March 1st, 2010

    The modern dress shirt has come a long way, after it took shape and developed at the end of the nineteenth century, during Victorian times. Throughout history the dress shirt has been modernized with different details; the breast pocket introduced last. The standard modern shirt can be as diverse as choice and taste, and its style can be altered to ones liking. There are many elements that make up the dress shirt anatomy, but every classic dress shirt includes: a back, yoke, a front, plackets, cuffs, a collar, and hem. It is imperative to know the anatomy of a dress shirt (both terms and definitions) and not just something you simply pull on and off your head.

    Collar Base: (or collar stand) is the band of fabric sewn into the neckline of a dress shirt, which the collar attaches to.

    Collar Leaf: the outside fabric of the collar, located at the front sides, which is folded over the collar base.

    Collar Point Length: the distance between the collar point and the top of the collar leaf.

    Collar Front Band: the area on the base that sits between the collar points.

    Collar Point Spread: the distance between the collar points.

    Collar: the part of a shirt that encompasses the neckline of the garment, often so as to fold or roll over. Comes in various shapes, depending on the face shape and occasion.

    Yoke: a shaped piece fabric in a garment, fitted about or below the neck and shoulders, from which the rest of the garment hangs. It can be split in two, called the “split-yoke.”

    Placket Front: a standard shirt front with a  placket sewn on top of the shirt front.

    Plain Front: a standard shirt front with a hidden placket; usually lapped left over right for men, and vice versa for women.

    Fly Front: a flap of material down one side of the front opening of a garment to conceal buttons or fasteners.

    Armhole: the opening in a dress shirt, which the arms are sewn in to.

    Sleeve: the part of a garment that covers the arm and is usually cut wider than the cuffs. Most sleeve lengths fall between 32 and 36 inches.

    Sleeve Placket: a distinctive feature that is sewn on the sleeve; the opening of the sleeve fabric near the cuff

    Cuff: a fold or band serving as a trimming or finish for the bottom of a sleeve. Some cuff styles include: French Cuffs and Barrel Cuffs.

    Back Collar Height: the part of the collar that is folded over, at the backside of the dress shirt.

    Yoke: a shaped piece fabric in a garment, fitted about or below the neck and shoulders, from which the rest of the garment hangs. It can be split in two, called the “split-yoke.”

    Hang Loop: a piece of fabric sewn into the yoke seam which allows the shirt to be hung at this point.

    Side Pleats: single fabric folds at the other parts of the shirt back.

    Box Pleat Front: a double fabric fold, with the material folded under at each side at the back center of a shirt.

    Armhole: the opening in a dress shirt, which the arms are sewn in to.

    Sleeve: the part of a garment that covers the arm and is usually cut wider than the cuffs. Most sleeve lengths fall between 32 and 36 inches.

    Darts: a tapered seam of fabric for adjusting the fit of a garment.

    Hem: the finished lower edge of the dress shirt body.

    Tail: the part of a shirt below the waistline.

    Written by Giselle Diaz

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