Who says buying a dress shirt can be a little scary? It can actually be a lot scarier, especially when there’s a big event coming up and you have no idea what you’re doing. There will come a time when you need to wear a dress shirt, though, and the earlier you prepare, the better chance you have at picking one that fits well and suits your style.
There are a couple of things to know about dress shirts: first, they aren’t cheap and, second, fit is the most critical thing to remember when buying them. So, if budget is an issue, you want to dedicate all your efforts in making sure your dress shirts fit perfectly. Today, we’ll discuss how you can go about doing just that.
How To Purchase a Dress Shirt
There’s really nothing to buying the perfect dress shirt. All you have to do is keep one word in mind: fit.
Get Fitted by a Professional
An outfit can look fantastic on a mannequin but ugly on you. That’s what happens when you pick ill-fitting garments. Whether you’re picking out a suit jacket, blazer, or a pair of trousers, size will always be the most important consideration.
That is why you might want to get fitted by a professional at your local shop. They should be able to size you perfectly so you can select a dress shirt that fits your measurements to a T. Professional tailoring ensures your new clothes will look as good or even better on you than you envisioned.
Given that dress shirts aren’t exactly on the low-end of the price spectrum, spending a little extra on tailoring services should be worth it.
Take Your Own Measurements
Professional fitting is typically done for formal engagements like weddings and anniversaries, as it pretty much guarantees that your outfits fit perfectly. Although you can opt out of that if you’re simply in the market for a new dress shirt.
Not that fit won’t be important in this scenario, but you can get away with taking your own measurements yourself this time. Lads, we recommend using cloth sewing tape for this venture since it’s more accurate. Find the measurements attached to these two: sleeve length and neck circumference.
Why Is Fit Important?
We’ve gone on about fit without explaining in detail why it matters so much. The dress shirt’s fit trumps all other elements attached to clothing selection, including color, brand, and style. Your dress shirt can score high in these areas and still wouldn’t look good because it fits horrendously on you.
How essential “fit” is also boils down to the modern cuts dress shirts come in. These shirts come in measurements to suit different-sized torsos. So, if you’ve established yourself as a “regular” fit, there’s a good chance the “standard” dress shirt fit would be your size. Most guys sit under this category, although if you’re a little on the fit or athletic side, it could be just a bit lose on you.
The slim fit typically suits men with athletic builds better. That’s because it has a tapered cut around the waist and midsection and has higher-positioned armholes to suit a toned upper body.
There’s skinny athletic, and there’s “gym” athletic where the arms, shoulders, chest, and back are super defined. With this type of body, you’ll need an “athletic fit” dress shirt to look and feel good in. The athletic cut can do wonders for the V-body shape, so that’s something to keep in mind when taking your measurements as an extremely fit individual.
With fit out of the way, we can now focus on the “less important but still important” elements of buying a dress shirt.
There’s a ton to choose from, including Oxford, seersucker, herringbone, poplin, royal Oxford, and broadcloth. Oxfords are the most popular, followed by poplin, due to their smart-casual style. Herringbone comes in at third, thanks to its dressier look that makes it perfect for partying things up.
Regardless of style, the general rule for dress shirts is to wear a shirt underneath if you plan to tuck them in.
Yes, collars are trendy, so they do matter when choosing your dress shirts. Although collar selection usually boils down to personal style. For as long as you feel comfortable and look sharp in them, they should work.
Nonetheless, the button-down remains the go-to collar for today’s fashionable men. They tread the line between casual and formal, which gives them a relaxed yet professional vibe at the same time.
Dress Shirts Are All About Fit
At the end of the day, the right-size dress shirt in a different style is still going to look better on you than an ill-fitting dress shirt in your preferred style. Still, we’re sure we’ve driven home the importance of fit quite a few times. Then again, one more time shouldn’t hurt, seeing as this is what truly makes or breaks your overall look.