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Dress Shirts – Formal Shirts – Button Shirts

Although shirts can be made in different ways and forms. On this page we will talk about the dress shirt. Also known as the button shirt in the United States.

Dress shirts are usually accompanied by a jacket, collar sleeve and tie. For example with a suit.

In Britain, dress shirt or formal shirt means specifically the more formal evening garment worn with black- or white-tie.

Traditionally dress shirts were worn by men and boys, whereas women and girls often wore blouses or, sometimes, known as chemises. However, in the mid-1800s, they also became an item of women’s clothing and are worn by both sexes today.

Collars: There are various styles of collar, which is the primary indicator of the formality of a shirt. Those discussed here are all attached collars, not styles specific to detachable collars (A detachable collar is a shirt collar separate from the shirt, fastened to it by studs. The collar is usually made of a different fabric from the shirt)

  • Spread collars measure from around 3 1⁄2 to 8 1⁄2 inches between the collar points. Also known as Windsor collars after the Duke of Windsor. This style is common in Europe, and predominant in England.
  • Point, straight, or small collars are narrow, with 2 1⁄2 to 4 inches between the points of the collar.
  • Button-down collars, or “sport collars” have points fastened down by buttons on the front of the shirt. Introduced by Brooks Brothers in 1896, they were patterned after the shirts of polo players and were used exclusively on sports shirts until the 1950s in America. It is still considered a more sporting style, and, particularly outside America, traditionally dressed men still do not wear suits with this style of collar.

Other less-common styles include:

  • Eyelet collars require a barbell-style collar bar to join the small stitched hole on each point.
  • Tab collars are point collars with two strips of fabric extending from the middle of the collar and joined behind the tie.
  • Club collars have rounded edges.
  • The varsity is a type of spread collar in which the points curve outward from the placket of the shirt.
  • Shirts designed to take a detachable collar have a tunic collar, which is a low standing band of fabric around the neck, with a hole at the front and back for the collar studs.

Cuffs: The main distinctions between cuffs are whether they require buttons or cufflinks to fasten, and whether they are folded back (double) or single. The main resulting types are therefore:

  • Barrel cuffs, the standard style fastened by one or two buttons according to taste.
  • Double, or French cuffs, which are more formal, have an extra length of sleeve folded back and fastened with links.
  • Single cuffs, the most formal style, usually only worn with formal eveningwear, are double cuffs without the fold.

In addition, there are some variations, for example barrel cuffs may be mitred, with the corner cut off at 45°. Less common styles include the Portofino, or cocktail cuff, which is a double cuff closed with buttons.

At Sew Bespoke Clothing the shirts are tailored locally with exquisite details, thousands of fabrics to choose from, collars, cuffs and monogram combinations.

Call us to learn more or book an appointment online by clicking here.

Not to mention on rare occasions we make ready to wear dress shirts. Click here to visit our store to learn more or shop.  

SEW Bespoke Clothing

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