Sporty, casual or elegant style doesn’t matter: the shirt is the masculine garment par excellence, here’s all you need to know
Icons of style and elegance, perfect for every style and extremely versatile, shirts are one of the timeless items for every self-respecting men’s wardrobe. How to choose the right fabric? How to wear it? How to recognize a quality shirt? Here is the ultimate guide.
Shirt: the materials
The first thing to evaluate when buying a shirt is the material: the best fabric is definitely cotton, in particular what is called “double twisted cotton”, a special process that overlaps various threads of cotton and ensures tightness, consistency and rigidity of the material. The shirt in this fabric tends to be less transparent (therefore the presence of underwear underneath will not be evident) and will be less difficult to iron.
Types of collars in the shirt
French-style” points outwards, “Italian-style” closed points downwards as in the best tradition of the tailors of the Bel Paese, button down with buttons on the points for a more sporty look. These are the most popular styles and collars among the shirts.
There are, however, some rules to be observed. The French collar, for example, should never be used for an elegant outfit, the button down collar always goes without ties but only for sporty and casual looks. There is also the Korean collar, but the rules of style want it to be worn only for summery and very fresh looks or, at most, for an extremely sporty outfit.
The cuff and buttons
The classic shirt can be recognized by the cuff. It is essential that it always has rounded tips and never “pointed” and with barely shaped edges. The cuff, moreover, must always have two buttonholes and a small buttonhole. The buttons in a shirt, in fact, are very important: their thickness must always be around two millimetres.
The seams and the fly
A quality shirt can be recognized above all by the seams: the more they are present, the more resistant the garment will be. A quality shirt is always finished with “English” seams, i.e. double seams. A fundamental detail is the last buttonhole, which must be horizontal and not vertical to guarantee an excellent fit. All “top quality” shirts have a detail, a triangle on the sides also called fly, which makes them more comfortable.
How to wear the shirt
The main rule if you wear the jacket is that the cuffs always stick out of the sleeves by at least a couple of inches. The collar must also come out of the jacket by about 1.5 cm (the size must be taken from the back of the neck). The shirt to be worn under a suit must be strictly longer at the back to avoid it coming out of the trousers, as well as the collar tips, which must never come out of the jacket. Finally, on important occasions, it should be remembered that etiquette never removes the jacket.