How To Spot a Good Quality Shirt

TM Lewin Shirts

One of the biggest mistakes often made when buying an outfit for a big occasion is forgetting that the shirt is just as important as the suit. Many men presume once they’ve purchased their perfect suit, any shirt will do. We disagree – you should want the whole package, this means investing in a shirt which will compliment and enhance your look.  Here’s our guide on how to spot a good quality shirt.


1. The Fabric

A shirt can be any fabric you fancy. Generally speaking cotton tends to be the preferred choice, as it is breathable, durable and easy to take care of. The best shirts will use 2 fold (twisted) cotton, a fabric that is not only strong but will keep its shape and last for years. The cotton used in the shirt should have a silk-like feel and both the cuffs and the collar should have 100% cotton lining. There is no need for polyester anywhere on your shirt. The use of one fabric ensures that any shrinkage will be uniform throughout the shirt.


type of fabrics for formal shirts

2. A Split Back Yoke

The yoke is the panel of fabric below the back of your collar. This panel of fabric is quite often one single piece but unfortunately this usually results in an ill-fitting shirt. The best made shirts will always have a split back yoke. This takes much more time and effort to tailor but the difference in fit is well worth the added expense.


split back yoke

Split Back Yoke


3. The Collar

A weak collar with no uniform shape and turned up corners will ruin the whole aesthetic. High quality shirts will have removable collar bones that allow for a sharp look to your collar. Many tailors also maintain that an unfused collar is a must have on your shirt. This avoids the flat look many lower quality shirts have.


4. The Buttons

The material of the buttons is far less important than the way in which they are fastened to the shirt. Assuming the buttons are attached correctly, using a lockstitch machine, should mean you never have to put up with the inconvenience of sewing on your spare button.


5. The Stitching

The stitching should be consistent throughout the shirt. Take a good look at it and if you spot any loose threads then opt for an alternative shirt. Most shirt collars and cuffs are stitched with about 10 stitches per inch but for true quality look for a shirt with about 15 stitches per inch. This looks better and is guaranteed to last longer. The sleeves and side seams should also have extra stitching to avoid any splits in the fabric.


6. The Design

If you’re choosing a striped or checked shirt you should take time to make sure that the design flows across the shirt. This means checking that the pattern matches at all the seams. The shirt tails should also be longer than you’d normally expect allowing the shirt to stay tucked in all day.


The perfect shirt is a fundamental asset to your suit. Choosing the right one will give your overall look that extra sartorial flourish. Following this guide will ensure that you select a quality shirt which will stand the test of time and enhance your look.

Learn more about our shirts‘ fabrics and collars or shop  from our extensive range of shirts.

Every gentleman knows that a tie is a shirts best friend. If you need help finding one which will compliment your look perfectly, we are here to help with our post on how to spot a quality tie.


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