How To Determine Quality Dress Shirts

Always buy the best quality dress shirts you can afford. High quality shirts are easy to recognise with these distinguished marks.

Superior Fabric

Shirt fabrics, or "shirtings" as they are called by tailors, are of various nature and variously appropriate. The numbers sometimes listed with fabrics denote the thickness of the yarn from which the fabric is made; higher numbers mean thinner yarn, and hence finer cloth and higher prices.

Split Yokes

The yoke is a strip of shirting (or cloth) that stretches across the top back of a shirt, and a split yoke is almost always a sure sign of a quality shirt.

It is constructed from 4 separate pieces of material with a seam or split in the centre. It also takes longer and are more difficult to make.

The main purpose is to allow tailors to take advantage of greater fabric flex, and create a garment that has a better natural stretch that moves with you by adjusting for the difference in slope and angle of each individual shoulder.

Single Needle Seams

Single needle seams are sewn along one side, then on the reverse by the same needle. From outside, you see only one neat row, but two rows from the underside.

That single row of minute stitches is smooth as glass and tight as a drum, allowing the shirt to look much cleaner and neater.

High quality shirts last longer and make you look better, and in helping you look better, they are worn longer.

This is value for money. Cheap shirts with unsightly stitching are worn briefly, and look bad even when new.

When you educate yourself, you will not overspend on mass produced "quality and designer" shirts stuck with a label.

Empower yourself with an eye for detail. Learn to spot shirts that are value for money, and details that imply a more costly shirt, because a little knowledge goes a long way.

Just as a musical performance is enhanced by knowledge of the composer or the piece, a bottle of wine more enjoyable when you know something about it, a shirt is more comfortable and pleasurable to wear when you know it is of high quality and appealing style.

Enjoy the journey!

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