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The Right Dress Shirt for Any Occasion

A variety of dress shirts are essential in any well-dressed man’s wardrobe.  Here’s a quick guide that will help you determine what type of shirt to wear for any occasion.

Casual.  A casual dress shirt is made from cotton or linen that often has a coarser texture than a more formal shirt.  The shirt fabric may be white or colored and feature a pattern of checks or stripes   Details that are found on a casual dress shirt include a breast pocket and barrel cuffs that fasten with buttons.  The shirt collar may be point or spread depending on personal preference.  The button-down collar is also a popular option for casual shirts. An excellent choice when choosing a casual dress shirt is unfused collar and cuffs. They are softer and more comfortable than fused collar and cuffs. This added softness gives the shirt even more relaxed feel. A casual dress shirt may have a roomier cut for comfort.  The shirt hem, which is cut straight across or with a shirt tail, can be worn tucked in or untucked.

Elegant.  At the other end of the spectrum from casual dress shirts are elegant dress shirts that are worn with formal attire.  An elegant shirt is made from a finer grade of cotton that has a more luxurious finish.  The color is usually white, though some men who want an edgier formal look may opt for black.  The shirt should fit the body closely.  The collar of the shirt should be understated and complement the face of the wearer.  An elegant shirt is worn with a tie and has French cuffs that are fastened with cufflinks.  It is always worn tucked in.


Business.  Like a formal shirt, a business shirt is made from a fine grade of cotton.  Blue and white are popular colors for business dress shirts; subtle stripe and check patterns are also acceptable.  Depending on company culture, a business dress shirt may be worn with or without a tie.  For the most formal business environments, French cuffs and cufflinks are expected while buttoned barrel cuffs are acceptable for more causal workplaces.  Dress shirts for business come with a variety of collar styles; the decision about which collar to wear should be based on the face shape of the wearer.  A business shirt should always be worn tucked in.

Photo credit : Esquire

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