Dress Shirt Components

A fine tailored dress shirt is an important look of formal wear. But what are the special features of a man's formal dress shirt? What differentiates a formal dress shirt from any other shirt say casual shirts? According to the world's best designers a men's formal dress shirt has 6 basic and very important features, each of which will be discussed in this article.


A key feature of the men's dress shirt is the collar. Having a collar is a must for any shirt and however collar styles do vary. Some of collar types are, examples: a Straight Collar- which has a very narrow spread between the edges of the collar, the Windsor- which has a wide spread at the edges and is named after the Duke of Windsor, or the Tony- a highly formal collar which covers the knot of the tie as well as the entire neck. Some collars are also buttoned with the shirt; these are called "Button-down" collars.


Buttons are perhaps the most visual and distinctive feature which makes a formal dress shirt a real dress shirt. In order to be a practical designer dress shirt, it must have buttons running from the collar down to the waist and open in the middle. It is basic that every custom tailored dress shirt has at least s7 buttons on the front, regardless of size and design. Some high end shirts will have 8 buttons, but 7 is the industry norm. Now a day's designer formal shirts also have buttons on the collar and cuffs, although this is not a requirement.


Next in line of custom tailored formal dress shirt features are the cuffs. These are the sections of the dress shirt which cover the wrists. There are two main styles of cuff: the French cuff in which the edge of the cuff are pulled out to the side and linked together there and the barrel cuff, in which the sides of the cuff overlap and button one on top of the other.


The placket is a feature related and usually associated to the buttons of the tailored dress shirt. It is the strip which runs down the front of a women's formal dress shirt where the button holes are sewn. The standard industry width of a placket is 1.5 inches. It is generally sewn fairly so finely as to be as unnoticeable as possible, although some different variations of plackets also does exists.


Pleats are not considered a universal feature of a tailored formal dress shirt, however most trendy dress shirts do have them. A pleat is a component/part of the shirt where the fabric is folded back over itself. Generally pleats are found on either side of the back of the shirt. Pleats are also often found on the sleeves just above the cuff. For less formal wear, there is a single box pleat in the middle of the back.


Pockets are another major feature of the tailored dress shirt which is not universal. In some styles and designs, formal shirts do not include pockets at all; however a single pocket on the left side of the shirt are regular.