After years of seeing elegant clients making classic and flamboyant combinations, one reaches the conclusion that style is very personal and that there are few, if any, specific rules. Nevertheless, there are always certain traditional guidelines to how a shirt should be worn. We shall try to present some below.

A dress shirt is very simple with clean lines. There are no accessories nor is it overelaborated. The most common elements are as follows:

The pocket: it is more elegant not to have pocket, as the shirt looks better. It is more stylish and shirts are not made for carrying weight in the pocket, and if something is put into the pocket it deforms the hang of the fabric. Furthermore, strictly speaking, one should never take a jacket off, and the jacket has all the necessary pockets (and the consistency so as not to be deformed with weight). However, some of our customers prefer to have a pocket because itís more practical.

Darts or pleats in the back: the more stylish back is plain with no darts or pleats. Usually prÍt-ŗ-porter shirts have darts so that the same collar size fits onto a different body sizes; you have to consider that if a shirt is too tight it is uncomfortable and you donít buy it, but if itís baggy, itís not as obvious. A custom made shirt is adapted to the clientís exact back and chest size, and so darts are not required, making the shirt more comfortable and elegant. For a more causal look and extra room, casual shirts do have a central dart or pleat.

Front placket: we donít particularly like it for our dress shirts. It looks cleaner with a plain front, and the front band does not make the shirt more resistant. But it depends a lot on the country; in Anglo-Saxon countries shirts include it, whilst in France and Italy, the tradition is not to include it in formal shirts. In button-down shirts it gives it a more casual look and it centres the collar points better to the front of the shirt, and therefore is more advisable.


Sleeve plackets with button: most of our customers choose the sleeve placket without buttons for formal shirts. It looks cleaner, finer and easier to iron; and it's normal to break the button when ironing or forget to button it up. We have made our sleeve placket shorter so that it does not open and show the arm and itís always in place. However, in casual shirts the sleeve placket is longer so as to roll up the sleeves and a button is included so that it doesnít open up.


Many customers ask which collar is in or should they wear? The truth is that it depends on the build of the person than a passing fashion. The rule is that a person with the thick neck and a round face should avoid open or spread collars (Italian style) and use more classic collars that make them look better. On the contrary, people with thin necks and thin faces should use spread collars so as not to sharpen their look. Therefore, it does not depend on whether the person is thin or well-built, but on the face and neck shape.

With regard to cuffs, the most elegant are double or French cuffs. The exception would be a tailcoat which uses single cuffs but with cuff-links; this is not the case for tuxedos.

The size of the collar should be as full fitted as possible. The general rule would be to be able to fit two fingers between the collar and neck, but no more than that. A large collar gives a slovenly impression.

The sleeve should have the exact length so that the cuff is always visible. If the arm is straight you should be able to see 1 to 1.5 cm; when the arm is bent, you should be able to see 2 to 4 cm, so that you can see the cuff links.

The shirt body should not have extra fabric. The wider the shirt, the more excess fabric and the more it gets creased within the jacket. You have to reach a balance between comfort and appearance, which can only be achieved with a custom made shirt. The "semi-tailored" or "made-to-measure" never manage that level of detail or elegance ("semi-tailored" refers to taking measurements and an averaged shirt body size is assigned, and modifications are applied only to the collar size and sleeve length).

Again, should you have any doubts or questions, please contact us.