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The Ultimate Dress Shirt Guide for Men

August 15, 2022 8 min read

The Ultimate Dress Shirt Guide for Men

We believe that a dress shirt for men is a staple in any man's wardrobe. They can be dressed up or dressed down, making them perfect for any occasion. However, with so many different styles and types of men's dress shirts available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. That's where this guide comes in!

In this men's dress shirt guide we will cover some of the things you need to know about dress shirts for men. From the different types, styles and collar that are available, to how to choose the right shirt for the right occasion. So, whether you're a first-time buyer or just looking for some advice on how to update your current wardrobe, read on for all the information you need to make the perfect purchase. 

What is a Dress Shirt?

Dress Shirt for Men Extreme Cutaway ShirtPhoto by Nimble Made on Unsplash

The kind of dress shirts for men we see today has been around for over 100 years. However, just like most things, they have been developed and modernised to fit in with the trends and fashion of today. But one thing hasn't changed, it is an essential part of any man's wardrobe.

A classic and good-quality dress shirt is a shirt that is typically made from 100% cotton, linen, or a blend of the two fabrics. It has a collar and buttons down the front and is usually worn with a suit or dress pants. However, due to the fact that dress shirts come in many different styles, fits and colors, they can be worn in 100 different ways! 

What is great about good-quality dress shirts for men is that they often are relatively easy to care for, as most dress shirts can be machine washed, steamed and ironed. Would you like to know more about how to care for your dress shirts? Then head over to our blog and read our article about the subject!

What is Not a Dress Shirt? 

There are countless different shirt options available on the market today. So, how do you know if a shirt is considered a dress shirt?

The simplest way to determine whether a shirt is a dress shirt is to look at the collar. If the shirt has a collar and buttons down the front, it is most likely a dress shirt. Shirts without a collar or buttons down the front are often not considered dress shirts for men.

Therefore, a sports shirt, polo shirt, t-shirt, henley shirt, and any other shirt that does not button down the front and/or does not have a collar, is not considered a dress shirt. However, they can still be worn with dress pants or a suit. But if you are looking for an outfit that will make you look extra smart and put together, we would highly recommend a dress shirt, for example, an extreme cutaway collar shirt!

Key Components of A Dress Shirt

White Extreme Cutaway Shirt Dandy and SON US White Cutaway Collar Shirt from Dandy & Son

Now that you know what qualifies as a dress shirt and what doesn't, let's take a closer look at the key components of this wardrobe staple. 


The collar is one of the most important parts of a dress shirt. Not only does it affect the overall appearance of the shirt, but it also impacts the way it fits. There are many different types of dress shirt collars available today.

Point collars are one of the most common types of dress shirt collars. They have a narrow shape and sit close to the neck. Point collars are versatile and can be worn both open for a more relaxed look, or together with a tie.

Spread collars are slightly wider than your standard point collars and sit further away from the neck. A spread collar dress shirt is more formal than point collars and is typically only worn with suits.

A cutaway collar is the widest and most eye-catching type of dress shirt collar. These have a V-shaped cutaway that extends to the corners of the shirt. There are also a few different types of cutaway collars. You have the standard, but then you have the extreme cutaway collar, which for sure will bring your outfit to another level!

We think that the collar of your dress shirt is so important that we even put together a "The 12 'Must Know' Men's Shirt Collars" guide for you!


The fabric of a dress shirt is another important consideration. Good quality dress shirts for men are typically made from 100% cotton, linen, or a blend of the two fabrics. Cotton dress shirts are the most popular option due to the fact that they are soft, comfortable, and easy to care for.

Linen dress shirts are less common than cotton dress shirts. They are made from a natural fibre that is derived from the flax plant and is often more lightweight than cotton shirts. However, the main disadvantage of linen shirts is that they wrinkle easily and can be more difficult to care for. And if you (like most people) are not a fan of steaming or ironing, then linen shirts might not be the one for you. Instead, we would highly recommend you look into getting yourself a non-iron shirt. With these wrinkle-resistant shirts, you don't have to worry about wrinkles and spending time in the morning ironing!


Casual and formal shirts typically feature one or two button-close barrel cuffs. However, some dress shirts that are more intended for formal occasions may have single or double French cuffs. The French cuff is longer than barrel shirt cuffs and folds over the wrist, giving you that extra sophisticated and well-dressed look. It is secured with cufflinks, which are small metal decorations that fasten the two sides of the cuff together.

But just like the collars, there are many different types of cuffs out there. For example, the cocktail cuff is another modern option, invented specifically for Dr. No, the first James Bond film. It is a hybrid between the barrel and French cuff, featuring a turn-back cuff secured with buttons instead of cufflinks. 


Bibs aren't just for babies! In fact, for many formal dress shirts, a bib (sometimes pleated) is a key component. A dress shirt bib is a fabric covering the chest and stomach area. It is usually made from the same material as the shirt and attached to the collar. Dress shirts with a bib are often seen on shirts intended to wear for occasions with a black tie dress code.

Most Common Dress Shirts and What is Unique About Them

Photo by Nimble Made on UnsplashPhoto by Nimble Made on Unsplash

Now when we have talked about what a dress shirt for men is and the different key components of a dress shirt, let's look at some of the most common styles and fits that are available today. Here are some of the most common dress shirt types:

The Classic Fit Dress Shirt

The classic fit dress shirt is the most common type of dress shirt. It has a relaxed fit through the body and sleeves and is typically made from cotton. The unique thing about classic-fit dress shirts is their versatility. They can be dressed up or dressed down, making them an excellent option for any occasion. 

The Slim Fit Dress Shirt

The slim-fit dress shirt is a more modern dress shirt style. It has a closer fit through the body and sleeves, compared to the classic fit dress shirt. A slim-fit dress shirt is also usually made from cotton or a cotton blend. The tailored look of slim-fit dress shirts is what makes them unique. They are designed to flatter the figure and can be dressy or casual, depending on how they are styled.

The Extreme Cutaway Collar Shirt

The extreme cutaway collar dress shirt is a dress shirt style that has gained popularity in recent years. Which is not surprising! With its exaggerated cutaway collar and a slim fit through the body and sleeves, it is a must-have for any well-dressed man.

Pink Extreme Cutaway Shirt for Men from Dandy & SomPink Extreme Cutaway Contrast Collar Shirt from Dandy & Son

What makes extreme cutaway dress shirts unique is their dramatic collar. The cutaway collar is designed to show off the neck and chest area and can be worn for both formal and casual occasions.

Dandy & Son offers a large range of extreme cutaway collar shirts made from high-quality cotton fabrics. No matter your taste, we are sure you will find an extreme cutaway collar shirt you like!

The Wide Spread Collar Shirt

The wide spread collar dress shirt is a dress shirt style that has a wide spread collar and a good fit through the body and sleeves. Not to be confused with the extreme cutaway collar dress shirt, the wide spread collar dress shirt is unique because of its more relaxed fit. It is a good choice for those who want a dressier look but don't want the fitted look of an extreme cutaway collar shirt.

The Straight Point Collar Shirt

A straight collar shirt, also known as a point collar shirt, is a dress shirt style that is known for its straight collar and pointy collar point. It's a unique style because of its sleek and fitted look. A straight point collar shirt is best worn with a tie.

The Contrast Collar Shirt

A contrast collar shirt is just what it sounds like, it's a dress shirt for men where the collar (and sometimes the cuffs) are in a contrasting collar or pattern than the main fabric of the shirt.

A contrast collar shirt can come in many different styles and designs. Dandy & Son offers extreme cutaway collar shirts with contrasting collars and cuffs! So you get both a cool and sleek collar style and an interesting contrast in collar and cuffs, how perfect!

Limited Edition Extreme Cutaway Big Blue Stripes Contrast ShirtLimited Edition Extreme Cutaway Blue Striped Contrast Shirt from Dandy & Son

The Different Functions of Dress Shirts

When choosing what dress shirt for men to wear, it often comes down to what kind of occasion it is. If you are going down to the pub, a well-fitted dress shirt with a bib and black tie might not be the perfect outfit. Following we have listed four different occasions and given you some examples of what to wear:

To work: Dress shirts are often worn to work, especially in office environments. But remember to wear a shirt that you feel comfortable in. You probably don't want a shirt that is normally worn to a wedding. We would recommend a classic and wide spread shirt!

To a wedding: Even if you are the groom, best man or a guest at a wedding, an extreme cutaway collar shirt is the way to go! With this shirt you will 100% be the best-dressed man at this wedding, just try not to outshine the wedding couple (unless you are the groom).

To a party: This depends on what kind of party you are going to. If are you going to a birthday party at someone's house then a classic or slim-fit shirt is a safe card. But if you are going to a more formal event, like a black-tie evening party, then that would call for a more formal and well-fitted shirt, like an extreme cutaway collar shirt.

To a casual event: For a more relaxed look, we believe that you can wear more or less any dress shirt in your wardrobe. But maybe leave the tie and suit at home. Why not try a dress shirt in a bolder colour, like a purple contrast collar shirt from Dandy & Son!

Complement Your Style with the Perfect Dress Shirt From Dandy & Son

Extreme Cutaway Collar Dress Shirt from Dandy & SonBlue Striped Extreme Cutaway Collar Shirt from Dandy & Son

Are you looking to update your dress shirt wardrobe? Or perhaps you have a big party or event coming up soon?

Dandy & Son is your one-stop shop for dress shirts for men that complement your style and personality. We carry a wide selection of dress shirt styles such as extreme cutaway collar shirts, wide spread collar shirts and more. We also offer a variety of colors and patterns to choose from. Whether you're looking for a plain dress shirt for work or a striped shirt for a party, we have you covered.

So if you are looking for some new shirts for your wardrobe, look no further than Dandy & Son!

Finally. Would you like to read more about shirts, menswear and formalwear? Head over to our blog which is filled with good and interesting articles! Thank you for reading!