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How to Identify Quality in Men's Business Shirts

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Section: Men's Style - Blog

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When it comes to buying a good quality men's business shirt, most men are in the dark. They rely on their loved ones (or even worse, salespeople) to tell them what to buy. Here are some quick pointers to help you spot quality in a men's business shirt you can feel proud to wear anywhere.

1 - Fit

Just like a good quality suit, the fit of your business shirt is all-important. It defines the overall look as well as how it feels against your body when you wear it.

Shopping for a business shirt can be a pain. Sure, you might find the right neck size, but is the sleeve length right? Is it too baggy? You're always forced to compromise on something. You could wait for sales to pick up a bargain, but then you're challenged with digging through the left-over sizes nobody else could fit into – so what hope do you have?

Do you struggle to find a shirt that:

1. Has the right neck size?

2. Has the right sleeve length?

3. Isn't too baggy around the waist, arms or shoulders?

4. Has the right type of collar and cuffs (French, buttoned etc…)?

Congratulations! You're just like the rest of us! Off-the-rack business shirts use a “standard sizing,” which is really a bastardised, one-size-fits-all approach to shirting. It's predicated on using neck size to determine your “ideal” fit.

If the odds are in your favor, you'll might find a shirt brand available in different cuts (e.g. European, slim fit, regular etc.) or possibly varied sleeve lengths. However, finding a shirt that gets all these elements right in a fabric, colour and style you want is a painful, time-consuming exercise.

Getting the fit right is easy, however, when you opt for custom tailoring. Custom tailored business shirts are made to your body measurements and fit you perfectly. They are usually of much better construction and fabric quality than off-the-rack shirts. More importantly, you won't have to shop around or pay much more!

taylor_lautner_fitted_shirt

Taylor Lautner demonstrates how you just can't beat the look of a well fitted shirt.

2 - fabric

Shirt fabric is also an important consideration. It defines the garment's breathability, durability, stain resistance, and overall feel against your body. For these reasons, all good quality business shirts should be constructed from 100% pure, finely woven single or 2-ply Egyptian cotton. Egyptian cotton is best for business shirts because its naturally long fibres allow for a finer, softer weave without compromising strength and durability.

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Thread Count

Just like good quality bed sheets, varying degrees of cotton thread counts are used in business shirts. The higher the thread count, generally, the finer and better the fabric will be.

While thread count doesn't actually refer to the number of threads per inch, but instead to how many yards of thread are in one pound of material, it's still a good indication of overall quality. Entry level business shirts should be made of 80 thread count fabric, while anything in 100s, 120s and above is considered superior. A 200 thread count is amazingly fine, luxurious and expensive.

Fabric Ply

Are you familiar with fabric ply? Ply refers to how many cotton yarns are twisted together to make a single cotton thread. Business shirt fabrics can either be 2-ply or 1-ply (single ply). The term 2-ply means two yarns are twisted together to make a single thread that is then woven into the fabric. Typically, 2-ply fabrics are generally superior to single-ply fabrics and have a “thicker,” more robust feel to them

If you're not sure which fabric is the best for your next business shirt, it's always best to ask to touch, feel and compare the fabrics yourself.

3 Cuffs & Collars

Cuffs and Collars absorb most of the shirt's buttoning load and movement stress. So, thicker, fused cuffs and collars provide longer-lasting wear and extra durability.

Removable plastic or metal collar stays help maintain collar stiffness and can be taken out for easy washing and ironing of the shirt. Removable collar stays are a signature feature of quality business shirts.

However, thick cuffs and collars are not for everyone; some men choose not to have them for comfort or styling reasons. Medium or soft fused collars and cuffs may not hold their shape as well as the thick fused ones, but they are more comfortable to wear, since they're not as stiff. Collar stays help the collar stay upright even with medium or soft fusing.

shirt_collar_stays

Removable collar stays keep your collar upright & stop it from rolling in at the points. You can insert your own collar stays if you have them.

4 - PlacketS

Just like the cuffs and collars, the placket takes a lot of the shirt's buttoning load and movement stress. For buttoning strength a thick placket is ideal. However, some men opt not to have a thick placket for styling reasons.

shirt_placket

Thick placket (left), and no placket (right).

5 - The Shoulder Yoke

At the back of the shoulders, the average business shirt is often constructed with a single piece of material. However, a quality business shirt will have a split shoulder yoke (split down the middle). The split yoke provides a better fit and fall, creating natural stretch, which moves with and conforms to your body.

shirt_split_yolk

Notice how the shirt with the split shoulder yoke (left) doesn't gather and stretch as much around the shoulders. The shirt on the right does not have a split shoulder yoke and uses a single piece of material across the back of the shoulders.

6 - Stitching

Double stitching down both sides of a business shirt is always a sign of quality and durability.

shirt_double_stiching

Double Stitching adds strength (this is a shot of under the armpit).

7 - button Settings (non-French Cuffs)

Multiple button settings to adjust the cuff to accommodate watches with larger dials are found on most good quality business shirts. Depending on which wrist you wear your watch on (although purists insist the left wrist is a must), multiple button settings on each sleeve cuff allows you to button each sleeve to different settings, thus ensuring the wrist with your watch has enough room, while the other wrist doesn't have too much.

adjustable_shirt_cuff_buttons

The two buttons at different points along the shirt cuff's circumference allow you to adjust one cuff to accommodate bigger watches with large dials.

How Are Montagio Custom Tailored Shirts made?

At Montagio. we don't compromise. Our men's business shirts are constructed using high quality techniques and materials.

  • Made to Measure with additional Perfect Fit Guarantee
  • Large range of fine 100% Egyptian Cotton fabrics
  • Thick Cuffs and Collars (free option)
  • Thick Placket (free option)
  • Double Stitching
  • Split Shoulder Yoke
  • Multiple Button Settings

The Final Word

This sums up our tutorial on spotting the finer details of what makes goes into a good quality men's business shirt. So, the next time you're shopping for a new shirt, keep these pointers in mind, to ensure you can spot quality… and to ensure that what you're paying is a fair price. However, if you still feel unsure and would like some additional professional advice,schedule an appointment with one of our style specialists or pop into our Sydney showroom while you are out and about. We're always ready to help!

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Since 2010, we've paved the way for uncompromising men to get suited up in style with our full service tailored mens suits, shirts and coats. Our showrooms are packed full of suit samples and thousands of fabrics making it easy for you to get the look and fit you want. We offer a remarkably personal shopping experience and specialise in individually hand crafted garments for business, weddings, formal and casual events. We have personally tailored mens suits for thousands of happy customers, and you too can experience the same red carpet treatment. Book your personal appointment today to have your uniquely styled and perfectly tailored garment ready within a few short weeks.

Steve Fambo

Hats off to the team at Montagio Custom Tailoring Sydney. I was immediately impressed once I stepped into their boutique showroom... more »

Scott Lasak

The suit and shirts I received were terrific and much better quality than ones I've found in stores off the rack. I would absolutely recommend them... more »

Yun Zhi Lin

I would highly recommend Montagio for anyone else planning a wedding or looking for a trendy tailor made suit... more »


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