Tips to Buy Formal Shirts for Men

Anyone who buys formal shirts from the stores is familiar with the challenge of making the right choice. In general, the merchandise display inside a shirt store is primarily focused on attracting customers to the brands, followed by the designs and colors of the fabric. The shirts inside the shelves or crates  geekowear are stacked according to the fabric designs, styles and sizes. Once you browse through the displays, it is time to check if you can find the right shirt to buy. Here, the real challenge starts. Size is not an issue because universally the collar size in centimeter and inches represent the size specification of the shirt and you should know that already. But there are other very important points you should consider if you want to make a good choice. This article will help you in making the right selection of a shirt that will give you that smart, exclusive look.

What to look for, when buying the shirt

1. The fabric, stitching and trims

These three components for the basic quality of a shirt. To ensure this, you should check the following.

A) The fabric: Hold the shirt against light. There should not be any hairiness at the surface, unless it is made of flannels or special fabrics meant to be hairy. A smooth, non-hairy fabric is a mark of good quality fabric.

B) The collar and cuffs: Should be smoothly finished, without any bends or bubbles. The collars should have perfect points at the tips. Both collar tips should look symmetrical.

C) The stitchings should run in straight lines. There should not be any loop formation long the stiches. Where there are parallel stiches, the distance between two lines should be the same along the seams. There should not be any sewing thread protruding from anywhere along the seams, buttons and button-holes.

A good shirt will have a higher number of stitches per inch (SPI). Normal standard formal shirts have 14 to18 SPI while a top of the class shirt will have 23-25 SPI. A high SPI makes the shirt look more elegant and enhances its life.

D) Trims – Check that the labels, buttons and button-holes are sewn in properly. The buttons should be positioned at the centre of button-holes.

2. Size

You should know the correct collar size that fits you properly. Normally, the collar sizes are mentioned in both inches and centimeters.

3. Fit

If you are have a slim, V-Shaped body and you like the shirt not to be too loose around the waist, try the slim-fit. A slim fit shirt gives an allowance of 3 to 4 inches around the body contour. On the other hand, if you are little endowed around the waist, you should look for a regular-fit or comfort-fit (both are the same) which gives some more allowance around the body contour, particularly around the tummy. In this case, if you find that while your collar and sleeve fit right, but the shirt is too tight around the tummy or other places, it is better ordering a bespoke shirt, which means a tailored shirt made to your measurements.

The shoulders should fit properly. If the shoulders are too loose and the shoulder seams are falling beyond your shoulder area, slipping down on to the upper arm, you should try a different size. Otherwise, you should go for a bespoke shirt.

Armholes area is the place where the shirt sleeves join the shoulder part of a shirt. The fit should be such that, after wearing the shirt, you should be able to raise your both hands without feeling much tightness around the armhole or shoulder. At the same time, the armhole should not be too big to give a ‘saggy’ look when you stand with your arms normally resting on your sides.

4. Style

In a shirt, the styles revolve around the collars, cuffs, pockets and the button placket areas. There are various options, but not limited to the following:


4.1. Regular

4.2. Semi Cut-Away

3.3. Full Cut-Away


4.5. Double Cuff, Square-Cut

4.6. Single Cuff, Round-Cut

4.7. Single Cuff, Diamond-Cut


4.8. With Placket

4.9. Without Placket

Button Down

4.10. With Button-Down, meaning the collar tips are buttoned down to the body of the shirt.

Choosing the style is a matter of personal choice, plus the other clothing and accessories you are going to wear with the shirt. For example, if you want to wear the shirt with a tie and suit, you may select a regular collar shirt with square cut double-cuff or a round finish single-cuff. A shirt worn under a suit may not need a pocket.. Similarly, if you are going to wear the shirt with or without a tie but without a suit, you may select a combination of semi cut-away collar with a diamond-cut single cuff and a diamond cut pocket. Button-Down shirts can be worn with or without suit or blazer and look nice with classic knotted ties.


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