Dress Shirts 101 – 5

Dress Shirts 101: From formal to casual, which dress shirt is right for the occasion? – Part 5

The humble dress shirt no longer acts as an underlying layer to a full suit set, instead, it is socially acceptable, and in most cases, expected that ‘formal wear’ means a form fitting dress shirt, trousers, dress shoes and possibly a decent blazer. Just walk into any office and you’ll see what we mean.

And it doesn’t end there. Dress shirts can even be used in more casual situations. Leaving the shirt untucked and rough is no longer a sign of laziness, it’s stylish enough to be its own style. If anything, this shows how useful having a set of dress shirts in your wardrobe can really be.

Having gone through multiple facets of things you should consider when picking out the right dress shirt, we’re continuing that in this shirt guide. This time, we’re going in deep into the minute details.


Plackets are extra layers of fabric used beneath buttons to hold them in place. These also appear at the neckline and the sleeves. For the main focus, we’ll be looking at the main buttons. The traditional American Placket is the most common variant, involving a simple extra layer beneath the button line. This style works nicely in both casual and formal cases, which means it’s the best choice if you want something usable everywhere.

For those after a more easy going casual look, consider the French Placket. This style dumps the extra fabric entirely, delivering a clean cut look that works amazingly on date night. A minor gripe that some might have is the slight inconvenience when ironing this variant.

For a formal look, go for the covered placket. This uses the extra fabric to cover up the front buttons, giving the cleanest look possible. This can be found on most tuxedos and evening shirts. Looking to stand out? This is the way to go.

Finally, the popover placket, also known as the 3/4 front, merges the designs of polos and dress shirts to give a casual look that is hard to beat. This style involves just three buttons below the collar, and is put on the same way you would a casual Tee. Shopping for summer? This is the way to go.

Final Touches

With the front handled, let’s talk about the back. You don’t really have a ton of options here, being limited to pleats or darts. Pleats can help offer you extra wiggle room in terms of movement. Rear side pleats have these creases on the sides, while centre box moves it all to the middle. Both options use an extra 2 inches of fabric to get the desired effect. While this is a well-loved look, some might prefer voiding pleats all together, showing off a minimal look that works best for slim people.

Darts are minor seams on the rear of shirts, designed to remove extraneous fabric, further reinforcing the slim fit design. For men with a back shape that arcs inwards, darts can help accommodate the shape, while also having a nice perk of making things more comfortable.

Finally, how about a hanger loop? This is attached to the upper placket behind the dress shirt, giving you an easy way of hanging your shirts. This subtle addition could come in handy.

Why Louis Collections?

Finding the right dress shirt can be a daunting task, so why not opt for a custom-tailored dress shirt? We, at Louis Collections, are a Bangkok-based tailor-shop, and we have decades of experience in delivering tailor-made dress shirts for our customers. Why not drop on by, we’ll show you around our storefront. We’re sure you’ll be impressed.