keep its shape and last for much time. The cotton used for a shirt should always have a silk-like feel. The collar and the cuffs should have 100% cotton lining. Basically, you should not find any polyester in any parts of your shirt. The reason this is important is because this way, should your shirt shrink (which it might, so always take this factor into consideration), the shirt will keep its proportions. Should some parts of a shirt be made from synthetic fibers and others from natural fibers, the natural ones will shrink while the synthetic ones will keep their size, making the piece become disproportionate and quite odd-looking.
Another fabric used by shirt makers is Egyptian cotton. This is a more special type of cotton. Being grown in just a few places around the world, it has an extra-long staple which means that it has longer fibers. A shirt made from this kind of fabric will feel silkier and will be more durable.
There are a lot of other fabrics that are used for shirts as well, such as silk for dress shirts. Whatever you decide, make sure that it is natural and strong; always stay away from synthetic shirts.
When your shirt is buttoned all the way to the top, you should have enough space to slip your index and middle fingers between your neck and the shirt’s collar. This should be comfortable and you should not feel that your fingers are being pressing tightly against your neck. Should the collar fit exactly this way before you wash it, it might be too small for your neck, as shirt collars tend to shrink about 1/2 inch / 1, 27 cm after washing. This is why you might want to go up half an inch in size. A shirt that is too tight from the start will not be wearable.
The size of the collar should be proportionate to the size of the wearer’s head. A good collar should be big enough to make the right amount of space for a tie. Some shirts have smaller collars, but these are designed to be worn with similarly tailored suits.
When you are choosing a shirt, it is always important to check whether it has pockets or not. Dress shirts have no pockets. Shirts with one pocket are OK for utilitarian jobs and shirts with two pockets are basically just for hiking or other similar activities.
Given that your shirt is very close to your face and in a way acts like a visual support for it, it is very important to choose a color that flatters your skin tone. If you don’t know what color flatters your complexion, the best way to go is to put the shirt next to your face before you buy it and see whether it makes you look washed out and depressed or vibrant and strong. This should be done in natural light, for optimal results.
There are some colors that work with most skin tones. These are black, navy, beige, gray or khaki. If you want to go for something more vibrant, go for teal, burgundy or purple. This is not a 100% sure thing, of course, but it might work in most situations.
Wearing the right shirt for you will make you not only look good, but feel good as well. The right clothes will make any man feel more confident and strong, as half of what style is comes from the inside. In the end, this is what true fashion is all about.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. We want to hear from you! What types of shirts do you wear? Why? Where do you shop for shirts and clothes in general? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!