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School me on Dress Shirts

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School me on Dress Shirts

Old 10-16-06, 08:32 PM
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School me on Dress Shirts

I have several already for work, but I find myself now in search of shirts that are 100% cotton, or very close.

Sounds easy, I know.

Some I have found are 100% cotton, but they feel very different from others that are labled the same.

I know they are more of a pain to keep well kempt, but I think they hold up better in the long run.

Places to buy? Brands? Pricing?
Old 10-17-06, 01:27 AM
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How much are you willing to spend?
Old 10-17-06, 01:58 AM
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Oh man, this is a can of worms. There are so many minute differences that make a huge difference.
Old 10-17-06, 03:14 AM
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buy the shirt you like, and if it doesn't fit properly get it tailored.

I'm partial to Thomas Pink, but they are too big so I get them altered.
I also like hugo Boss, and the slim fit boss fit great.
Old 10-17-06, 08:18 AM
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I buy Geoffrey Beene wrinkle resistant shirts for work as I can't stand ironing. They look good, and can be had around $20 or so per shirt during major sales at their outlet stores.
Old 10-17-06, 08:26 AM
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When I was in sales, I wore shirts from the Paul Fredrick catalog.

www.paulfredrick.com
Old 10-17-06, 08:28 AM
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Well pricing depends on the quality. I'd be willing to spend a fair amount, assuming I feel like I'm getting a quality product. Usually the sales are better though since we all know stuff tends to be marked up so much.

I'm not a big fan of the Geoff Beene - at least the satain ones. However, the wrinkle resistant is convenient, but not really quality. I especially find they don't work well with the the dry cleaners, especially the collars.

Tailored? Seems like it would almost be more worthwhile to have one made from scratch?
Old 10-17-06, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BadlyDrawnBoy
buy the shirt you like, and if it doesn't fit properly get it tailored.

I'm partial to Thomas Pink, but they are too big so I get them altered.
I also like hugo Boss, and the slim fit boss fit great.
Jaysus. Nice threads, but extremely expensive choices.

I tend to like Brooks Brothers wrinkle resistant shirts. They cost a little more than your garden variety discount shirt, but the fabric, tailoring and wrinkle resistance are all much better. BB also offers a huge variety of collar and cuff options on their off-the-rack shirts.

Lands End actually makes really nice shirts for cheap as well. The Wall Street Journal recently picked them as the best shirts for the money around.

For more casual button downs, Eddie Bauer shirts have nice fabric and are generally extremely durable.

I also like slim fit shirts. In the last few years, standard-fit shirts seem to have become extremely "generous" and bulky to fit over an average beer-belly. All of the extra fabric looks like crap on skinnier guys, IMO.
Old 10-17-06, 08:47 AM
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i used to buy Tommy Hillfiger or Ralph Lauren and they were OK

If you want to stay at the $40 - $60 level then try washing the shirts yourself with good detergent and fabric softner to make it feel better

if you want good quality cotton you have to go to the snobby stores

these days i'm in the business casual segment with a very big emphasis on casual

Last edited by al_bundy; 10-17-06 at 08:59 AM.
Old 10-17-06, 09:13 AM
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My advice:

Look in some men's magazines for clothing ads, and decide what style of shirts you like. This is mainly broken down into color/pattern and collar style, along with type of cloth. I don't like striped shirts, so I have about a dozen shirts each in white, light gray, and French blue, along with a few in assorted other colors like pale green and pink. It's obviously a matter of personal taste.

In terms of collar style, there are three basic types - pointed (this is the "standard" style), spread, and button-down. Pointed is the most traditional and what you should buy unless you have a strong preference not to. Spread collars are just that; they appear to be spread out more. If you're familiar with the show Alias, Jack Bristow favored pointed collars, while Arvin Sloane invariably wore spread collar shirts. I know it's a funny way to give examples, but the show did a good job on men's wardrobe, so there you have it. Button-down collars are less dressy than the other two, to the point where some of us old-fashioned guys think they are unsuitable for anything but casual wear. I rarely, if ever, wear one with a suit. A blazer and slacks, fine. YMMV.

As far as cloth, get the best quality you can afford. Oxford cloth is heavily associated with button-down shirts. Most other shirts are made from some variety of broadcloth. I would recommend 100% cotton if possible.

Some other bits of advice are, if possible, get your shirts professionally laundered, unless you really like to iron. You'll have to work with your cleaner to determine the correct amount of starch for you. Also, most shirts seem to come with very flimsy collar stays, so I end up buying 'aftermarket' ones which are thicker and sturdier. You probably will not want to go with French cuffs and cufflinks, but you will want to get a few tie clips.
Old 10-17-06, 10:42 AM
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Many of my shirts are from Banana Republic. Although I like everything else they do, for work/collared shirts they are very useless. The shirts are cut weird (like they expect me to have a huge bag of fat in my lower back), they're not very durable, and they are usually on the expensive side ($40-$80). Now, their t-shirts? Great. Boxers? Great. Pant/suits? Great.

According to some Playboy article I read, the best resource you can have is to find a men's store that has a friendly and knowledgeable salesman and buy your work stuff through him. They maybe be able to alter things for you.

And wenders, complete on the button down collars. I always thought they looked a bit too casual. Good for Land's End hiking shirts, not for the office, especially with a suit.
Old 10-17-06, 10:47 AM
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When I was buying dress shirts I would buy the pinpoint cotton oxford shirts from Nordstrom.
Old 10-17-06, 10:47 AM
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I always wear button down collars with suits. I've never heard that they are considered more casual than pointed collars. I guess you learn something every day.
Old 10-17-06, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
I always wear button down collars with suits. I've never heard that they are considered more casual than pointed collars. I guess you learn something every day.
I don't think "sewn-together-Arby's-napkins" constitutes a suit these days. And stop panhandling outside the daycare. It makes the kids nervous.
Old 10-17-06, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
I always wear button down collars with suits. I've never heard that they are considered more casual than pointed collars. I guess you learn something every day.
It's another symbol of the declining moral standards of the contemporary world that button down collars are generally acceptable for business wear.
Old 10-17-06, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
I always wear button down collars with suits. I've never heard that they are considered more casual than pointed collars. I guess you learn something every day.
Yeah, I never knew this either. Most of these "rules" are maintained to make people who know them feel superior.

Guess what, fashionazis- standards change. Get over it, already!
Old 10-17-06, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
It's another symbol of the declining moral standards of the contemporary world that button down collars are generally acceptable for business wear.
I'm not sure, but I think there's an insult directed at me somewhere in there.



I am so unschooled on fashion. I almost just skipped over this thread but am now glad I didn't. I will have to consider this when I next buy shirts.
Old 10-17-06, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
I don't think "sewn-together-Arby's-napkins" constitutes a suit these days. And stop panhandling outside the daycare. It makes the kids nervous.

They're not sewn together, they're stapled. And the kids love me. So there.
Old 10-17-06, 11:24 AM
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I get new work clothes every year or so - when I do, I've found it much easier to call Nordstrom's and ask to speak to a personal shopper - they are much more on top of fashion than I care to be and do a much better job at choosing styles. You can tell them what you need and how many of each item you wish to buy and they'll have at least a 3:1 ratio for you to choose from. I highly recommend it if you have a store that offers this service.....
Old 10-17-06, 12:39 PM
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As a former buyer of shirts and ties at BB, I have to vote Brooks for dress shirts. Not only will you get better quality fabrics, but you'll get a better fit. Better men's shirts like BB come with exact sleeve sizing for just the right amount of "shirt cuff show" under a suit or sportcoat. If you're feeling spendy, have some shirts made. I think they are having a buy 3, get 1 free right now.

Try to avoid starch at the cleaners--it will shorten the life of the collars and cuffs, and can make stripes disintegrate.

Wrinkle resistant is great, especillay if you travel. 100's quality pinpoint is your best bet for a crisp look that won't wrinkle too easily.
Old 10-17-06, 12:54 PM
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I'm not a fan of the "style" of Brooks Brothers clothing. They are of good quality, I'll grant that.
Old 10-17-06, 07:15 PM
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As a really skinny person, all shirts (slim fit ones included) all have too much fabric around the waist for me. So I get them custom made for ~$50 from a Hong Kong tailor, which is cheaper than a shirt from BB. Usually takes 6-10 weeks turnaround though.
Old 10-17-06, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayniac
As a really skinny person, all shirts (slim fit ones included) all have too much fabric around the waist for me. So I get them custom made for ~$50 from a Hong Kong tailor, which is cheaper than a shirt from BB. Usually takes 6-10 weeks turnaround though.
Which tailor do you use?
Old 10-17-06, 10:27 PM
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I've gotten custom shirts from a tailor at $85 ea. They fit great and I wore them for close to 12 years before they wore out. Allot depends on what your budget is and how often you have to wear them. The more you have, the less often they'll be worn and the longer they will last.

Right now I have several from Hickey Freeman, Jos A Banks Traveler collection (no wrinkles) along with some Van Huesen and Arrow I get at Van Huesen and Kohls. Shirts with 100% cotton can vary just like ties with 100% silk. I have $20 ties and $60 ties that are both 100% silk but the feel and how nice they look differs. Many people wouldn't notice. People that know clothes will notice.

A good way to start is start at one of the mens stores that have mid level clothes, spend the extra $5 or $10 to get them tailored, and don't wear them til they look like rags. All shirts will look pretty nice when new. They quality will show after washings over a year or more.
Old 10-17-06, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by criptik28
Which tailor do you use?
Jantzen Tailor. You can read reviews about them at Style Forum or Ask Andy. Great value and supposedly their turnaround time is quicker nowadays. Not as good as some of the local shirt makers around here but those are upwards of $200. I recommend ordering 1 shirt and working out the kinks before ordering a large batch.

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