From Cuffs To Collars: A Brief Guide To Men’s Luxury Dress Shirts

Man wearing cufflinks on a dress shirt sleeve

Whether you’re interviewing for a brand new job or simply want to revamp your wardrobe, every piece of high end men’s clothing matters. There’s a lot of emphasis placed on the suit jacket and on the fit of the trousers, so in many cases, luxury dress shirts tend to be a bit overlooked. But the truth is that an ill-fitting shirt can derail your entire look, and therefore, the entire impression you’re trying to make.

Unfortunately, it’s extremely common for men to experience fit, style, or quality problems with their dress shirts. While buying custom-made, high end dress shirts will help solve these issues, it’s important to learn to recognize them on your own so you can avoid the popular pitfalls.

You may find it helpful to learn a bit more about the most popular styles of luxury dress shirts before heading to your source for custom tailored clothing, as this may help inform you as to the options that best fit your personal tastes.

How Luxury Dress Shirts Should Fit

It’s easy to get caught up on a color or pattern and forget that how a shirt looks on the hanger really doesn’t matter: it’s how it looks on you that’s important. Ready-made dress shirts are made with the masses in mind. The problem is that in trying to please everyone, these designers and manufacturers end up making shirts that really fit no one. That’s why you’ll want to focus on high end men’s brands that offer a more custom fit.

Above all else, luxury dress shirts should be comfortable during wear. Different men like different fits; body type and height will typically determine whether you should opt for a loose fit or a tighter cut. However, there are a few important fit features that should apply to any kind of dress shirt:

Neck

You should be able to fit two fingers in between your neck and your buttoned collar.

Cuffs

Your shirt cuffs should fall two centimeters from your wrist bone and be slightly looser than your watch but be tight enough that you can’t get your sleeve off without unbuttoning it.

Sleeves

Your sleeves should be long enough so you can raise your arms above shoulder height without pulling on your cuffs; however, your sleeves should be short enough so you have no more than an inch of bunching when your arms hang straight down.

Chest & Waist

You should have one to three inches of fabric room in the chest and waist, depending on the fit you want.

Shoulder

The shoulder points of your shirt should not extend past the end of your shoulders themselves.

Popular Types of Dress Shirt Collars

Many men don’t realize that there are all different types of collared shirts, each with subtle differences. Some are a bit more formal, while others are ideal for more rugged requirements.

Button-Down Collar

The button down collar is a traditional option that looks just as good with a tie as without. It’s the only style where the collar points are actually secured to the shirt itself (with buttons, of course). A classic American look that’s been around since 1900, it veers a bit more towards casual but can still be worn in a professional setting.  It’s a modern and classy type of shirt that can go dressy or casual, depending on how you choose to style it.

Standard Point (or Forward Point) Collar

Sometimes referred to as the forward point or standard point collar, this collar style is often the go-to for many a professional man — especially those with rounder faces. It can easily be worn in the office as part of high quality men’s suits or on its own at a more casual gathering. It’s often a good place to start if you’re afraid to venture too far outside your comfort zone.

Spread and Semi-Spread Collars

These are actually two different kinds of collars, but they’re really variations of the same idea. Dress shirts for men that offer semi-spread or spread collars make the tie the star of the show by situating the collar points further apart from the center of your face. It provides a more sophisticated, modern look best suited for more formal settings.

Italian Collar

One of the oldest types of collars around, the Italian is traditional, narrow, and slimming. It also has a cousin, the Semi Italian, which is a bit smaller and wider. The Semi Italian works well for men with longer necks, while both options are great for men with rounder faces.

French Collar

A much dressier option, the French collar has the widest spread and works well for large tie knots and those with flashy personalities. If you have a special event to attend or simply want something a little different, the French collar may be a good choice.

Types of Dress Shirt Cuffs

Now that you know a bit more about the collar, we can move down to the cuffs. With any kind of men’s business attire or even casual shirts, the cuffs should be slightly looser than a wristwatch and fall about two centimeters from the wearer’s wrist bone. But even though cuff fit is an incredibly important component of making sure your high quality men’s suits look their best, you’ll also need to choose the cuff style that best “suits” your needs.

French Cuff

This cuff style is the most formal there is, which makes it a good option for very formal occasions. But it’s also absolutely fine to wear shirts with French cuffs on a daily basis if you really like the style and your environment calls for a dressier look. They do require cuff links or silk knots though, so be aware that this cuff is a slightly bigger commitment than other types.

Barrel Cuff

The barrel cuff is a pretty standard choice that can be worn both in a professional environment and to a nice restaurant. They’re slightly more informal; while you can certainly pair them with your suits, you probably won’t want to wear barrel cuffed shirts to a black tie event. They’re certainly more simple than the French cuff and are often seen as a “no muss, no fuss” option.

Mitered Cuff

This cuff style is decidedly dressy, sharp, and unique. It’s easy to spot by its mitered angle that forms a little cut-out notch around the wrist. If you’re a watch collector and like expressing your unique sense of style, this type of cuff may be perfect for you.

Popular Fabrics And Colors

Every individual’s aesthetic is different. Some men want only white cotton shirts, while others are a bit more adventurous and are drawn to patterned silks or wrinkle-resistant, bold colors. Cotton and man-made fibers are typically the most versatile, as are neutral tones. But every man should have a few blue and gray dress shirts in his possession, at the very least!

 

No matter your personal tastes or needs, custom suits can help you make a better first impression in any situation. To find out more about how Family Britches can help, contact us today.

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