While you may never have to sew your own shirt, understanding how men’s shirts are made is very helpful when it comes to choosing a quality shirt. Many aspects of menswear change with trends, but the marks of quality construction in a button-down collar shirt don’t vary.
Here’s what to look for in button down shirts that have been made well, as well as some tips on making your clothes appear tailored for the best possible price.
Fabric is the most essential element of a collar dress shirt. You can tell important things about a shirt before you even look at it, just by feeling the sleeve. Here are a few things to look for to ensure that your shirt’s fabric is up to par:
- Cool. If you want warmth, you can wear a coat. You need a dress shirt that is light and breathable to accommodate warm weather or physical activity.
- Stretch. You don’t want your stretch dress shirt to fit you like workout wear, but you do want a comfortable fit. A little bit of stretch helps a shirt to move more easily on your body.
- Soft. You’ll wear your dress shirt for a long time, so you want a cotton dress shirt that is soft and comfortable against your skin like supima cotton, dobby, broadcloth, twill, or poplin.
- Free of wrinkles. Look for a long sleeve dress shirt that is made of fabric that has been treated to prevent wrinkles, ideally with a proprietary non-iron treatment that leaves fabric free of chemicals.
There are a number of things that you can look for to see how well a shirt has been constructed.Stitching
The more stitches there are per inch, and the more consistent they are in spacing, the higher the shirt quality. The more tightly woven the fabric, the more tightly spaced the stitches should be. Shirts with dense stitches have a more elegant appearance and are more durable.Extras
The best dress shirts include extras like collar stays. Twillory includes brushed nickel collar stays with their shirts to keep collars firmly in place. They also provide collar protectors to keep white shirts from being stained.Collars & Cuffs
Collars are made of at least two pieces of fabric that are either glued or sewn together. Look for sewn collars that are well-fused so that no part of the fabric sticks out or bulges up.
The collar should lie stiffly by itself, regardless of its collar style whether it's a spread collar, point collar, or a flex collar. Collar stays are supposed to keep collars stiff over the years, not keep new collars straight.
Cuffs provide a great finishing touch to a long sleeve shirt and popular cuff styles include barrel cuffs or French cuffs.Buttons
Buttons can be made from a range of materials, from mother of pearl to plastic. The mother of pearl feels cold to the touch. The luster varies by quality.
Thicker buttons are harder to break, but thinner ones may look sleeker. Details on buttons show even higher quality. Buttonholes are best sewn and then cut, which leaves a cleaner profile.
In today's world, men demand more from their dress shirts than quality materials and construction. Advancements in technology make a big difference in how you experience your clothing. Here are some features to look for:
- Hyper Breathable. The best dress shirts, like this one by Twillory, have elements in the fabric and construction that dramatically increases the breathability of the shirts
- Performance Fabric. The combination of stretch, CoolMax technology, and high-quality cotton result in a fabric that has much higher durability and can hold up to more abuse than other dress shirts
- Moisture-Wicking. Most men sweat in their dress shirts, at least sometimes. Moisture-wicking shirts keep ugly stains from developing by continuously evaporating moisture.
Can You Sew Your Own Men's Dress Shirt?
If you have a knack for sewing, or know somebody who does, you may wonder if you can get the sort of quality that you would pay for a tailor by making your own shirt.
Plans certainly exist instructing you how to sew your own shirt. In fact, it may not be the most difficult garment to construct. That said, you take a real risk wearing a homemade dress shirt. Wearing a homemade casual shirt is unlikely to put you at risk of professional embarrassment by looking too business casual, but wearing a poorly made or unstylish dress shirt isn't a good idea in the workplace. It's even harder to sew if you want a pattern on your dress shirt like plaid, herringbone, gingham, windowpane, or oxford.
Furthermore, it can be difficult to find the sort of fabric that high-quality men's dress shirts are made of. If you want moisture-wicking, highly breathable, wrinkle-free fabric, you may need to look to one of the high-quality makers of men's shirt that has been developing proprietary fabric for years.
The Alternative to Sewing Your Own Dress Shirt or Having a Tailor Do It
The best alternative to a custom-made shirt is buying a high-quality shirt that comes in a range of sizes and fits, and having a tailor finish the job of customizing it to your body. These quality men's dress shirts can come in eight sizes to fit those that are big and tall in addition to three sleeve lengths.
Each sleeve length can be adjusted with the cuff. Furthermore, you can choose between slim fit, classic fit, extra slim fit, two types of cuffs, and five types of collars.
Having so many options makes it much more likely that you will pick a shirt that looks amazing on you right off the rack, like a slim fit dress shirt. If you do need things to be taken in anywhere or readjusted in any way, it may only cost around $50 to have the shirt customized to your exact needs at your local tailor.
This way, you get the ideal combination of the best possible fabric and construction along with a shirt that is tailored to fit your exact shape along with your blazer.
Choose a Quality Men's Dress Shirt, But Don't Overpay
If you want the best possible quality at a reasonable price, choose a very high-quality best seller men’s dress shirt like one of these by Twillory that comes tailored to fit you in a variety of ways. If needed, you can adjust it at your local tailor to be exactly the right fit for you.
In the end, you get a shirt that costs less than having one custom-made, has ideal fabric with the proprietary technology based on years of research, and fits you perfectly.