7 Common Dress Shirt Myths Debunked

7 Common Dress Shirt Myths Debunked

A dress shirt is an essential component of a formal outfit. You typically can't create a formal outfit without a dress shirt. Most men's formal outfits consist of a two-piece or three-piece suit, a tie and a dress shirt. While you're probably familiar with the general purpose of a dress shirt, there are several myths about them that you shouldn't believe. Below are seven of the most common men's dress shirt myths.

#1) Must Be Long Sleeve

You don't always have to wear a long-sleeve dress shirt. There are instances in which a long-sleeve dress shirt may be ideal, but there are times when a short-sleeve dress shirt will suffice. Beach weddings, for instance, often call for short-sleeve dress shirts.

If you're planning to attend a beach wedding, you'll probably want to wear a short-sleeve dress shirt rather than a long-sleeve dress shirt. It will keep you cool while ensuring that you follow the dress code. The bottom line is that you shouldn't assume all dress shirts must be long sleeve.

#2) Should Extend to Your Waist

Another common myth is that dress shirts should extend to your waist when worn. When shopping for a dress shirt, you'll want to check the length. Contrary to popular belief, though, dress shirts shouldn't extend to your waist when worn; they should extend several inches past your waist.

If a dress shirt only extends to your waist when worn, you won't be able to tuck it in. Dress shirts are typically worn with suits. To tuck a dress shirt into the top of your suit trousers, it must be slightly longer. Therefore, you should choose a dress shirt that extends a couple of inches past your waist when worn.

#3) The Color Should Match Your Suit

You can find dress shirts in different colors. With that said, you don't have to choose a dress shirt in the same color as your suit. Doing so is actually a bad idea, as it creates the appearance of a one-piece jumpsuit. For a more stylish outfit, you should choose a dress shirt in a different color.

If you're wearing a navy-colored suit, for example, avoid choosing a navy-colored dress shirt. Instead, choose a dress shirt in a different color that flows cohesively with navy. You can wear a light blue-colored dress shirt, for instance, or you can wear a white-colored dress shirt. With a different color, your dress shirt will stand out from your suit jacket and suit trousers.

There are dress shirts, of course, that feature multiple colors. Single-colored dress shirts are the most popular, but some men prefer multicolored dress shirts. Multicolored dress shirts generally feature a patterened design. Some of them have a horizontally striped pattern, whereas others have a vertically striped pattern.

There are also dress shirts that feature a plaid or polka-dot pattern. Regardless, these patterns feature at least two colors. You can wear a multicolored dress shirt, but you should make sure the colors flow cohesively with your suit.

#4) All Collars Are the Same

Think all dress shirts have the same collar? Think again. Dress shirts are available in different color styles. While they all have a button-up collar, the particular style in which the collar is made may vary.

Spread sot is a common collar style for dress shirts. It's simple, elegant and comfortable. There's also the spread stiff collar style, which as the name suggests, is more rigid than its soft counterpart. Other collar styles to consider when choosing a dress shirt is wide spread, button soft and button down stiff.

#5) The Fabric Doesn't Matter

This dress shirt myth couldn't be further from the truth. The fabric absolutely matters. Dress shirts are made of different fabrics, and each fabric has its own advantages when worn in a formal outfit.

Cotton dress shirts are universally popular and work well for most formal outfits. As an organic fabric, cotton is soft and low maintenance. It's also machine-washable, making it easy to clean. Linen dress shirts are another popular choice. Linen dress shirts are thinner and weigh less than cotton. But like cotton dress shirts, they are also machine-washable.

Some dress shirts are made of a synthetic fabric. Synthetic fabrics typically aren't as soft as organic fabrics. Nonetheless, they offer the unique advantage of elasticity. Dress shirts made of a synthetic fabric are more elastic than those made of an organic fabric.

#6) Must Have Built-In Cuff Buttons

You don't have to necessarily choose a dress shirt that features built-in cuff buttons. All dress shirts, of course, have cuffs. The cuffs are the end of the sleeves through which you insert your wrists. Some dress shirts are designed with built-in cuff buttons, whereas others have buttonless cuffs.

You can still choose a dress shirt with buttonless cuffs. If a dress shirt doesn't have cuff buttons, it will likely support the use of cufflinks. Cufflinks are fasteners that serve the same purpose as cuttons. You can use cufflinks to close and secure the otherwise open cuffs of a dress shirt. Cufflinks are simply separate fasteners that aren't built into the cuffs. Even if a dress shirt doesn't have built-in cuff buttons, you can close the cuffs by using cufflinks.

#7) All Dress Shirts Require Ironing

Finally, it's a common myth that all dress shirts require ironing. As you may know, ironing is intended to remove wrinkles. If your dress shirt is wrinkled, you can press it with a hot iron. The heat and steam from the iron will release the wrinkles so that your dress shirt has a smoother, cleaner texture.

With that said, not all dress shirts require ironing. Some dress shirts are wrinkle resistant. They are designed specifically to repel wrinkles. With a wrinkle-resistant dress shirt, you won't have to worry about constantly ironing it. Wrinkle-resistant dress shirts are typically made of a synthetic fabric, and they feature a weaving pattern that naturally repels wrinkles.