Whether it’s for yourself or for someone else, choosing a special shirt can be more complicated that you think. Spending time finding the right fit and inspecting the quality is time consuming, but it will make all the difference to your outfit. Here are a few points to keep in mind when looking for the perfect shirt.
Measure your neck and chest size
You need to know your measurements to have any hope of finding a shirt that fits, but it’s amazing how many men don’t. It takes moments, so grab a tape measure and do it now.
To measure your neck size, stand upright and have a friend pull the measuring tape around your neck at the level of your Adam's apple. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between your neck and the measuring tape. Note it down in inches, as most designers haven’t gone metric yet.
To measure your chest, stand upright again and measure the fullest part of your chest, just below the armpits. The tape measure should be snug, but not constrict your breathing – unless that’s how you want your shirts to fit!
Pick the Fit
Shirts come in many different fits and you’ll find these given many different names, but broadly speaking there are three major types: traditional, tailored and slim.
A traditional fit is the largest, allowing for plenty of breathing room and ease of movement, and plenty of fabric to tuck your shirt in comfortably. This fit is ideal for larger builds or if you’re going to be throwing shapes on the dance floor in it. All our shirts a traditional fit.
A slim fit is tighter round the torso with almost no excess fabric around the back and sides. They look modern and suit those with slim frames, or go for a size larger than usual.
A tailored fit is between the two; the chest uses a traditional amount of fabric but the fit is tapered to the waist. If you work out a lot then this fit is for you – there’s plenty of room for your chest and arms, but without all that extra fabric around your middle.
Look for gauntlet buttons a few inches above the cuff. You’ve probably never thought much about them, but if they’re not there (on cheaper shirts) the fit won’t be as good. Unbuttoning them also allows you to roll sleeves up higher, so you can wear your shirt comfortably on a hot day.
Colour and Pattern
When choosing a shirt always think about when you will wear it – you might find the most perfect shirt ever for a royal garden party, but if you’ve not got an invite then it’s a waste of money. Think about what trousers, blazers and shoes you’d wear and pick a shirt colour that compliments them.
For work or a job interview the traditional choices are conservative colours. White is preferred by business types, but off white, light grey or light blue are also safe choices. At job interviews first impressions are key, so definitely err on the side of caution. For more tips on dressing for job interview, read this blog post.
Many office dress codes now lean towards business casual, so you still need to dress up, but without being too formal. Patterned shirts can work well here but don’t go overboard – two or three complimentary colours and a subtle pattern should do the trick.
If you’re looking for a weekend shirt and want to get noticed, choose bright or unconventional colours with bold fabrics and patterns.
Consider the collar
Collars come in many different shapes and sizes, all suited to different face shapes and different outfits.
A cutaway collar has wider collar points that are angled outwards instead of pointing down. It suits men with slim or long faces, or anyone who appreciates a modern twist to traditional attire. This collar will showcase your tie knot well, but can equally be worn without.
Button down collars will stay firmly in place thanks to, you guessed it, the buttons. Traditionally worn without a tie, but you can easily add one along with a smart blazer if you want to dress it up.
Want to know more about different types of collars? Check out this blog post.
Study the Fabric Content
Different fabrics feel different on your skin, so take note if you want to be comfortable. Most dress shirts are made of cotton or a cotton polyester blend. Linen shirts are better suited to warmer climes, so probably aren’t worth bothering with unless you travel a lot for work.
100% Cotton shirts are more durable than cotton poly blends and feel nicer against the skin as they are more breathable. They also drape more naturally. The downsides are they are more prone to creasing and can shrink in the wash, though you can pull them back into shape whilst damp, so with proper care it shouldn’t be an issue. Cotton poly blends are cheaper and less prone to creasing and shrinking, so a blend with a high proportion of cotton can still be a good choice.
If you need any more advice on choosing a shirt feel free to drop us a message and we can provide any advice on the Jiggler Lord Berlue range.