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A Comprehensive Guide To Men's Dress Shirt Styles


Have you ever gone shopping for a dress shirt only to come away with something that isn’t quite right? Maybe the texture feels too rough. Or could it be the extra satin-like sheen? Whatever it is, you know it’s off. The faux pas is frustrating, sure, but don’t worry, you’re not the first person to be confused by the subtle differences of collared shirt styles. Let’s get started and run down a list of common differences between the formal, dress, and casual button-down shirting options. 

Formal Shirts

First off, formal shirts, also known as tuxedo shirts, tend to be made of 100% cotton and spun in either a twill or broadcloth weave. The cuffs are usually French, perfect for cufflinks, and the collar is a semi-spread. For the most formal of occasions, you’re going to want to go with a wing-tip tuxedo collar, the Rolls Royce of collar styles.. Finally, the most noticeably different thing you’ll find on a tuxedo shirt are the buttons. They’re usually fastened together with metal studs. 

Dress Shirts

Dress shirts are the most versatile of the bunch. They can be made to fit in just about anywhere with minimal effort. Of course, this makes a dress shirt ideal for dressing down into casual looks, but there are times when this doesn’t work in the wearer’s favor. It comes down to the type of collar and cuffs. For instance, a button-down collar can be dressed down easily, a pin-hole collar not so much. Consider dress shirts a semi-formal, business, option. They can have short sleeves, but typically, short sleeves are reserved for the casual side of button-up shirts. 

Casual Shirts

Casual shirts and dress shirts have a lot of crossover between them. Collars – like the aforementioned button-down collar – can be worn with either. One of the easiest ways to tell casual and dress shirts apart is by their length. Casual shirts are generally shorter, while dress shirts are made to be tucked in, hence the extra inch or two. Basically, an untucked shirt should never extend past the bottom of your back pocket. In addition, the collars are also much less stiff.

At Original Stitch, we offer a fully customizable collection (yes, even the collar type!) of premium quality shirts. Customers can create a shirt completely unique to them. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from and tailored in Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than regular button-up shirts.