Posted on May 11 2017
There are so many places that you can get a dress shirt at. If you own a plethora of dress shirts, you’ll know that bad dress shirts don’t last long at all. They feel cheap, are less comfortable, have tonnes of loose stitching, and wear out really quickly. So how do you determine if what you’re buying is actually high quality? Here are some areas that you can look at to figure it out.
Check the Collar
If the collar on your shirt is a fused collar (A collar that has an interlining sandwiched between two fabrics), it should have some rigidity and a bit of a bounce when you press down on it. Poor quality dress shirts will feel limp like thin cardboard. Make sure to look carefully at the stitching around the edges of the collar too. The stitching should be neat, straight, clean, and symmetrical.
Most high quality business shirts come with their own collar stays too. This is a sign that the business cares about the little details of the shirt. When you button up the shirt, it should also retain a natural curve around your neck.
Check the back of the shoulders (The Split Yolk)
If you look on the back of your shoulders, you should see a stretch of fabric that runs across your back from shoulder to shoulder. This is called the yolk of the shirt.
Gentleman's Gazette has a great representation of the split yolk.
High quality shirts usually have split yolks (where the middle of the yolk is split into 2). This allows your shoulders and arms to move without constraint. It does this by allowing the fabrics on the back shoulder of the shirt to stretch in two different directions which also makes the shirt more comfortable to wear.
Check the Buttons and Buttonholes
It’s all about the little details. Many high quality dress shirts come with mother-of-pearl buttons. Other high quality buttons are the roma plastic resin button and horn buttons. If you look at the stitching that is on the buttons, it should be neat, tight, and straight. There should be no fraying in the openings. As for the button holes, they should also have tight stitching and clearly defined hole shapes.
Check the fabric type
Many high quality shirts are made of 100% cotton and are not made of any polyester-cotton blends. Bad quality shirts will fade quickly in the wash, wrinkle quickly, and look loose.
Check the pattern consistency
This is easier to check if the shirt isn’t a solid color. For example, If your shirt has stripes, they should run in the same direction on the left and right sides of the shirt. If you look at the split yolk, the lines should also be perfectly connected to each other when extending from one shoulder to the other. This shows that attention to detail and care was put into making the shirt.
Check the stitching
Poor quality shirts will have fraying in many different areas including the collar, the seams, the buttons, and many other places as well. High quality shirts should have no signs of fraying anywhere. The stitches should be tight, smooth, and clean.
High quality shirts will require less ironing, will maintain a nice crisp shape when you’re wearing it, will feel more breathable, will stretch with your body, will give off a nice sheen, will feel much more comfortable, and will last longer too. Overall, if you’re going to wear a shirt more than a few times, it would be a good idea to get a high quality one.
What's your favorite shirt and where did you get it? We would love to know. Leave a comment below or share this to help your friends!