How to Wear a Dress Shirt Properly: 7 Tips

A great dress shirt is arguably the most versatile piece of clothing any man can own. It can be worn under a suit jacket or sports coat, on its own as a business casual summer shirt, or with the sleeves rolled up as casual wear.

Below, we’ve listed seven tips to help you get the most from your dress shirt, from preparation tips to the best fabrics and wear ideas:

  1. Iron your dress shirt properly. Dress shirts look best when they’re properly ironed, with creases in the right places as opposed to the wrong ones. Ironing your dress shirt will help emphasize your physique and let you avoid looking poorly groomed. This video covers how to iron a dress shirt to avoid unwanted wrinkles and maintain a great silhouette.
  2. Pick a fabric that suits your climate. Not all dress shirt fabrics feel the same. Linen dress shirts breathe well and suit warm, humid climates, while cotton dress shirts work the best for all-purpose temperate areas with distinct seasons.
  3. Make sure your collar fits. You should be able to fit two fingers into your dress shirt’s collar when it’s fully buttoned up. Any tighter and it will pull on your neck when you turn your head; any looser and it will hang off your neck and shoulders. The Art of Manliness has a good guide to choosing a dress shirt that fits.
  4. Get your shirt’s sleeves tailored. Your shirt’s sleeves should hang just below your wrist with your arms by your sides. If they extend onto your hand, they’re too long. If they pull too far up your forearm when you hold your arms out horizontally, they’re too short.
  5. If you don’t like to iron, choose a mixed man-made/cotton fabric. While men’s fashion gurus might not like synthetic fibers, they do make it far easier to maintain your dress shirt. If you don’t like to iron your shirts thoroughly every time you wear them, choose a mixed cotton and man-made fiber fabric.
  6. Get white first, then blue, then other colors. Stick with a white dress shirt for your first, then go for light blue. These two colors are the most versatile and work well in any situation. Other colors might look great, but they just aren’t versatile with as many outfits. Stripes and other patterns should come after you have the first two solid color shirts.
  7. Wear undershirts sparingly. If your dress shirt is made of a very thin cotton or linen, there’s a chance that your nipples could show through it in certain lighting. This is more common with white and light blue dress shirts than with other colors. There are two ways to fix this. The first is to wear a very light, fitted tank top. The second is (seriously) to use nipple concealers like these. Both will prevent anything unwanted from showing through your shirt.


Brand Showcase: Allen Edmonds


Is any American shoemaker as iconic as Allen Edmonds? Famous for their stylish dress shoes, Allen Edmonds is an American institution. They’ve been worn by movie stars, presidents and tycoons of all background — and today, they remain one of the most popular high-end shoe brands in the United States.

Based in Port Washington, Wisconsin, Allen Edmonds started out producing shoes for the US Navy and Army during World War II. The soldiers who worn Allen Edmonds shoes and boots during the war became loyal to the brand and ordered Allen Edmonds gear once they returned home, often for the rest of their lives.

Today, almost all shoes are produced outside the USA. Allen Edmonds bucks this trend by producing the vast majority of its shoes in the United States. Its role as an employer in what has historically been viewed as a dying industry has made the brand a favorite of presidents and other politicians.

Allen Edmonds is best known for their dress shoes, such as the Strand and Fifth Avenue. Massively popular with white collar workers, Allen Edmonds shoes are easy to spot in the halls and offices of banks, Fortune 500 companies and businesses around not just the United States, but the entire world.

As well as their dress shoes, Allen Edmonds also produces a range of loafers and several stylish men’s boots. The Dalton dress boot is a favorite today, with a popular following due to its classic styling and quality workmanship.

It’s this workmanship that has set Allen Edmonds apart for so many years. Unlike many other shoe manufacturers, who use glue to hold the insole and outsoles of their shoes together, Allen Edmonds sticks with the same Goodyear welting that made the brand famous so many years ago.

Mid-priced and exceptionally well made, Allen Edmonds shoes are ideal for people that value quality and style equally. With classic designs and a manufacturing process that makes them easy to repair and resole, a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes can last you for several decades if well cared for.