Shirt shopping shouldn’t be a guessing game. At Garmany, our goal is to educate people on how to find a great dress shirt.
Whether you’re meeting with an important client or celebrating at a blacktie event, rest assured that your Garmany dress shirt is among the very best pieces in the world. That’s because we seek brands, such as Eton and Tintoria Mattei, that source fine materials from the leading mills around the globe and employ artisans who are dedicated to time-honored tailoring traditions.
Here is a checklist of elements that make up a great shirt—be sure yours check all the boxes before you put it on your back.
An easy way to distinguish between a high-quality and a subpar shirt is to look at the buttons. Plastic buttons are a clear red flag. They’re typically low-quality and have the tendency to break. A well-made shirt features hard, durable buttons made of either mother of pearl, horn, wood or metal. Unlike plastic, these materials will resist heat and offer a unique look to the garment.
It’s easy to overlook this element of a shirt, but a cleanly finished buttonhole is a mark of quality manufacturing. Machine-made holes often appear rough with imperfections, such as a hanging piece of thread. Hand-sewn buttonholes are smooth because the fabric is cut before assembly and measured to fit.
While off-the-rack has its benefits (immediacy and affordability), it’s not always a one-size-fits-all option. A well-fitting shirt is tailored and hangs off one’s body perfectly: For instance, shoulder points should not extend past the shoulders; sleeves should be long enough that the cuffs don’t pull when you raise your arms overhead; two fingers should fit between your neck and a buttoned collar.
A fine rolled hem at the bottom of the shirt is a small but important detail. The hem should always lay flat without extra bulk or thickness. This safeguards against any unsightly beads, which can appear through the pants when a shirt is tucked in.
Like collars, there are several cuff varieties from which to choose that best suit your style and needs. Whether your made-to-measure shirt is designed with French or barrel cuffs, the best tailors will always construct them by hand. This attention to detail ensures the interlining—the middle of the three layers of fabric that make up a cuff—is cut and sewn into place properly so it adds ideal stiffness while remaining soft and flexible.