There's nothing quite like buttoning up a crisp, collared shirt to kick off your outfit. With so many different designs available, it can be hard to know where to start, but fear not, we've got the three key details you really need to worry about: collar, cuffs and fit. Whether you're suiting up for an important meeting or perusing for the party, take a look at our guide and you'll soon know what styles to head for.
Let's start from the top and take a look at the collar. Slightly above or below eye level, this area gets the most attention so it's imperative to get it right. Before we head into the collar styles, it's handy to remember the 'one finger rule'. When fully fastened, if you can comfortably fit a finger between the collar and the neck, it fits. Any more than a finger and you'll need a smaller size. Take a look at our Menswear size guide for some more information on measuring up.
A true classic, the point collar is a staple design to have in your formal collection, offering a neutral appearance that's tried and tested.
Next up is the spread collar . If you're a man who prefers his tie in a chunky double Windsor, not a four-in-hand knot, this design is ideal. However, if you possess a wider frame, be careful as this design can accentuate your shape. On the other hand, if you're a gent with a slimmer build, the almost horizontal angle of the spread can work well to balance your body's vertical lines.
The button-down collarprovides the least formal option. More so than with the spread and point collars, a tie is completely optional. This style will give the neck some additional definition and can help to create a more structured outline. Working especially well under a V-neck jumper, it's the perfect option for offices with a more relaxed dress code.
There's more to a shirt's cuffs than it seems. The cuffs, along with the collar, are often the only detail that a shirt can useto distinguish itself from the rest. An unwritten rule is that the cuff should touch the hinge of the wrist or when wearing a jacket, they should protrude around half an inch from the sleeve.
The most common is the single or button cuff . This is a simple, functional option that can come with square, round or mitred corners. Often designed with 2 button fastening, the cuff can sometimes be adjusted to provide a snug fit around the wrist.
The double cuff is the more formal option and is often seen on more high-end and custom shirts. This design consists of a longer cuff that's doubled back around the wrist and fastened by cufflinks rather than buttons. The double cuff gives you the chance to add some sparkling elegance to your outfit with traditional or novelty cufflinks, depending on your environment.
Collars and cuffs sorted, there's one last consideration: the fit. Before now, you may just have been looking for the small, medium or large tab, but if you want a shirt to fit, and fit well, you need to delve a bit deeper. Regular, slim and tailored fits are now available to make shirts flatter all frames. Classic fit shirts provide a more relaxed fit and allow for an increased range of movement by being cut with a more generous amount of material.
A tailored fit is slimmer still and nips in even closer to the body, especially nearer the waist, creating a streamlined silhouette. It's cut with a longer length than both slim and classic designs towards the waist, meaning it should always be worn tucked in. Slim fit - as the name suggests - will help to flatter those with a slimmer build. It sits closer to the shoulders with a nipped in waist, helping to reduce that baggy build up of fabric on the reverse towards the waist, resulting in a more contemporary outline.