The Ultimate Guide To Dress Shirts, Collars, and Cuffs
When you find a dress shirt that fits you perfectly, you’ll never go back to a standard off the rack shirt. You’ll be looking sharp, and your sophisticated style will be noticed.
But with so many colours, styles and fits available, along with various types of collars and cuffs, how do you choose a dress shirt that gives you this sought-after stylish edge?
What Types Of Dress Shirt Fittings Are There?
A great place to start when choosing a dress shirt is how it will fit your body shape. From skinny fit to classic fits, you’ll find a cut of dress shirt to suit you. You don’t want your shirt to be too tight or loose, as neither will look great. You want your shirt to look fitted but comfortable. Here are the styles.
The classic fit dress shirt provides the most comfort. You’ll find it to be generous around your arms and stomach area and allows you to move freely. A classic fit dress shirt is traditionally worn under a suit jacket as it’s the most comfortable of the shirt designs.
The slim fit dress shirt is more fitted than the classic fit. You’ll find most slim fit shirts are well designed with a variety of patterns and colours as they’re designed to be worn without a suit jacket. This style is best suited to a slimmer person who’s looking for style over comfort.
The skinny fit dress shirt is hugely popular with younger age groups who love figure-hugging shirts to show their physique. As the name suggests, you need to have a skinny frame to pull off this look. The skinny-fit dress shirt is also very restrictive for movement and unsuitable if you’re looking for all-day comfort.
What Are The Types of Collars on Dress Shirts?
Once you’ve found your perfect fit for your dress shirt, the next step is to determine the type of collar to suit your style and the occasion. Also, you may not have realised, but the collar of your shirt is designed to frame your face, so finding the perfect collar for facial structure is vital. Here are your options for dress shirt collars.
Single Piece Collar
Also known as the one-piece collar, this collar tends to sit taller and offers an excellent collar roll. The single-piece collar is reinforced, causing it to stand upright and, as a result, may often rise above your suit jacket.
Straight Point Collar
The straight point collar is the classic look for many dress shirts. The cut and style are designed to hide your tie, and the longer points of the collar mean your jacket lapels won’t cover them. The pointed collar gives you a slimmer look if you’ve got a round face or a shorter neck.
A cutaway collar is shorter with wider ends, causing a more significant gap between your collar tips. This type of collar is very well suited with a tie (full windsor knot is recommended). This shirt can offer a more casual and relaxed look with the top button or two being left open.
Semi Spread Collar
The semi-spread collar is another classic look, and you’ll find it less stiff than a straight point collar. The collar point is shorter, and this type of collar is best suited to medium or large knot ties. If you’re tall with a long neck or your love wearing a tie, you’ll find the semi-spread collar to be your best option.
The spread collar is perfect if you’re looking for a casual, modern, and elegant look. The collar points and width is spaced to suit almost any tie but looks ideal with a half-Windsor knot. The balanced look of the spread collar looks great on those with an elongated or narrow oval face.
Short Button-Down Collar
The short button-down collar is best suited for those going for a casual and youthful style. It features a medium-sized collar and is a modern style of dress shirt collar. The short button-down collar dress shirt is best worn without a tie and looks great when worn with a sporty jacket.
Long Button-Down Collar
The long button-down collar is very similar to the previous collar style but features a longer collar point. Created as a less formal look in the mid-fifties, this style has grown beyond the sporty style shirts to offer a more casual look. It’s well suited for younger or informal business looks and best worn without a tie.
The Club Collar
The club collar style was popular in the 1920s for English students, featuring a rounded collar. Being worn by the ‘elite’, the name club collar was soon given to this style. The club collar is versatile yet professional and can be worn with a thin tie or open. This style of collar suits those with a long face.
The band collar is inspired by the traditional Asian look, being a single band with a button and no pointed lengths like most collars. The design is minimalistic and can be worn casually or with a jacket for a classier look. Without the traditional collar points, a tie will not suit a band collar dress shirt.
The wingtip collar is also known as the Tuxedo collar and features a unique design where you’ll find a very small point length only at the front of the collar, near the button. The wingtip collar is designed for formal events where you’ll wear a bowtie to match. This type of dress shirt is usually only seen with a tuxedo or a tailcoat suit.
What are the types of cuffs on dress shirts?
Now you’ve found your perfect fit and a collar style to suit you, choosing your cuffs is the next thing to consider. You may think cuffs are only just a button or two at the end of your sleeve, but they can add a touch of class and sophistication to any dress shirt. Here are the types of cuffs for your dress shirt.
The barrel cuff is the most popular style of dress shirt cuff and is the traditional round style. It’s versatile in that it can be casual or dressed up to suit the occasion. The barrel cuff is well suited to pair most collars types, particularly the club or band collars.
The French cuff is also known as a double cuff, making it twice as long as most standard cuffs on dress shirts. You’ll find these cuffs are twice as long and thicker. The French cuff looks excellent with cufflinks and is most suited to formal occasions. You’d pair a French cuff with a wingtip collar for the ultimate formal look.
A convertible cuff is just that – convertible! You can choose to finish your look with a button or substitute the button for your favourite cufflinks. This type of cuff finish is reasonably common, with it being the preferred option for many dress shirt wearers.
The cocktail cuff was made famous by James Bond. Also known as the turnback cuff, this dress shirt cuff is guaranteed to give you that smooth, sophisticated Bond look. Unfortunately, the cocktail cuff isn’t a stock, standard issue for dress shirts, so if you like this style, you will need to have it created for you by a shirt maker.
Want to find your perfectly fitted and designed dress shirt?
If you know you’re ready to up-level your dress shirt game, but you need some expert guidance to get it right, book in a session with Godwin Charli. With his wealth of experience, Godwin will help you find a style and a shirt to fit you and your lifestyle. Once you’ve worn a tailored dress shirt, you’ll never go back to off the rack.