A good dress shirt is a staple for every man.
Inevitably, some men need them more than others.
Some men will wear a dress shirt on a daily basis for their job, whereas some will only wear their dress shirts for special occasions – like an interview or a wedding.
Regardless of your motivation for purchasing a dress shirt, you need to make sure that you’re only choosing yours from the best dress shirts for men.
A perfect example of this would be this dress shirt by Ralph Lauren it’s a true fashion piece that will make you look great regardless of the scenario.
That’s the goal with a dress shirt. And that’s why you can’t just go and buy any old one. You need to choose from the best dress shirts for men.
To help you out, we want our aim for this article to be a one-stop shop for all information regarding dress shirts.
From purchasing tips to listing our favorites, we hope that everyone reading this article will be able to learn something about dress shirts and leave having found their new favorite thanks to either our tips or our suggestions.
Table of Contents
Before you buy: 7 Things to consider when purchasing dress shirts
Our main thing we’d like you to look out for when purchasing a new dress shirt is the quality.
Yeah, it sounds obvious, but that’s probably because it is. You want to make sure that your dress shirt has the highest possible quality because that’s what is going to get you the best results – in terms of comfort, longevity, and fashion.
So what gives you a good quality dress shirt?
Quality really opens up a big umbrella. It is an umbrella term. It encompasses many of the tips we are about to discuss.
However, we’ll try to keep it as simple as possible: the quality of a dress shirt is reflected in the material, durability and comfort of it.
Something that is of poor quality is almost innately going to mean that it is also poor in terms of its material selection, and ultimately will be poor in terms of comfort.
So really, you just want to look at a potential dress shirt and think: “Is the quality good?”. If the answer is a resounding yes because it’s comfortable, long-lasting and made from great material, then it could be a great choice.
Other than the general overall quality, we can look at some of the parameters in a more specific sense. The first of which would be looking at the comfort of the shirt.
Generally, you always want your clothes to be comfortable. Of course, there are some exceptions, for example, you may be at a fancy dress party. In this case, you’ll be forgiven for purposefully going out of your way to be uncomfortable for the greater good of looking funny / in character.
But other than that, as men, we owe it to ourselves to be comfortable. We don’t want to walk around all day in a shirt that is uncomfortable.
Instead, you want to make sure that your dress shirt is going to be something that actually feels lovely to wear, with or without an undershirt. We’ll discuss this later, but from experience, we find that it is genuinely worth buying dress shirts that are slightly more expensive and/or from better-known brands.
The reason being is that when you do wear a dress shirt, it’s generally as part of a big event, which usually lasts half a day or a full day.
Imagine doing a full day at a wedding in a dress shirt that is just causing you discomfort, ruining the experience. It’s not a fun thought. Look for comfort!
A key cause of comfort is the material. After all, if a dress shirt is made from poor quality material, then you’ll more than likely be uncomfortable. Likewise, if your dress shirt is made from pure silk, then it’ll probably be incredibly comfortable.
In terms of general dress shirt material, you’ll be looking at Oxford shirt fabric, or Poplin. These are both very popular shirting fabrics that are designed specifically for dress shirts to be comfortable and practical for daily wear.
Other types of dress shirt material include denim, twill, and broadcloth. All of the named fabrics have their pros and cons.
The best thing about dress shirt material is that they have mostly been specifically designed for dress shirts, which means that they guarantee comfort and good quality if they are sourced correctly.
The key take-home is just to look for material that is known for being a shirt fabric. Stay away from anything else, as you may be getting yourself into a whole world of poor quality and uncomfortable weddings.
The style of dress shirt really is something that you should keep in mind when going around looking for one to purchase.
Unfortunately, and we aren’t exaggerating, there’s genuinely too many styles of dress shirt for an explanation of them all here.
Dress shirts are a true fashion piece that can make you look great if selected carefully. Especially when combined with a suit.
However, it’s worth considering because the style of dress shirt you go for will depend on your purpose or your preferred look. Some men will prefer looking for the best slim fit dress shirts, for example, because they’ll accentuate their frame better.
To illustrate with an example, a general Oxford shirt can be a safe style for someone looking to buy a dress shirt that can cover them on multiple occasions. The reason being is that it’s just an inoffensive style of dress shirt that could be worn to work, to weddings or to pretty much anything else that requires dressing somewhat smart.
Similarly, you could buy a dress shirt that has considerably less versatility, like a pinstripe poplin shirt. This is pretty much produced with professional environments in mind, and you wouldn’t get away with wearing it to the club on a Saturday night – unless you have nerves of steel.
This leads us onto thinking about the occasion for your dress shirt. Getting a quality dress shirt for your chosen occasion is difficult to do, but it is made slightly easier if you can really identify what you’re needing the shirt for.
Returning to the earlier example, we can see that someone who just wants their dress shirt for the office may decide on an Oxford shirt.
Other occasions may include weddings, funerals, meetings, parties, all sorts.
Because dress shirts can’t always be that versatile, you want to ensure that you pick one that suits your chosen occasion.
One of the easiest things to take into consideration before purchasing your dress shirt is the brand name of the shirt itself.
Most, if not all, famous brands, have produced some sort of dress shirt. Many of us have favorite brands, that’s normal. We’d prefer if we could just buy everything from the same brands as it would make our lives a whole lot easier.
Obviously, you can also find some of the best dress shirts in the world by just looking at the brand name. Some of the most famous brands in the world, like Gucci and Louis Vuitton all make dress shirts, but it is likely that they’ll also be the most expensive dress shirts.
Ultimately, the point is that if you’ve got a favorite brand, or there’s a name that you recognize, this can truly make your decision-making process a whole lot easier. That’s because you have an idea of how it’s going to look, or how it’s going to feel, and you’ll have men’s dress shirt reviews to go off of.
Reviews are something we should all look at when it comes to dress shirts. If people love it, then it gives some sort of indication of how you will feel after you’ve bought it. And vice versa.
Last but not least, we wanted to talk about the taboo subject of cost.
Inevitably, all men have different budgets.
Some can afford the most expensive dress shirts. Whereas some may be here looking for the best dress shirts under 50 bucks. It’s standard practice to have a budget that you want to stick to, and that’s something we need to keep in mind.
Obviously, there’s a ceiling to how impressive the quality or the comfort can be in relation to the price. If you’re looking to only spend 30 bucks, the ceiling of comfort and quality is going to be lower than the 300 bucks counterpart.
What we need to look to instead is the relative quality in comparison to the amount of money that’s looking to be spent on it.
Getting the best quality for your personal budget should be all that you’re concerned with. That’s the goal.
The 9 best dress shirts for men 2019
Choosing a button-down Oxford shirt can be difficult. The reason being is that there’s always so many to choose from. So many brands. So many colors.
Ralph Lauren make your choice easy.
That’s because they’re known for their world-famous Oxford shirts. They come in an infinite number of color coordination’s and they always come with the guarantee of being well fitted, well designed and durable.
They’ve been around for a number of years, but they are yet to go out of fashion. The style is timeless, with the split back yoke and the small pony logo embroidered on the left chest.
Ultimately, the Ralphy Oxford shirt is a fashion statement because you’re always going to look excellent wearing one. In our opinion, it’s one of the best dress shirts under 100 bucks.
- World famous brand
- Great design
- Great fit
- Different colors may be made from slightly different materials so not all fits are the same
The key to a great dress shirt is choosing a great brand with great reviews. This one from Ralph Lauren ticks all the boxes as it provides a perfect combination of style, comfort, and quality.
Tommy Hilfiger is a household brand name across the world thanks to the quality and style that they constantly provide across all of their products.
Sticking to them for your dress shirt would be an excellent idea because you know what you’re likely to be getting, and it erases much of the trial and error that can come from choosing a random product from a random brand.
This 100% cotton shirt comes in a slim fit with tapered sleeves and a slimmer cut at the chest and waist. This is an ideal choice for those of you that are perhaps slightly taller, or even someone who’s just skinnier than average. The slim fit look will allow you to at least accentuate those body parts that ought to look impressive.
Not only that, but this shirt, in particular, is a non-iron shirt. As men, we LOVE convenience. Also, for the record, we typically hate ironing. We don’t want to have to spend our evenings ironing before work. It’s not fun, and it’s not what we want to spend our time doing.
This shirt is non-iron. What does that mean? It won’t ever crease. It doesn’t matter how much you wear it or how much you throw it around the back of the chair instead of hanging it up in the wardrobe, you’ll be fine.
- Great brand name
- Non-iron shirt!
- Slim fit
- Will be a tight fit due to the slim design
This non-iron slim fit shirt provides an excellent option for those of you who love convenience and hate ironing. It takes away much of the preparation that goes into wearing a dress shirt.
A nice herringbone point collar dress shirt is a perfect choice for men who need a dress shirt for the office, for weddings or for other formal scenarios.
The simplistic, yet good looking design is a hallmark of Calvin Klein products, and we are unsurprised to see these shirts coming in a multitude of different colors, whilst still all looking great.
Not only is this shirt benefiting from the non-iron innovation that we seriously love, but the fabric automatically balances your personal temperature so it will automatically wick moisture and prevent you from having huge sweat patches.
This specific shirt is similar to a fitted or athletic fit, so it’s best to keep that in mind if you don’t feel that’s a perfect style for you. However, we feel that it can suit anyone, just the closer cut is particularly more modern.
- Non-iron fabric that balances temperature and wicks moisture
- Classic Calvin Klein design
- Fitted / slim fit dress shirt
- It is sometimes too short to tuck in (particularly if you’re tall)
Many of us will be looking for a dress shirt that’s suitable for work, and this one certainly is. It’s a combination of style, comfort, and design that you’ll love.
This 55% cotton, 45% polyester mix shirt comes in a regular fit but with a real emphasis on comfort.
It has fuller sleeves and relaxed arm holes, making it ideal for the average person and almost everyone’s body shape.
Most of the reviews indicate that this shirt is an excellent choice because it seems to be a perfect fit straight out of the packet, and the flex line is enough to stay cool, even if you live in some of the hottest places in the world.
Van Heusen shirts are known for being of the highest quality, and this one, in particular, seems to be following the trend in 2019.
- True to fit out of the pocket
- Cotton and polyester mix for comfort and quality
- Great budget option
- Can look really baggy if you’re skinny
This shirt is known for being comfortable, well-fitting and big enough for men of any height to wear them. This shirt is a great choice if you’re in need of a versatile all-rounder that is unlikely to need replacing.
Finding a checked shirt can be difficult because many are too big, too pronounced or just plain strange looking.
This one from the Kenneth Cole unlisted range looks great and really justifies the overwhelmingly positive reviews that can be found on the page.
The 60/40 cotton/polyester mix will guarantee some quality and comfort, as they are great materials for a dress shirt.
The only tripe would be that it is labeled as slim fit, yet some of the reviews have mentioned that the fit is actually quite baggy. This could benefit some of you though, as on first glance you may have felt that slim fit would be too tight for you.
- Great checked design
- Good materials
- Baggy even though labeled as slim fit
As far as checked dress shirts go, this is an excellent option that we feel you can’t go wrong with. It is a combination of looks, comfort and quality backed up by the choice of material, design, and colors.
Having a dress shirt that comes with stretch is something that is often overlooked by most of us. Having stretch means that you are particularly free and can move around as much as you like in the shirt.
This one, in particular, has many, many innovative features that we know that you’ll love.
The no-seam design across the entire shirt provides optimum mobility. We love this because it means you won’t run into a problem with having seams that are too tight on the shoulders etc. Instead, you can be comfortable that your shirt is going to fit you and feel comfortable at the same time.
The collar band also stretches up to half an inch. Neck sizes can often change due to a huge variety of things, from water weight to just genuinely gaining/losing weight. The problem with dress shirts is that if you are prone to weight change you do end up needing to buy a new shirt every 0.5 inch, but at least with this stretch you’ll be fine even if you do gain weight.
- Stretch fit shirt with no-seam design and stretch collar band
- Allows maximum range of motion and breathability
- Some reviews say it is not wrinkle free (as advertised)
A stretch style dress shirt is an innovative design that allows for one shirt to fit you for years. If you’re looking for durability, then you should look no further.
Some men love a more generous fit, a bit more room in the sleeves and a generous cut through the chest and waist. It’s a less modern fit but it is still a firm favorite among many men because it can be flattering and, if nothing more, professional.
This striped shirt is made from 100% cotton and it comes with a stretch material that allows up to a 1/2 inch flexibility across the collar, making it versatile enough to survive the course of time as your neck size is likely to fluctuate slightly.
It also features a non-iron finish so that you can wear it right out of the tumble dryer without needing to waste any extra time making sure that every crease is ironed out.
- Generous fit that is favored by some men
- Stretch material
- Non-iron finish
- Sleeves run noticeably long
A striped dress shirt should always be a staple in a man’s wardrobe. This one is a great choice to fill that void as it comes with stretch material and a non-iron finish, making it super convenient for any man.
This is one of its kind. This dress shirt is described as a performance fabric dress shirt. It is made to be worn on athletes, and many celebrity athletes have been described as having advocated the shirt.
For those of you who are athletic, muscular or fit, this material will allow you to breathe and it’ll wick away all moisture. Other than that, it is tailored to fit close against the body and it will really accentuate the shoulders, chest, and back.
Other than that, it is described as being incredibly comfortable. It is from the highest stretch fabric, and they claim that it is so comfortable you’ll forget that you’re wearing a dress shirt.
In terms of the care required, it needs no ironing and no dry cleaning.
- Four-way stretch
- Performance fabric made for an athletic cut
- No ironing or dry cleaning needed
- The material can be uncomfortable for some
If you’re looking for a way to show off how athletic you are whilst wearing a dress shirt, then this is your option. But that’s not where the fun stops as it is also very thin and breathable. The material is excellent for a dress shirt, and you’ll be comfortable all day with the four-way stretch.
This shirt is made from high-quality materials. A small amount of spandex is included to provide a bit of stretch. Not only that, but the material has a good capability of tenderness and moisture absorption. This allows you to feel comfortable all day as you’ll never be drowning in your own sweat, a problem with some cheaper dress shirts.
Not only that, but this shirt is made to fit any formal occasion. It can be worn for parties, dates, work or weddings – just to name a few.
In terms of sizing, it is true to size, meaning that you won’t have to worry about buying more than one size to see what fits the best. It comes with a slim fit, so if you prefer a generous fit, you can simply buy a size bigger.
- High-quality cotton/spandex combination
- Perfect for any formal occasion
- Wrinkles after washing
If you’ve got a slim athletic build then this shirt will fit you perfectly. You’ll be getting serious attention in this shirt as it will accentuate your best parts whilst still maintaining the form of a dress shirt.
How to wear a dress shirt, and look great doing it
1. With denim jeans
Try to avoid double denim. Actually, just avoid it, at all costs.
Other than that, you can wear a dress shirt with denim jeans – either blue or black, easily. Wearing a dress shirt with some denim jeans and a nice pair of Chelsea boots will add an extra bit of class to your outfit without making you too formal. This is an ideal option if you are wearing your dress shirt on a date, or to a party.
2. As part of a suit
The foundation of a great suit is a great shirt. Regardless of how expensive your blazer is, the dress shirt is still highly important because it is always in view and you want one that fits you perfectly. To wear a dress suit with your suit, you’ll want to have it tucked tightly into your trousers, creating the illusion of a tight fit around the stomach so that it’s not bagging over the sides.
3. Summer party style
A dress shirt on a summers day may sound like it is slightly painful, but it really doesn’t have to be. Combining a dress shirt with some chino shorts and boat shoes can be an excellent look that you’ll struggle to get enough of. It’s a great combination of class and style, and it’ll really help you look one step ahead on the beach, or on vacation.
4. Classic Khakis
The classic way to wear your dress shirt can still look great. So long as you have a dress shirt that fits you perfectly, you can go ahead and wear them with your favorite khaki pants, belt and leather shoes.
And finally, if you want some tips on how to really look great in a dress shirt, check these 7 tips on how to get a perfect fit for your body
The difference between dress shirts and other casual types of shirts
Dress shirts are different because they are pretty much specifically made for and worn at formal occasions, whether it be work, a date, or a wedding.
However, dress shirts can also be worn as part of smart casual, as they provide an excellent contract when combined with jeans or chino trousers.
Dress shirts will typically always have a formal collar. This is the primary indicator of whether or not it can be described as a dress shirt. A dress shirt can have many different styles of collar, but they are rigid and made to look great with a suit or any other formal wear.
Another thing to look out for with a dress shirt is the cuffs. The cuffs are typically long and will require either cufflinks or buttons to fasten. This adds an extra formal edge to the shirt.
Casual shirts are different because they’ll lack in the collar and they’ll be made without the cuffs. Instead, casual shirts can be worn as part of almost any outfit, and they definitely won’t go as part of a suit.
Not only that, but other types of shirts are made to be worn unbuttoned and most importantly worn untucked. With a dress shirt this is largely frowned upon as the stamp of formality will be to have it tucked into your trousers, jeans or chinos.
Short sleeve shirts have made a recent resurgence and they differ to dress shirts because they are typically favored on nights out – whether it be a date or a party.
Ultimately, dress shirts are made to be formal, and they should be kept that way.
How did we choose the best dress shirts for men?
To be honest, we pretty much summed it up earlier. The 7 things to consider were also the parameters we decided to focus on when choosing the best dress shirts for men.
However, we did really focus on the price. This was on purpose, as we wanted to ensure that we covered a variety of price points and did not leave anyone out. We know that everyone have different budgets, and it would be unfair for us to just stick to one.
Not only that, but choosing the ‘best dress shirts for men’ would become considerably easier if we could have just gone ahead and found 9 designer shirts that are hundreds, or thousands, of dollars.
Instead, we wanted to find the best dress shirts that fit the other parameters whilst still sticking to different budgets and price ranges.
Cool men’s dress shirts can be frustrating to find, and that’s why we wanted to help you out with this article.
We have taken our time to find 9 of the best dress shirts for men, and we feel that with our suggestions, along with our suggested buying tips, you’ll be very well prepared to go ahead and get yourself a new dress shirt.
As always, we’d love to hear your opinions…
Do you have a specific purchasing tip you’d love for us to add to the list, or maybe a dress shirt that you’ve always relied on? Let us know, and we’d love to have a chat with you!