A dress shirt is a defining piece of clothing that makes a big difference in a man’s wardrobe.
This is the classic men’s shirt that is worn during formal occasions and parties and is considered one of his best pieces of clothing.
Dress shirts normally have collars, full button fronts, cuffs that need shiny cufflinks as well as a long tail that is worn tucked inside the pants.
Dress shirts are normally paired with a vest and a tux and normally a bow tie.
The term slim-fit shirt simply means that instead of having a straight body from the armhole to the hemline, the shirt is instead tapered.
As a result, the waist appears more narrow than the shoulder and chest areas.
Other terms for this kind of fit is the “athletic cut” simply because men who are toned and physically fit tend to wear shirts that are tight around the waist.
In fact, you’ll often see men who work out wearing muscle shirts which show off their well-toned shoulders and small and defined waistline.
In dress shirt terms, slim fit means a more shapely cut and less fabric or material that needs to be tucked inside the trousers.
So if a man is wearing close-fitting dress pants, say for a dance competition, or tight jeans for a presentation, the slim fit pair is more ideal.
Kinds of Formal Men’s Dress Shirts
Like the regular loose dress shirts, slim fit shirts also come in a variety of kinds.
You can choose a cut or style depending on the occasion: it can be for formal wear like debutante balls and proms, business conservative, date night or smart casual.
Least Formal Shirts
The Oxford shirt is a type of button down that almost every man has in his closet.
It comes in many different colors, but one thing that sets it apart is the plain weave pattern that makes the Oxford what it is.
As simple and classic as it may be, these button down shirts are paired with jeans, khaki pants or dress pants.
It leaves a casual or polished look to the man who wears it but doesn’t appear to dressy or formal.
The Oxford shirt has a front chest pocket too so you can carry a pen or your ID inside.
Checks, plaids and stripes with collar are also considered less formal shirts.
They look great with business jackets but will look out of place when paired with very formal business suits .
You can get away with the urban preppy look by leaving the top button open and not wearing a tie with this number.
Traditional offices and more formal occasions call for a slightly more refined and sophisticated Pinpoint Oxford or the Egyptian cotton shirt.
The distinctive pointed collar is good for a board meeting, a stakeholder’s meeting or a big client presentation.
And while colored shirts are allowed during formal meetings, do note that the gentlemen only wear white and light blue shirts under their jackets.
This is a show of taste and refinement.
Formal Shirts for Truly Special Occasions
Formal slim fit dress shirts are in vogue nowadays.
The tuxedo shirts remain the top choice for black tie occasions.
Formal dress shirts are almost always colored white.
You may also find ruffles and pleats and other accessories in the bodice, neckline or sleeves.
Another characteristic of the formal slim fit dress shirt is that it closes with studs and not buttons.
They are usually small and look more like cuff links.
That’s another way to distinguish a formal dress shirt, you will see either a buttoned cuff or the French cuff.
When it comes to neckpieces, formal dress shirts are worn with cravats, bow ties or a four in hand tie.