Dress shirts are one of the most important wardrobe investments men can make. McGregor Madden is a tailor who founded HallMadden.com, an e-commerce company that uses personal stylists to sell men better-fitting dress shirts.
Madden told us everything men need to know when making this investment.
How the shirt should fit:
The first and most important consideration is fit, Madden told us.
“A shirt should be roomy but fitted in the chest and tapered down the torso toward your waist so that the shirt doesn’t mushroom over your belt,” Madden told us. “If the sleeves are too long, that’s ok, you can get them altered for $10-$15.”
What colours are best:
Stick to the basics for a polished look.
“You can never go wrong with the basics, like white, light blues, or light pinks, no matter your skin tone or hair colour,” Madden said.
Pay attention to the collar:
A medium-sized spread collar (one without buttons) is “best for the first-time shirt buyer” and great for all suits and occasions, Madden told us.
Button-down collars are better for casual wear. Consider buying this collar if you can wear khakis or jeans to work. Flatter your face shape: If you have a long neck, a higher collar is better. If you have a short neck, go with a short collar to create the illusion of length. If you have a round face, go with a more fitted collar to elongate your face shape. Watch out for the warning signs of a bad shirt: When buying a shirt, avoid polyester and nylon blends that can restrict mobility, Madden said. It’s also important to study the shirt after two washes, Madden said. “Do the buttons fall off after a wash? After two dry-cleans, is the cuff and collar fabric bubbling?” Madden asked. “These are dead giveaways of bad quality.”
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