Dress Shirts 101 – 4

Dress Shirts 101: From formal to casual, which dress shirt is right for the occasion? – Part 4

Don’t have a dress shirt in your wardrobe? You’re missing out! Having easy access to a well-made dress shirt at all times is the best method to unlock a ton of wearable styles. This being the 21st century means that it’s not difficult to find the right shirt for you either. You’ve got a bunch of available choices, ranging from store bought to tailor-made shirts.

It used to be that you could never get the perfect fit without spending a ton on bespoke options, but with technological advancements, tailoring is more affordable than ever, meaning that off-the-shelf options can now be easily altered to get a better fit. Some stores even offer made-to-measure options, which are a great way to get convenience and fit in one easily accessible package.

Nevertheless, you still need to make the right choices, and barring a direct discussion with a professional tailor, you’ll be stuck with what you have. We’ve previously covered the styles and collar types available. This time, the dress shirt guide will be focusing on even more details that you might miss.


Arguably the detail that most forget about, buttons form the basis of every dress shirt. It seems simple enough, but look closely and you’ll find minute differences; the number of holes, material, or even patterns.

Most buttons are made of plastic, an affordable choice that gets the job done, and it’s perfectly up to the task, assuming the right kind of plastic resin is used. Your dress shirt isn’t just facing wear and tear from normal use, strong detergents may damage the structure of the buttons too. Luckily, these are easy to swap out, and fairly inexpensive too. If you’re after a certain look with style, buttons come in a wide range of hues, which can suit different occasions perfectly.


Another detail that you might not be aware about, cuffs aren’t just about the sleeve length. The right cuff type can make all the difference when you add on a jacket or blazer, or help you nail down that casual or formal look you’re after.

A simple cuff wraps around your wrist and stays put with a button, these are the common button cuff, and its versatile enough, offering slight adjustments. These even look good when rolled up, meaning they’re the definitive choice for anyone after that casual-formal hybrid look.

Alternatives include French cuffs, the king of formal wear. These are folded back twice, with added cufflinks to provide some extra professional flavour. For the best formal effect, use this on a navy dress shirt, paired with blue trousers and suit jackets. You’ll look perfect in those tough boardroom meetings.

All in all, opt for cufflinks if you want to nail that sophisticated office look, and go for the simple button cuffs for the classy yet laid-back weekend casual vibe.

Parting words

With all that said, dress shirts are part of a wide arsenal. You need to pick the right shirt for the job, and with that, you’ll need to search carefully. When in doubt, consider that sa dress shirt you won’t wear is a wasted purchase. So, play it safe, a neutral non-extreme dress shirt can work for the office and your weekends, so build things up from there.

Need alterations made, or perhaps you want something uniquely yours? Come to us. We are Louis Collections, based in Bangkok, and we are a top tier tailor with years of experience. Fabrics, designs, we’ve got it all, no task is too daunting for us. To get an idea of what we can do, drop by our website, we’re sure that you’ll find something you like. With our help, you’ll be looking great in no time.