An intricately tailored shirt might take more skill and effort to make, but it also brings a level of quality no mass-produced shirt can equal. Even when you don’t know what to look for, you can almost always instantly tell when a shirt has low quality. It’ll just fall way below the standard for expensive shirts visually and will almost always have an imperfect fit.
What you see is usually what you get in terms of shirt quality. Even so, to start a collection of quality shirts, it’s best to know exactly what to look for so you won’t ever be misled. Stylish Alpha recommends doing your research, starting with this piece.
What Makes a Top-Notch Dress Shirt?
Inexpensive, average-quality shirts do nothing for both the wearer and observer. There’s just nothing about them that sparks excitement or draws interest.
On the other hand, even the most plainly designed dress shirt can evoke a level of emotion from the user and his audience. What exactly gives these shirts the edge lies in several features.
Tailored To Perfection
When it comes to determining apparel quality, it almost always comes down to the fit. In fact, it’s the main factor that sets apart mediocre from top-notch clothing. With a low-quality shirt, it’s usually a challenge to find the right fit. On the contrary, you’ll find that an expensive premiere dress shirt fits in all the right places, including ones you don’t usually pay attention to.
A one-size-fits-all box shirt might fit you, but it won’t hug the right places. It might look halfway decent, but it won’t highlight your attractive features while masking your weaknesses.
There’s an off chance a cheap shirt might be made of good quality materials. That said, even this won’t be an advantage if the shirt falls loosely off your frame.
Collars can be tricky to construct, which is why your eyes should move straight to that feature when trying to determine the quality of a dress shirt. The collar’s detail and composition should give it the level of stiffness and body that’s just right for a formal look.
If you find your shirt’s collar not quite aligning with the rest of the shirt, chances are you’re wearing a subpar shirt, to begin with. Collars of world-class shirts should have an intricate interlining, resulting in the perfect roll at the top edge.
What you won’t see in a fine bespoke suit’s collar but in most average-quality dress shirt collars is the outcome of press-on fusing. This method tends to result in crisp collars upon purchase but gives you bubbling collars after the first wash.
Collar construction takes the considerable skill and experience of the finest suit tailors, and these guys come at a price. Ideally, a top-quality shirt should have a collar that doesn’t look too stiff. It should have the right amount of softness and rigidness and a natural-looking bent edge.
Stitching, especially in top-quality clothing, is something you notice from a mile away. That’s because stitching in the finest pieces of apparel is so different from their mass-produced counterparts.
More than external stitching, which some brands tend to showcase in even their more affordable lines, is the fine internal stitching that is almost exclusive to high-end dress shirts. An average-quality shirt tends to have messy inside stitching that doesn’t align with its more seamless outside stitchwork.
While the outside stitching on a shirt should give you an idea as to its quality, you want to be sure it extends to the inside as well. Flip the shirt over and make sure there are no loose threads and chain stitches. Additionally, there should be great stitch tension and a high stitch-per-inch count.
Stitch-per-inch count contributes to the shirt’s durability and ability to remain intact when catching sharper edges and objects. It also adds to the dress shirt’s visual appeal by sharpening its lines and tightening the seams.
This element is overlooked far too often by those looking for high-quality dress shirts. Well, doing so is a recipe for a regretful purchase, so make sure you don’t fall into the trap.
Seams do not fall on the same level quality-wise. A variety that sits at the very top is the flat-felled version, with its markings of quality observed from every angle. Specifically, it’s a seam that sandwiches the fabric’s raw edge between its two layers so both the shirt’s exterior and interior look clean and polished.
High-Quality Dress Shirts Make the Man
Whether you like it or not, there will be times in your life that call on you to bring out the formal wear. It’s almost imperative to have a collection of quality shirts to select from on these occasions.
First, you don’t want to embarrass yourself or whoever you’re representing. Second, the quality of clothing tells a lot about the person wearing it.