How to Recognize a Quality Dress Shirt

It’s confusing, many dress shirts seem alike, especially when they’re folded and neatly packaged in the store.  So how can you tell if you’re getting a quality dress shirt?  Here’s what to look for.

Thread count

The higher the thread count of a cotton, the softer and more lustrous the hand (feel) of the fabric.  This is because the higher thread count reflects the use of finer cotton fiber in the dress shirt.

Heaviness versus thread count

Thread count should not be confused with heaviness.  Cotton is not typically heavier because of the thread count or the number of threads.  The heft of the cotton has to do with the ply of the shirt.  Heavy cotton shirts are more typically two-ply models, such as the traditional Oxfords.  And even then, many oxford cloth dress shirts feature a thread count of 80s, which is still relatively fine cotton.

The best of cottons

Additionally, all cottons aren’t created equal, so if quality is more important than thread count, look for shirts made of 80s and 100s count cotton.  Non-iron fabrics keep dress shirts looking smart from 9 to 5 and beyond.

Final thoughts on dress shirt quality

Finally, this does not rule out the possibility that a shirt made of neither of these specific cottons is of good quality.  What is important is to observe the overall look of the dress shirt.  Examine the collar and cuffs, the buttonholes, and buttons.  Look for puckering or loose threads.  The sharper the finish on the unopened, unworn dress shirt, the greater the likelihood of superior quality.

Moores the Suit People, Inc. is proud to operate one of Canada’s leading menswear retailers, Moores Clothing for Men.  With over 120 locations across Canada offering high quality, outstanding selection, superior customer service and everyday low prices, Moores has been successful for over 30 years.
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