Men’s Dress Shirt Styles – How To Choose the Perfect Collar, Placket, Cuff & Fit

Men’s Dress Shirt Styles – How To Choose the Perfect Collar, Placket, Cuff & Fit

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! In today’s video, we discuss shirt styles
such as the collar, the placket, the fit, and anything else that goes into a shirt. With the recent popularity of made to measure shirts
and custom shirts online and offline, you get lots of options. Now that can be a blessing or a curse, depending
on what you need and what you don’t. First of all, a shirt has to fit properly
and oftentimes, you’re confronted with different terms such as classic fit, standard fit, slim
fit, trim fit, modern fit, so what exactly does that mean? First of all, the shirts that your father
or grandfather wore was probably a classic fit. The primary goal of the classic fit is comfort
so you’ll have more space in the chest, you’ll have wider sleeves. Overall, it’s a roomier cut with excess fabric. The idea is that it gives you mobility but
when you tuck in your shirt, you have some hang over. It’s not the most attractive of styles. For that reason, it’s not very popular with
modern young men who want a more trim silhouette. In response to that, the so-called slim fit
was created. Basically, everything on the shirt is slimmed
down. The torso is slimmed down sometimes with the
use of darts in the back. The chest is smaller, the shoulder width is
smaller, and oftentimes, also the sleeves are much slimmer. The problem encountered with slim fit shirts
is oftentimes just everything is made slimmer without giving thought to mobility. For example, if your shirts are too slim,
you can’t actually move anymore and actually constricts your movement. That’s actually terrible and even in a slim
fit shirt, you should still be able to move around freely. Therefore, the modern fit or contemporary
fit was introduced which is somewhere between the classic fit and the slim fit. It usually features a slightly tapered silhouette,
sometimes has darts, sometimes not. It is an attractive look but it doesn’t compromise
comfort and mobility. Personally, this modern contemporary fit is
my favorite because it combines the best of both worlds. Now sometimes, you may also come across something
called the super skinny fit and that just means that everything is tight. The problem is that it’s so tight that you
easily get wrinkles all over the place and it’s not just uncomfortable but it also looks
bad and you should avoid it at all costs. Once you’ve determined what fit is right for
you, it’s time to choose the details in the shirt. First of all, let’s look at the placket styles. The placket is the material on a shirt front
that’s underneath the buttons. Right here, you can see the so-called traditional
front placket which is an additional piece of fabric strip that is sewn onto the top. It creates great symmetry, it’s therefore
very popular for a classic shirt. It’s also called American placket and it’s
definitely the most conventional style so even on less expensive dress shirts, this
is probably what you’ll encounter at least in the US. The other very popular placket style is the
so called French placket as you can see here on a checked shirt. Unlike the Amercian placket, it’s simply a
flat, smooth edge that’s folded over and sewn. Once buttoned, it creates a clean, nice silhouette
and personally, I like it a lot. For summer shirts or pop-over shirts, you’ll
often encounter the 3/4 placket which means the placket doesn’t go all the way down and
it’s more like a polo shirt, just very deep. You have to pop them over your head to put
them on therefore, they’re merely good for casual, outside events or the beach. Another placket style you usually see in evening
wear is the fly front placket. It’s called that way because the buttons are
hidden with an additional piece of fabric and personally, I don’t like it at all. When I wear a tuxedo, I use shirt studs because
they’re decorative. For dress shirts, I wear a traditional placket
or French placket. Some people like that hidden fly placket,
if you do, you can wear it otherwise, I suggest stay clear and go with classic options like
French or American placket. Next up, let’s discuss collars because the
collar is probably the most visible part of the shirt especially if you wear jackets. The purpose of the shirt collar is to flatter
your face. In order to do so, it has to be in harmony
with the V-line created by your jacket and the upside down V created by your collar. Ideally, if you have an oval face, you want
something that’s slightly more spread to balance it out. If you have an oval face and you take a collar
that’s very pointed down, you just elongate the loook of your face and it’s not flattering
anymore. On the other hand, if you have a quite round
face or horizontal face and you use a widespread collar, the width of your face is even more
accentuated. In those cases, you should choose a collar
with points that face more down. Probably one of the most popular collars today
is the spread collar. It’s called that way because it has a certain
spread and it’s used for dress shirts and casual shirts alike. It works with or without a tie and it’s quite
versatile unless you have a very wide face. In that case, I would stay clear of them. The other popular collar style seen today
especially in the US is the so-called button down collar. It’s particularly popular for the oxford cloth
button down collar shirt. If you want to learn more about this specific
style, please check out our in-depth guide here. The hallmark of a good button-down collar
is that so-called collar roll or the S-curve which is achieved by having extra material
between the button and the top of your collar and it just creates a nice curve roll. Apart from the classic button-down collar,
you can now find the so-called under button-down collars. There’s simply a button placed underneath
the collar so it’s invisible. It has the same function to keep your collar
in place, at the same time, the collar can be very soft and it looks like a regular collar
and you have that added comfort. The classic collar is called that way because
that’s probably what your grandpa wore. It’s a collar that is not too spread, tips
are not too long but not too short and overall, it’s a very unexciting collar but it works
well with a four-in-hand tie knot. To learn how to tie this knot, please check
out our video here. In recent years, smaller collars have become
very popular but most of the time, they’re not very flattering especially if you wear
a tie or a bow tie, it simply looks like a child collar or like a shirt that was handed
down to you from your older brother. If you really want to, you can wear a small
collar with denim shirts or casual pants like khakis but please do not wear it with a suit
or any form of neckwear. For evening wear such as white tie tailcoat
and tuxedo, men would traditionally wear a detachable wing collar as you can see here. Now, that’s a rather stiff collar and it’s
hard to find these shirts anymore today because it’s a separate piece and the idea was that
you were able to wash it separately but today, most men find it to be a lot more complicated. As a consequence, shirts with this kind of
collar usually come with an attached collar or most of the time, men actually prefer a
softer collar with their tuxedo because that’s what the Duke of Windsor introduced in the
30’s. He wanted everything to be soft therefore,
with tuxedos today, it’ perfectly accurate to wear a turndown collar shirt in white that
is a soft collar and you don’t have to go with those attachable ones. Another collar that’s not very popular in
the Western hemisphere is the so-called mao collar. It’s simply a short, stand up collar. It’s very easy to tailor and it’s sometimes
worn in combination with the Nehru jacket. To learn more about the jacket, you can check
out this guide. Overall, I really dislike the look of the
mao collar. If you like the style, go for it. Another collar that I like a lot is the so-called
club collar. It has rounded ends so you’re not going to
have a collar tip but they’re just rounded. If you like to wear collar bars, you want
this club collar with a pinhole so you can actually wear it comfortably and it elevates
your tie knot. It creates a really debonair look. To learn more about collar pins and clips,
and bars, please check out this video here. Another collar I’m quite fond of is the medium
spread collar , which I’m wearing here right now. It’s basically not classic but not too spread. It’s kind of in between. I chose to go with rather long points simply
for a different look. Not all medium spread collar have points that
are long but the advantage of going with a made to measure shirt is that you can really
choose and design your very own collars according to your very own wishes and design ideas. A collar that was quite popular in the 90’s,
you saw it in movies like Wall Street, was the so-called tab collar. The little tabs on the collar elevate your
tie in a similar fashion to a collar clip. A very popular style lately has been the so-called
extreme cutaway collar. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of it because
it’s just cut away so far, you cannot really wear a neckwear that looks flattering. Because of the widespread, your tie knot has
to be extremely big or you see the band of the tie and it just looks odd. Maybe you can get away by tying a double Windsor
and you can learn in this video how to do that. Next up let’s discuss shirt cuff styles. The most traditional dress shirt cuffs are
French cuffs or double cuffs. They’re folded over and fastened with cufflinks. Today, most dress shirts come with so-called
barrel cuffs or button cuffs and they feature one, two, or three buttons. One or two is more traditional, three is a
little more contemporary. A combination of those two styles is the so-called
James Bond cuff because it is actually buttone but folded over. It’s also known as the cocktail cuff. Apart from that, you can have straight cut
cuffs, or slightly angled ones, or rounded ones, but apart from these three basic styles,
there’s not a whole lot of variety in that department. Personally, I think with a suit, a French
cuff shirt with cuff links is better. For a casual shirt, you can go with button
cuffs. Most traditional shirts have a hem that is
longer in the front and at the back and cut up in the middle so you don’t have excess
bunching of fabric. You want your shirt to be much longer especially
in the back because you don’t want it to come untucked. If you want to wear your shirts casually and
not tuck them in, go with a straight lined hem because the long ends look unflattering
if you don’t tuck them in. Okay, now let’s take a look at the back of
the shirts. Traditionally, you can find a so-called split
yoke in the back which originally was there to compensate for sloping shoulders. Today, it’s simply a detail that helps in
matching the patterns and the sleeves more easily. It doesn’t really add value unless it’s a
true custom shirt where they adapt it to your shoulders. In terms of pleats, traditional shirts oftentimes
feature a center pleat down the middle. It’s like a box pleat that gives you more
room. Alternatively, you can have these side pleats
which give you a little more room when you move your arms or sometimes there are no pleats
at all. Personally, I like the idea of greater mobility
that’s why I usually choose some side pleats or no pleats at all. I’m not a big fan of the box pleat because
there’s just too much fabric. If you choose to go with a contrasting collar
or contrasting cuffs, I suggest you stick to white, it’s very classic and it usually
gives the shirt a more formal look. If you want to learn more about shirt styles
and shirts in general, check out our in-depth guide on the website here. To get videos like this right to your inbox,
sign up for our free newsletter or subcribe to our YouTube channel channel and hit that
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86 Replies to “Men’s Dress Shirt Styles – How To Choose the Perfect Collar, Placket, Cuff & Fit”

  1. Raphael, I know you own your own business, and are obviously extremely busy. But I would love to see more videos like this, breaking down these sorts of things for all the general suiting items. Your knowledge of the history and function is always fascinating.

    Keen to see more.

  2. I have a very large neck (17.5") and wide shoulders but I'm only a 42" chest and I find the only thing I can wear that fits me anything like properly is skinny fit/extra slim shirts. Thing is they still have too much room through the torso and waist. I know I can get them adjusted to remove some of the excess fabric, but I dislike the lack of choice and selection I'm often left with when purchasing. Do you have any other suggestions for what I can do to get a shirt that fits AND have choice, that doesn't involve the cost of custom tailored shirts?

  3. Good Video Overall, but I have to disagree a lot with the part about the fit of a shirt! It depends much more on your physic than on anything else, which fit is good for you and which ones you should avoid! I actually need super slim fit dress shirts, because I'm skinny as hell! Even Slim fit is way too baggy for me and modern fit looks on me like I'm wearing a dress. It also isn't too tight for me or anything, it's actually very comfortable and I have a lot of room in it. It definitely doesn't work for anybody, actually most people will look like a sausage in a super slim fit shirt, but it works perfectly for my body type. You really can't recommend a fit for anybody it depends only on the person's body type. And I think it's awesome that nowadays there are fits for almost anyone. And a few decades ago, there probably wasn't a need for super slim fit shirts, but I think there a lot of tall and also skinny men walking around nowadays, so I think it is incredibly great that we have something like a super slim fit, because otherwise I would need custom made shirts.

  4. Excellent video. I never thought I'd become someone who would take actual interest in all the details that go into shirts or even clothing in general. But what I've learned from your videos and articles have served me very well. I suppose since I never used to pay any attention to such details, it really amazes me when I learn about all these things that can go into a shirt. Thanks for being such a quality resource.

  5. For those of us that have a large waste line and smaller neck what is the best option if I wanted to stay under 100 dollars?

  6. 05:15 left me a little confused: I've been taught that wearing a tie on a button-down collar shirt was a no-go? Just on button-downs, not the more discreet under-botton-down collars. Since then, I always considered button-down shirts to be rather leisure-style, although you find them worn and combined with ties all over the place.

  7. I love these videos. More often than not, I find I've been doing it right, just instinctually…but it's good to have a real expert open up more ideas and braven us fashion aspiring guys to try new things without taking the risk of looking stupid…lol

  8. can you make one on how too match up dress shirts with jeans or what type pants & shoes would be the best combination too wear with

  9. I can really see your sloped shoulder here, it's quite bad, especially from the back it looks like it has collapsed or something. Not to bash you or anyting, we all have imperfections. But it illustrates the point of suiting for your body well.

  10. pardon Gentleman's Gazette…but how about the Good fellas collard? You know, the one from Good Fellas and Casino.

  11. The extra tight fit is necessary for thin guys that are 6'4". Arm holes are too big on everything else. 🙂

    Oh Yeah! And boats don't disappear over the curve. They disappear due to perspective but can be brought back into view using a telescope or optical zoom camera. NASA is a 20 billion dollar a year ($50,000,000 per day!) money laundering scheme that also hides the real world from you.

    I love your videos!

  12. I call the rounded collars Peter Pan collars myself. I wish there were more Womens dress shirts with that type of collar

  13. This is a bit inaccurate regarding the fits. You're discussing these only as they pertain to your body type. But things like "super slim fit" are for people who really are skinny or lanky–of which you're neither, so obviously it's not going to fit you right. Yet on the same token, for the skinny person, it may fit them exactly right. So things like "causing wrinkles because they're constantly stretched" is just wrong, because that fit is obviously not meant for you.

    My personal problem is that I have athletic build shoulders and a slim waist. So it's usually the case that a super slim fit will fit me in the waist but not chest and shoulders–or it will have enough space in the chest and shoulders but be too baggy in the waist. For off the rack shirts, Thomas Pink has the best option with the biggest "drop" in inches (six–e.g. 47 chest circumference, 41 waist) between chest and waist, but they're also $200/piece :/

    Bottom Line: I've noticed that typically the ONLY real difference in fit between brands is the size of the "drop," because you can see a linear progression of measurements across types. For example, a particular brand might have:
    -A "Slim" 15-inch collar with a 45" chest and 41" waist
    -A "Super Slim" 16 inch collar that ALSO has a 45" chest and 41" waist
    -A "Slim" that also has a 16-inch collar, but has a 47" chest and 43" waist
    -A "Super Slim" 17-inch collar that ALSO has a 47" chest and 43" waist

    And so on and so forth. In this example, yous see a consistent 4-inch "drop."
    So, if you aren't really thin, obviously don't get a "super slim" shirt in your normal collar size. I suggest knowing the best measurements for you (I'm about 47" for chest/38" for waist) then finding a shirt that fits your "drop" or closest to it. NOTE, these AREN'T your actual chest/waist measurements. These are measurements that leave some space for you to move. To that point–

    As a general rule of thumb, take your known measurements and add about 5 inches. So if you're a 42 suit and 38 for your waist, try to find 47"/43" shirts for a good fit.

  14. Love your channel – you are one of my favorite personalities on youtube. Love the knowledge you share too. As a men's clothing re-seller on ebay I just love hearing about fashion and clothing. Listen a lot while taking pictures!!!

  15. Very complete and detailed account of shirts for those of us that need help making the right choices. 🙂
    Great video thank you!

  16. Slim fit, and modern fit, wow, give me a break, these young guys today….take your balls out of your girlfriends purses ffs

  17. What’s the name of the collar they wear in Goodfellas? Specifically the “What’s so funny about me?” dinner scene. They have these really long collars that go over the necktie knot. What is it called?

  18. Had a shirt that has buttons for a barrel cuff and holes for cuff links. So you cut the buttons if want to go French cuff?
    I have also heard of the French cut, which has a curved cut on the sides but still roomy sleeves, fits my triangular slim figure well.

  19. I am working for like 8 years in Secretarial jobs and my advice is that fat and chubby people should not wear slim fit. No it does not make you look sexy and don't get into the myth that its gonna make you look slimmer or have less weight you are still gonna be fat. I disgust such people especially when they get sweaty. Seriously get a life.

  20. You shouldn't say "super slim fit" is to avoid.. I'm a very skinny guy (do triathlon like lots of the other skinny bit athletic guys) and that's the only fit that doesn't make me look wearing my dad's shirts

  21. Where can I find the shirt at 3:40?
    What's the shirt style name besides 3/4 placket? I can't find any brands that have that name

  22. You seem to make some false assumptions about the different shirt fits because you ignore the huge variety of body shapes. For example, I have a fit 'V' shaped torso and tend to go for large size shirts with super slim fit to get a more consistent fit all over. Even then there can be too much fabric around the waist.

  23. I'm skinny. Really skinny. Super slim shirts have about as much excess fabric when I wear them as the modern fit does on Mr. Schneider here. Does thet make them the right choice? It's about how they actually fit ME, right? Or should they still be avoided?

  24. Real serious advice on traditional and classic gentlemen fashion. Rather than others who just promote their sponsors with no content.

  25. I bought a black suit for my grandfather's funeral a while back. And I probably should have just gotten a dark navy or dark grey suit, but that's the only one I have for now. This has been really useful to help me step up my dress clothes game until I buy a navy suit.

    Going to see what kinds of patterns and things I should look for in your other videos.


  26. My favorite collars styles are the: semi-spread, button-down collar, pinhole collar (club, pointed, anything), tab, and Nehru (basically a Mao / Mandarin collar that's taller).

  27. I'm very slim, so slim fit shirts look great on me, I've seen some people wearing slim fit without the right build and it just looks comically tight on them.

  28. i think comfort fit shirts are neat, especially when you wear a jacket and its a bit warmer, with the roomy sleeves you dont trap too much heat 🙂

  29. Are you standing on a revolving platform? Either your back round is revolving or your platform and It makes me dizzy.. lol!

  30. Could you make a video or answer it from here that how to choose correct collar size for the sake of our necks (not too tight) at the same time look nice. Because when the shirt size fits but collar is too tight to feel comfortable.

  31. Button downs & the "contrasting" collar(white collar, blue or grey shirt) are good. I wore contrasting collars a lot in the early 1990s. 👔. It was popular with TV news anchors, Wall St types..

  32. I have always been told you only tie certain tie knots for certain collars. Is this true? For example you would t want a really wide collar with a really this tie knot.

  33. This is very cool. I was trying to figure out what various styles were called. Do you find that the side pleats offer more mobility than the center pleat? I think I've seen shirts with the pleats in different spots (and I think they were called vents, but I could just be mistaking terms).
    What are your feelings on raglan sleeves in terms of offering mobility vs appearance? Is there a sleeve style that offers the same mobility but that looks better? I've seen some that looks sort of like it has what you called a yoke on both front and back & the sleeves were attached to that but it sort of looked like a raglan sleeve except the sleeve attached to the yoke.
    In terms of cuffs, what type is the most comfortable?
    Is there such a thing as a medium spread underbutton collars?
    Is Mao collar also called Mandarin collar?
    Thank you very much for posting this video. It was very informative.

  34. I have problem with tick neck making it so only shirts 2 – 3 sizes larger fits if I button them up all way..

  35. Like your channel, but for some people different shirt "fit" is going to have a differing fit.For me a classic fit is perfect, granted it will be baggy because it will be off the rack.

  36. Ideally, a man will look at the size guide and determine which fit is best for him. I, for example, am extremely thin. This means that I must usually drop an entire fit style to achieve the desired look (e.g.: if I want the classic fit look, I must purchase the modern fit shirt). And I agree with you: the fly placket is hideous.

  37. So you make a video on shirts wearing a shockingly bad colour coordination caused by your shirt colour.

    With a white or blue shirt, your suit, tie, and pocket square would look great.
    Wearing something unusual doesn't necessarily advance the look. The shirt worn is completely wrong for your outfit, destroys the look and consequently your credibility.

  38. All of my shirts are a classic fit even thou I'm thin cause that's all that was available in a double Oxford very comfortable and stylish…they look just a slight big cause I lost weight but for the most part awesome…

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