Tips for buying formal shirts for men

Anyone who buys formal shirts in stores is familiar with the challenge of making the right choice. In general, merchandise display within a shirt store is primarily focused on attracting customers to brands, followed by the designs and colors of the fabric. The shirts inside the shelves or boxes are stacked according to the designs, styles and sizes of the fabrics. Once you browse through the screens, it’s time to check if you can find the right shirt to buy. Here the real challenge begins. Sizing is not a problem because universally the neck size in centimeters and inches represents the shirt size specification and you should know that by now. But there are other very important points to consider if you want to make a good decision. This article will help you make the right selection of a shirt that will give you that elegant and exclusive look.

What to look for when buying the shirt

1. The fabric, the seams and the trims

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

A) The fabric: Hold the shirt against the light. There should be no hairiness on the surface, unless it is made from flannels or special fabrics intended to be hairy. A soft, hair-free fabric is a good quality fabric brand.

B) Neck and cuffs: They must have a smooth finish, without folds or bubbles. The collars must have perfect points at the ends. Both neck tips should look symmetrical.

C) The seams must run in a straight line. There should be no loop formation throughout the points. Where there are parallel stitches, the distance between two lines should be the same along the seams. No sewing thread should protrude along the seams, buttons and buttonholes.

A good shirt will have a higher number of stitches per inch (SPI). Normal standard formal shirts have an SPI of 14 to 18, while a top class shirt will have an SPI of 23-25. A high SPI makes the shirt look more elegant and enhances its life.

D) Embellishments: Check that the labels, buttons and buttonholes are sewn correctly. Buttons should be positioned in the center of the buttonholes.

2. Size

You need to know what is the correct neck size that fits you. Typically, the sizes of the necklaces are mentioned in both inches and centimeters.

3. Adjustment

If you have a slim V-shaped body and you like the shirt not too baggy around the waist, try the slim fit. A slim fit shirt leaves a 3-4 inch margin around the body contour. On the other hand, if you are under-endowed around the waist, you should look for a regular fit or a comfortable fit (both are the same) that provide a little more tolerance around the body contour, particularly around the tummy. In this case, if you find that although the collar and sleeve fit you, but the shirt is too tight around the tummy or other places, it is better to order a tailored shirt, which means a tailored shirt made according to your measures.

The shoulders should fit well. If the shoulders are too loose and the shoulder seams fall beyond the shoulder area, sliding towards the upper arm, you should try a different size. Otherwise, you should go for a tailored shirt.

The armhole area is where the shirt sleeves meet the shoulder portion of a shirt. The fit should be such that, after wearing the shirt, you can raise both hands without feeling too much tension around the armhole or shoulder. At the same time, the armhole should not be too large to give a ‘flabby’ look when standing with your arms normally supported at the sides.

4. Style

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


4.1. Regular

4.2. Semi cut

3.3. Full cut


4.5. Double cuff, square cut

4.6. Simple cuff, round cut

4.7. Single cuff, diamond cut

Floor mats

4.8. With placket

4.9. Without placket


4.10. With Button-Down, which means that the ends of the collar are buttoned to the body of the shirt.

The choice of style is a matter of personal choice, plus the rest of the clothes and accessories that you are going to use with the shirt. For example, if you want to wear the shirt with a tie and suit, you can select a regular-collared shirt with a square-cut double cuff or a single cuff with a round finish. A shirt that is 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 can select a semi-cropped collar combination with a simple diamond cut. diamond cut cuff and pocket. Buttoned shirts can be worn with or without a suit or jacket and work well with classic knotted ties.

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