How to Buy a Man's Dress Shirt

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Men are no longer limited to the standard white dress shirt. While it remains a classic choice, options have expanded to include many more colors and styles. Prices start at about $40 and go up to hundreds of dollars for a hand-stitched shirt.

Buy all-cotton, which breathes and offers the greatest comfort. Look for cottons that have been treated to resist wrinkles.

Examine the collar. Though styles differ, every collar should be aligned, lay flat and fit snugly but comfortably around the neck. The best shirts have removable stays, which hold the collar's points and keep them in place. Never wear a button-down collar with a suit; instead opt for a spread collar.

Inspect the shirt's stitching. A higher-quality shirt has singleneedle stitching and 22 stitches per inch, and cross-stitched buttons for durability. The design on any patterned shirt should meet perfectly at the seams.

Select a cut to accommodate your build. Dress shirts come in either a fitted cut or a standard cut, which is looser.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have the salesperson measure your neck size and sleeve length, if you are not sure of your correct size or if your weight has fluctuated since your last shopping trip.
  • French cuffs with cuff links add a dash of style.
  • Ceramic buttons are nearly indestructible.

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