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Expert Advice on Dress Shirt Collars, Cuffs and Other Details
Dress shirts seem like straight forward apparel until you learn about all the intricacies. For one thing, it’s not uncommon to hear people refer to all dress shirts as “button-downs,” thinking the term refers to buttons down the front when that’s actually a style of dress shirt collar. If you think all dress shirts are created equally, think again, and read on to learn more about dress shirt details.
Dress shirt collars
The type of dress shirt collar you choose affects the tie knot you wear as well as your appearance. Here are the primary types of dress shirt collars and the tie that looks best:
• Point collar: This dress shirt collar does not feature any buttons; you use collar stays to keep it straight. It leaves a relatively narrow opening for a tie, making the four-in-hand tie knot the best choice.
• Spread collar: A spread collar dress shirt features a very wide opening between the points. You also use collar stays to maintain the shape of the collar. Because of the unusually wide opening, you’ll want to wear a Half-Windsor or Windsor tie knot to fill the gap. Additionally, the spread collar looks best on tall, lean men.
• Button-down collar: A button-down collar is found on casual sportshirts and worn with a sportcoat or blazer. Never wear a button-down collar with a suit!
• Wing collar: Wing collar shirts, also known as formal dress shirts, are worn with tuxedos. The collar sits high around the neck with small peaks in the front to accommodate a bow tie.
Dress shirt cuffs
There are basically two types of dress shirt cuffs found in semi-formal and formal dress today:
• Barrel cuff: This is your everyday shirt cuff. It features a couple of buttons so you can adjust the fit of the cuff.
• French cuff: This cuff, sometimes called a double cuff, is more formal. A French cuff features is longer and folded back over itself. You fasten a French cuff together with cufflinks, not buttons. You more commonly find French cuffs on designer men’s dress shirts.
Pockets on your dress shirt
Pockets tend to have a more casual look, although you may find one, finely tailored chest pocket on dress shirts with both point and spread collars. Shirts that feature bulky pockets with flaps or multiple pockets are casual shirts.
Dress shirt fabric
Look for cottons and cotton blends for the best look and most comfortable fit. JoS. A. Bank offers specially designed two-ply cotton in our Traveler Wrinkle-Free shirts that keeps you looking freshly pressed, even after travel.
The right dress shirt fit
After you decide on the type of shirt you’re looking for, it all comes down to the fit. A shirt that doesn’t fit correctly will still look sloppy regardless of how well-made it is. The first step in choosing your size is measuring your neck and sleeve length. A JoS. A. Bank associate can assist you with this.
Secondly, decide whether you’d prefer the regular or Tailored Fit. A regular fit is looser around the waist while the Tailored Fit comes in and fits more snugly. Tailored Fit dress shirts work well on thin or athletic men. You may also be interested in our Executive line of fitted dress shirts.
Let JoS. A. Bank help you with your next dress shirt purchase. Stop into a store or browse our collection online to view the various dress shirt collars, cuffs, fabrics and other details.