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What is considered a high-quality dress shirt?


The quality of a dress shirt can be measured by many metrics. Always keep an eye out for fine details such as buttons, stitching, and seams. A high-quality dress shirt will feature tightly-sewn buttons, clean stitching, and matching patterns. Also be on the look out for split yokes, pleats, and natural materials like cotton. These are clear indicators of a well-made dress shirt. Let’s dive into each category and go over exactly what makes a high-quality dress shirt.

High-Quality Dress Shirt Material

The easiest way to determine the quality of a dress shirt is its material. Cotton is one of the best all-around materials for high-quality dress shirts because it breathes well, handles perspiration like a boss, and can be easily washed. Thicker weaves are also good because they help dress shirts hold their shape longer without the need to iron. While 100% natural materials like cotton is the go-to standard for a high-quality dress shirt, a small percentage of man-made material isn’t a deal breaker. Many synthetic fibers are included in dress shirts to add wrinkle-resistance, stretch, and durability. But beware: anything made with more than a few percentage points of synthetic fibers can be a sign of cost-cutting rather than good, purposeful, craftsmanship. Here are a few of our favorite 100% cotton Original Stitch Dress shirts to get you started.

High-Quality Dress Shirt Stitching

Most stitching on dress shirts today is done by machine, but there are varying degrees of quality control that you can take to make sure you’re getting the best quality available. Tight edges and seams – stitching that you can’t see through or pry apart with a fingernail – are a great way to determine this. You can also count the stitches per inch. 22 stitches per inch is generally considered very high quality, but anything above 18 is a good sign.

High-Quality Dress Shirt Buttons

Plastic shirt buttons are extremely common, but that doesn’t mean the shirt you’ve got your eye on is poor quality. If the buttons are plastic and the button stitch is tight, you’re in for a pretty good time. If you want to bypass plastic altogether, then mother of pearl is a great step towards higher quality. Mother of pearl buttons are generally thinner than plastic buttons, so don’t let that discourage you. Online tailors like Original Stitch will allow you to choose your button type and configuration, but if you’re buying off the rack, buttons on the sleeve of a dress shirt will point you to the good stuff.

High-Quality Dress Shirt Yokes

The yoke of a dress shirt is the cloth that lays over the shoulder blade and connects the shoulder fabric to the upper back section via horizontal stitch. A high-quality dress shirt will feature a split yoke – a seam that starts under the collar and goes down the middle to connect with the horizontal seam. This allows tailors to adjust each side of the back individually for a better, more uniform fit.

High-Quality Dress Shirt Pleats

Most dress shirts found in big box stores tend to feature pleats. Pleats, like the common box pleat, are a way to help the shirt keep its shape and stay close to the body. High-quality, in this respect, refers to the fit of the shirt and how it contours naturally around the back and shoulders. Side pleats are a cut above the box variant in that it allows your body to inform the fabric’s shape in a less obtrusive way. Observe below how including no pleats at all (plain) would be even more true to your form. At Original Stitch, we offer many styles of pleat, including box, side, side dart and plain.

High-Quality Dress Shirt Monograms

Monograms aren’t necessarily an indicator of high-quality. Truth is, anyone can have them added to off-the-rack shirts. BUT if you find a tailor or brand that can facilitate monogramming in house – like Original Stitch – it’s a good sign that they’re more likely to be directly involved in the manufacturing process than those who don’t.

At Original Stitch we offer a fully customizable collection of premium quality dress shirt, suit blazer, and pant fabrics. Use them to create a wardrobe that is completely unique to YOU. 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 their off-the-rack counterparts.