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Home > Style Guide > Style Guide: How Do You Choose Your Custom Shirt Style?

Style Guide: How Do You Choose Your Custom Shirt Style?

May 11th, 2009


    When selecting a suitable collar style for a dress shirt, the most important thing to remember is that it should complement your face shape to give you a balanced look. If you have a round face, we recommend a regular collar with straighter points that will serve to elongate the look of your face and neck (A1 vs A2).   If your face is narrow, a spread collar will give you more balance (B1 vs B2).  If your face is neither round nor narrow, you can select any of the spread styles, but we recommend the spread style as it is more formal. The button-down collar should only be considered for a casual shirt.  Button-down collars should not be worn with a tie.



    There are two main options for the front of the shirt.  The first option is a placket - a fold of fabric on both sides of the buttons going down the front of the shirt.  It makes a clear center and provides more vertical lines on the shirt which give the wearer a slimmer look (Placket A).  This is the traditional look for dress shirts. The other option is to have a plain front with no placket (Plain B).  This look is more modern and has fewer lines on the shirt.



    You have two main options for cuff style: French or Barrel.  A French cuff is a more formal choice and must be worn with cufflinks.  You can choose either a French Square or French Round cuff.  While the choice will not affect the shirt's formality, a square edge has a more serious, stern look, while the round edge tends to look friendlier, more approachable.

    If you select a barrel cuff, the same option exists for square or round, but you are also able to choose if you want one button or two.  Barrel round is more traditional and more appropriate in business settings versus barrel square. Barrel square is more casual and has a modern look. A one button round barrel cuff is the classic business cuff, though two buttons have recently become popular as well.  The choice is up to you, as the button selection will not change the formality of the shirt.



    A pocket is not recommended unless you have a practical and necessary use for it.


    When you purchase a shirt off-the-rack, often times you'll see one of any number of pleats or folds on the back of the shirt to allow for more room. Back pleats are more comfortable as well as “baggier” around the torso. This is what allows an off-the-rack shirt to partially fit everybody, and perfectly fit nobody. When you get a custom shirt, the only reason to request these pleats (Side Pleats A) in the back is if your weight fluctuates and you want some extra room. If this isn't the case for you, we recommend a plain backed shirt which will allow for a much more precise torso fit (Plain B) in addition to being more elegant.



    There are two options for the bottom shirt style. The Cut style should always be tucked in – the side cut is higher to make the shirt tuck-in easier. A regular bottom can be worn tucked-in or out. It has a flatter bottom with a lower cut height, which is useful when wearing pants lower on the hips – regular bottom is more versatile.



    A monogram can appear anywhere on the shirt that you choose. Two common locations are on the pocket and the cuff, though placket location is becoming more popular. The pocket and cuff show more easily, while the placket is more discreet. Another location is below the left rib cage and is preferred by traditionalists; you should wear a suit on a daily basis with this location.


    If you have any questions or comments, please send us an email at

    Prepared by Alexander West:

    Tory Leggat

    Heather Taylor

    Keisha White

    Alex Yoo

    Categories: Style Guide Tags: ,

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