Dress Shirt Guide For Professionals

Dress Shirt Guide For Professionals

The dress shirt has a crucial role in men’s wardrobe. It is directly in contact with the skin and plays a suspension role between body and jacket movements.

To create Prime-quality and comfortable dress shirt need the right fabrics, experienced tailor, and specific craftsmanship indifferent it is a bespoke, made to measure or ready to wear.

The shirt is a second element of the professional’s wardrobe, and need special attention when we purchase the shirt.

Following factors we should take in consideration during the dress shirt shopping :

  • Our face and body shape
  • Head and Neck size & shape
  • Job and social life 
  • Collar shape and size
  • The lapels and collar of the jacket
  •  Fabrics pattern, color & quality
  • Shirt Style, fit, and cut.

 I am covering in this article most of the essential details, which will help you to choose the right shirt for your wardrobe.

1) Fabrics:

Fabrics, the crucial element of the quality shirts. To identify high-quality material, we need to know the following factors:

Fiber quality and Yarn count (diameter):

The thickness and length of the fibers play an essential role in fabrics quality.

Yarn measuring within thread count in micron or super’s. To produce higher thread count yarn need soft, long and quality fibers, sophisticated technology, and advanced machinery. Higher thread count number in super’s and the lowest number in “Micron” means excellent quality yarn.

Cotton Fiber quality: The quality of the fiber is another aspect of this sophisticated process which depends on the provenience, location, climate, length, and when fibers cultivated.

➢ Weaving and finishing techniques: Today, we have very advanced techniques for weaving and finishing the fabrics with a silky touch and smooth shell finishing. Fabrics processing techniques, together with the type of the fiber, determine the quality and value of the material.

Here are some of the verification techniques for prime quality fabrics

A) Weaving density:

High-density weaving is characteristic of the premium quality fabrics. It is like tv pixel density (DPI), high-density of pixel mean clear quality image, and high-density weaving means high-quality materials.

B) Touch and feel:

Quality shirt fabrics always have an exceptionally silky look, smooth, soft, and pleasant touch; It’s usually colder than room temperature and high-density weaving construction. Good-quality fabrics are thin, dense, and heavy feeling on hand, but the low-quality materials are thick, light feel and low-density weaving.

2. Stitching density

Stitching density is an excellent indicator to verifying the prime-quality shirt. The number of stitches in one inch is one of the essential details to appreciate the quality of the shirt. It is crucial because this way, we can determine if shirtmaker used high- quality fabrics. High-density stitch can use in higher thread count and tightly woven fabrics, like 20 to 27 steps stitches per inch which this is not possible in low-density weaving fabrics. Using the same number of stitches in low thread count fabrics will cut the material at the sewing line.

20 to 27 stitches per inch considered a good quality shirt with an elegant look and durability. Low-density shirts fabrics require slightly larger stitches in order not to destroy the material, generally up to 14 steps stitches per inch. To understand the quality of the shirt, we need to count the number of stitch in one inch; good quality shirt must have between 20 to 27 stitches per inch.

Ferruccio Milanesi Dress shirt details Vancouver

3) Stitch distance from the edge ( Hemming line)

Another detail to verify the quality shirts is hemming stitch line on the bottom, you can check the stitch distance from the margin. The smaller feature is better, under 3 mm considered very good, because to sew 1 to 3 mm need Higley experience tailoring skills. Check the consistency of these stitches all over the shirt, should be the same on the cuff, collar, and body part of the shirt. Another detail on hemming stitching is wrinkling and weave, especially on the bottom part of the shirt need to pay particular attention because of the curvy shape.

Ferruccio Milanesi shirt topstitch

4) Handmade Pick stitching ( Decorative hand stitching )

Pick-stitching still part of the quality shirt, before was exclusively used in high-quality shirts, but these days many shirt makers have this detail on their shirts. It is another element of high-end shirt often feature decorative hand pick stitching along the seams. It indeed is a look, but it is an excellent indicator to understand manufacturer attention to the small detail.

5. Side Seams

To obtain the cleaner look and dressier appearance on side seams need to use single-needle stitching in 3 mm or less, high-end shirtmakers always use a single-needle stitch. It is another future for the prime quality shirt. Low-end shirt future is with twin-needles, this stitching future mostly used on cheap and casual shirts.

The major problem in twin-needle stitching is wrinkling, look, and functionality. The seams with double-needle stitches will get wrinkle after washing, of course, the composition of the thread and fabrics should be taking into consideration the intensity of wrinkling. Twin needle stitch usually is sawing sleeves and body together in continuous line which reducing the movement on arm and shoulder.

Another aspect of twin-needle stitches is time spending for sawing, which is three times less than single stitches. The most critical element in tween stitch is the shirts body side seams stitching together with the shirt sleeve seams in a continuous line, and creating an uncomfortable feeling in body movement. By the body movement, your shirt will come out from your pant, also twin-needle stitch reducing arms movement substantially.

6. Collar and cuff

The shirt collar is the most visible and essential part of the shirt, which we need to pay great attention to the following details.

A) The interlining used inside the shirt collar maybe use woven or none-woven paper base fused, and none-fused depends on construction. Collar made of the three-layer materials. Upper, middle, and lower, the inner side is interlining, and the other two are shirt fabrics. Interlining depend on the assembly can be fused on the front side only as well as backside or on both sides. Un-fused is the best option, and need a high skilled tailor to do it. That is not mean fused collar is not an excellent option. High-Quality fused collars provide a crisp collar, the quality of interlining, construction, and craftsmanship is highly essential to make a good quality shirt.

B) The purpose and function of the interlining

The reason for using interlining in shirt collar and cuffs is to create support for multiple laundries, crisp look, shape. Using different thicknesses and softness interlining forming the distinct look and functionality for a specific event, like a dressy, evening, casual shirts.

C) Collar buttonhole shape and button size:

Buttonhole on the collar should make in 45 degrees. The button size is better to be slim and small for functionality reason.

D) Stitching density of the collar should be between 20 to 27 stitches per inch.


7) Matching pattern

Matching pattern is another detail which high-end quality shirt manufacturer should pay attention to it. You can check the shoulder on the joint part between top sleeves and shoulder, on the back yoke in joint part and on sleeves vents. The yoke is the backside of the shirt which connects the neck to shoulder. The yoke has two layers and makes sure this part cut split in diagonal shape (45 degrees) and matching pattern line perfectly.


8) Buttons

Mother of pearl (MOP), shell or Stone buttons are the best choices for the quality dress shirt, and You can identify the MOP buttons from polyester and plastic with the following methods:

A) The temperature, all shell buttons always are colder than room temperature. You can use your tongue or face to feel the temperature differences.

B) By sound, hitting two buttons together will hear the stone or glass sounds)

C) Burning test by lighter, by heating the button will change the color to black or grey instate polyester buttons will burn entirely like a plastic.

D) Braking the Button, If you have an extra button, by breaking will observe like smashing the glasses.

Other button options are horn, wooden, metal, plastics, but shell button is the best option and becomes the symbol of luxury in the fashion industry because of look, characteristics, and quality.

Mother of pearl buttons is available in different thicknesses and shapes, shell buttons available from 1.5 mm to 6 mm. The thicker buttons are beautiful, but it is hard to cut in 6 mm and hard to find the shell in that thicknesses in significant quantity for a specific color. Some quality shell buttons need to cut individually with a hand drilling.


Ferruccio Milan

9) Collar stays.

Most of the shirt makers in different the designer name and brand positioning using plastic collar stays for their shirts, except a few sartorial luxury brands. The best option is MOP collar stays with metal support.


10) Sewing the buttons

The ideal way to sew the buttons on shirts is sewing by hand, with forming the shank. This way will create extra space by creating the leg between the button and shirt fabric and eliminate tensions in buttoning aria. Otherwise, may you will see wrinkles around the buttons.


11) Attaching the sleeves to the shirt body

There are two types of construction to attach the sleeve into the body of the shirt.

A) Sewing entire body of the shirts and then add the sleeves.

The reason behind that, because body part of the shirts taking it’s best stable position, and connecting the sleeves after this stabilization shirt forming body anatomic and natural shape. Keeping the sleeves to end of the shirt manufacturing process is the best way to build a high-quality shirt and can be found mostly in high-end shirts. The crucial reason is to create functionality and independent sleeves movement, in this type of construction, body, and sleeves seams not sawing in continue the line.


B) B) Sewing the body of the shirt with the sleeves at the same time in continue seems line.

In this process of sewing the entire shirt together, Sewing the side seams of the body with sleeves seams at the same time in same continue closing line. When the wearer moves his arms, the whole shirt will move together, and most of the time shirt will come out from trouser, and sleeves rarely hang perfectly.


How to check? Look at the area of the armpit shirts will not match the side seam with the sleeve seam.



12) Buttonholes

A) The buttonhole quality

Traditional sartorial shirtmakers still sewing their shirts buttonholes by hand. This future looks excellent when the shirts made entirely by hand. Otherwise, machine-made buttonholes that cut the fabrics first and then sewn with high-density stitches can be beautiful as well.

How to check?

Inside the buttonhole must be free of any residual thread and fiber, should be clean and high-density stitching.


B) Using silk thread to make a buttonhole

Particular silk thread the best option to create Luxury look buttonhole. You can differentiate this by looking to buttonhole color, and shine of the yarn.

C) Longevity and resistance Machine-Made buttonholes because of robust weaving techniques will likely last longer.

D) Buttonhole positioning on the collar

The first buttonhole should be in 45 degrees ( 9-12 o’clock). The body buttonholes position should be vertical, except the last one is horizontal to create little more room for expansion. Sleeve vent buttonhole usually made in the same line as a sleeve and a smaller size than others. The hidden button is most favorite on sleeve vent.

E) Cuff buttonholes, always made perpendicular to a sleeve line.

13) Side Gussets

Side gussets are part of quality shirt elements. This future may not help for comfort and functionality but is a part of the luxury shirt look and artisanal detail. Gussets are in different size and shaps with the sophisticated artisanal look.


14) Multi-functionality of the cuffs

Multi-functionality of the cuffs is the part of the high -end shirt but not necessary to have this future; it helps the wearer in any occasions and creates a different look.


15) Collar rest line

This future is creating more comfort on the backside of the shirt-neck when neck backward, this design and craft forming comfort seat for the neck.


16) Wrinkle-Resistant & Non-Iron Dress Shirts

Wrinkle-free and non-Iron tag in any shirts means low-quality shirts. Because of the treatment of the fabrics, do not associate wrinkle-free and non-Iron dress Shirts with high-quality shirts.beware from wrinkle-free labeled shirts, I will cover this subject later.

17) Cotton – Silk mix fabrics

High-quality cotton fabrics or pure heavy silk fabrics are the best option material for a dress shirt. Last few years mix of these two compositions become more popular for luxury sartorial brands shirts.

Small armhole and high Armscye

18) Small armhole and high Cut “Armscye”

This future is the most exciting detail of luxury sartorial shirts. Cutting the small armhole create much more room for the arms to have more free movement. This way shirt body and sleeves will move independently, Cutting high armscye will create much more room for free movement and comfort.


How to check?

To check this future, you should wear a shirt and tack it into the pant, and then move your arm in 90 degrees position with your body. Your shirt should stay in your trousers. And your arm movement will not affect the body part of the shirt.

19) Yoke free dress shirts

Yoke free shirt is the most simple cut and elegant look shirt. The simplicity of this type of shirt always fascinated me. Yoke free shirt is the best choice shirt cut for who are looking for something different, clean and elegant.

20) Fit, Cut, and size

We need to differentiate the right fit, cut, and size, most of the time, people confusing these three terms. It is an essential subject, and I am gone to cover this subject in depth soon.

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