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Guide to dress shirts

Guide to dress shirts

There are many different kinds of men’s dress shirts and each gentleman can find one of an appropriate style and fit. However, there are many details and I would like to tell you about the main of them. We will dive into style choices, so deciding on such nuances as fit, collars, plackets will become easier for you.

Perfect fit for you

The most important thing in every shirt is the proper fit, because if it doesn’t fit you well, other features won’t really matter. My advise for you here is to get a bespoke shirt, which is made only for you and will suit you perfectly. In Pietrocola Bespoke we would gladly create a one-of-a-kind dress shirt for you. The main options here are:

Regular fit

It has a straight silhouette, very comfortable and traditional. Not too tight and not too loose, shows your body in a flattering way and can hide some flaws. If you always wear a jacket, this is the best choice for you.

Slim fit

This shirts are tighter. Very modern, fashionable and mostly for slim gentlemen. Little bit less comfortable, but more good-looking and can be worn without a jacket.

Modern fit

It is a combination of the regular and the slim fit in terms of style and comfort. A slightly tapered waist, doesn’t limit your movements and makes you look thinner than in a regular fit shirt. Even if you have a small belly, you can still go for it.

Super slim fit

Very popular among young men who have flawless athletic bodies and want to show it. Actually, it is too tight and considerably restricts your movements.



Classic formal dress shirts usually have plain front without any pockets. In the past, all gentleman wore jackets so there was no sense for them to have a pocket on a shirt. Nowadays you can see men wearing a shirt with a pocket for more informal occasions. Pockets on both sides mean that this shirt is appropriate only for a very casual outfit.

As for me, I wear only plain shirts, very rarely a shirt with one pocket and never with two pockets. 


American placket

 This type of plackets is very traditional and popular, often used for business shirts. It makes a shirt look more symmetric, can be folded or stitched and it is actually a separate piece of material connected to the shirt front.

French placket

 A shirt with a French placket has a more polished look. Historically more formal, nowadays you can see it on shirts of different styles, even casual. The material is folded over itself inwards and you see a plain shirt front with no stitching.

Fly front placket

Such shirt has a clean look, because it features an additional piece of fabric which covers the buttons. Although many dress shirts has this plackets nowadays, you better opt for classic and timeless alternatives.


Italian collar

Classic and my favorite. It has straight points and there is a small gap between two points where you can see the upper button. Looks excellent with or without tie and is appropriate for both business and more informal outfits.

Spread collar

A versatile and popular option, works good with business and casual style. It is important to choose a tie of a proper size as the gap here is wider.

Button-down collar

It has buttons all the way up the shirt, but also two additional buttons on the collar. It is an American classic shirt, more appropriate for some informal events.

Club collar

In the past only students of the Eton College had an exclusive right to wear shirts with such collar. Nowadays it is available for everyone and It features rounded corners and combines good with a collar pin

Small collar

Modern variation of a classic collar. Works good with a wide range of shirts, but it might be difficult to wear it with neckwear, so it is not obligatory to wear a tie or bow tie.

dress shirts


Barrel cuffs

The most popular cuff style, shape when buttoned resembles a barrel. Good for bustiness style and for casual as well, but absolutely inappropriate for formal style. Such shirt cuffs have 1 or 2 buttons.

Single cuff

Barrel and single cuff look alike, but a single cuff shirt is fastened with cufflinks instead of buttons. It is perfect for white tie events.

Double cuff (French)

The material is folded back over itself and requires cufflinks to fasten. Good for black tie occasions.


Classic hem

Sides are shorter than front and tail parts. You should always tuck such shirt in, otherwise you will look sloppy

Straight hem

Straight hem shirts work good with more informal outfits and you can leave them  untucked, but be careful with the length: too short or too long will make you look ridiculous.

ARP photo

As you can see, there are many details to consider before buying a dress shirt. I personally prefer a bespoke dress shirt made from Egyptian or Oxford cotton and the most important advantage for me here is that I can customize every detail the way I want.

Alessandro Rocco Pietrocola is an entrepreneur and investor based in London and operating mainly in Europe, Asia and Oceania with main focus on UK, Baltic Countries, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Middle East and New Zealand as area of interest! At the moment is the CEO of Astorts Group. He is an UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) Approved Person and is has great experience as director of regulated companies. He uses to dedicate part of his life to inspire others and help them achieve the most out of their life. Since he was 20, he had successfully founded and managed several companies operating in the field of management consulting, wealth management and fintech. He loves travelling, he is a cigars lover, an amateur golfer and a dapper man.

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