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A Man's Guide to Choosing a Dress Shirt

Here's some news for you: not all dress shirts are designed with the same, boring, office-style look in mind. And while the fashion industry does seem to be more female-oriented, men actually care about how they look just as much as women do.

In fact, some men spend more money on clothes than their partners – so while they may not be as fashion-obsessed as their female counterparts, it's evident that men still care about looking their best on special occasions.

For instance, if you're out on the town, you want to make sure you're looking good in your maroon mens dress shirt. But with all the styles and cuts available today, how do you know which one to choose?

Although picking the right dress shirt can be confusing, here's everything you need to know about choosing the right one.

Ensuring a Good Fit

The most important aspect of choosing a dress shirt is ensuring a correct fit. Sure, you could choose a shirt by the size on the label, but it's better to get measurements – get measurements of your arm length and neck size.

To make sure a collar fits properly, place one finger inside the collar. If there is just enough space for your finger to fit comfortably, the collar fits properly. If you can slide two fingers inside the collar, it's too big.

To ensure you choose the right shirt length, buy one that fits snugly against your body and can easily be tucked into your pants – look for "slim fit" shirts, but remember that they shouldn't be too tight.

Choosing the Color and Pattern

After getting the fit of your dress shirt down, the second step is putting your outfit together. Although you can't go wrong with solid black, navy, or white, don't be frightened to jazz your outfit up with some color and texture. Dress shirts in gingham prints and plaid are trending right now.

The pop of color that plaid brings to a dark tie is a good choice for fall, but consider moving toward more muted colors when the temperature drops. The general rule of thumb is that your ensemble should only have one highlight – if you're wearing a bright shirt, opt for more muted tones for your jacket, pants, and tie.

Fabric and Material

If wearing a dress suit is mandatory in your office, you're probably acutely aware of how uncomfortable the wrong fabric can be when midday rolls around.

Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or cotton blends for cool, comfortable office wear.

Because cotton is so durable and does not require special washing instructions, you'll be able to wash your shirts again and again.

Linen is also a good, breathable fabric for summer – however, it wrinkles more easily than other fabrics. If you're going to be glued to your chair for the entire day, choosing another fabric will ensure your shirt doesn't look as wrinkled as a Shar-Pei.

Silk is a classic, timeless choice. However, avoid wearing it if you're going to be moving around a lot – sweat stains on silk are notoriously hard to hide.


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