Men’s fashion has come a considerably long way in recent years. We’re no longer required to wear the same overdone suit time after time. We have choices in colors, styles, and even fabrics for everything from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet and the semi-spread collar dress shirt has become an important part of men’s fashion the world over. I’ll not only show you five of my top picks for best men’s dress shirts, but I’ll also examine this vital piece of fashion today and even if you’re unfamiliar with the all the terms, by the end of this article you’ll be an expert.
Why is a Semi-Spread Collar Broadcloth Shirt a Men’s Wardrobe Essential?
The Semi-Spread Collar Broadcloth Dress Shirt is the go-to formal shirt, but can also be dressed down with a pair of dark wash jeans, chinos, wool pants or shorts. Or worn with a jean jacket, tie, and a v-neck sweater.
What is a Broadcloth Dress Shirt?
Need a little more information? We thought so. Dress shirts come in 4 basic fabrics to choose from, broadcloth, Oxford, pinpoint, and twill. Broadcloth is by far the most recognizable and common for a dress shirt. It’s essentially, the most classic style of all three fabrics. It’s estimated that approximately 80% of all dress shirts utilize broadcloth.
Among the most important features for a broadcloth dress shirt is the smooth nature of the fabric. The pattern for a semi-spread collar broadcloth dress shirt is much like a checkerboard pattern, but the weave is much tighter, so the fabric is smooth and moves easily. Due to the intricate nature of its weave broadcloth never feels stiff and wears well on a wide range of body types without looking bulky or messy. Just make sure you have the right fit. That’s good news for us larger men as it can be difficult to find shirts that are flattering.
What is a Semi-Spread Dress Collar and Why is it the Best Choice?
A semi-spread dress collar falls right between the point and standard spread collar giving you the best of both worlds with the most style options. What the spread is referred to is the space between the tips of the collar. A point is the slimmest with only a 2” gap while the spread maintains a 5” gap and the cutaway as the largest with a 6” gap. A semi-spread maintains a 4” gap which is ideal for most shirt styles, and all face and body types. It is the most classic, and you need not worry about a semi-spread dress collar being out of style.
Spread and cutaway collars are best for those with more of an angled face with larger builds and those that can handle a full Windsor knot. Point collars are more proportional for thinner guys, so you can plainly see how a semi-spread collar would be the most versatile of all styles.
What Color Broadcloth Dress Shirts Should You Own?
Do not get carried away with colors. If you’ve read our article on our 33 Piece Wardrobe Capsule, you know that we like the K.I.S.S rule. Stay with neutral colors and you’ll be able to pair most items in your wardrobe. In the case of Broadcloth and Oxford dress shirts start with a basic white and lt blue. Remember neutral colors and you’ll never go wrong. When first developing your wardrobe don’t worry about patterns. With white and blue you’ll be able to pair this shirt with pretty much anything in your wardrobe.
How Should a Broadcloth Dress Shirt Fit?
For an in-depth guide on how a dress shirt should fit check out our mens dress shirt fit guide. If you’re looking for some down and dirty suggestions, then keep the following points in mind.
When trying on your broadcloth dress shirt make sure to keep an eye on the following details and you should be good to go:
Collar – Button the collar. If you can fit more than one finger between the collar and your neck go down a size.
Shoulders – Shoulder seams should hit right at the edges of your shoulders.
Sleeve length – Hang your arms down at your sides. bBend your rights up to a right angle. The shirt should just touch the top of your hand.
Body – You don’t want to see the buttons straining whether you’re sitting or standing. But if you can pinch more than an inch or two at your sides you need to get the shirt tailored or go down a size.
Dress Shirt Length – If you’re going untucked the bottom of the shirt should hit mid crotch. If tucked the longer the better. The idea is the shirt should stay tucked no matter the activity.
5 of the best men’s dress shirts
No matter the price, my picks below are great options. Unless the shirt has a large number of size options always assume you’re going to need to get it tailored for that perfect fit. Concerning the budget options, I personally own shirts from J. Crew, H&M, and bonobos and absolutely love the way they fit. So whether you choose the top of the line designer options or the budget options you should be good to go.
1. Burberry Slim Fit Poplin Shirt – The men’s fashion world has Burberry to thank for many innovative and classic designs within the industry, but it is their slim fit cotton poplin shirt that tops our list today. This shirt takes formal wear to a whole new level and comes in a variety of white and pastel colors to choose from. Whether it is worn alone with a pair of wool pants or as an undershirt for a full suit, this poplin shirt is perfectly designed.
2. Brooks Brothers Fitted Dress Shirt – Professional attire does not have to be boring and with Brooks Brothers Regent Fitted Dress Shirt, it never will. With a wide variety of patterns and colors to choose from, these shirts pair well with both solid color ties and patterned variety for a unique look all your own all while maintaining the professional appearance expected at the workplace.
1. J. Crew Semi-Spread Collar Dress Shirts – J. Crew is always delivering perfectly designed clothes for business and casual wear and their Ludlow Dress Shirt certainly does not disappoint. With sizes ranging from x-small all the way to x-large, they offer every man, no matter their size an easy to wear and comfortable broadcloth semi-spread collar dress shirt. Colors in both solids and patterns give you maximum versatility in your choices as well.
2. The Tie Bar Semi-Spread Collar Dress Shirts – There is always more to think of in terms of size when purchasing a broadcloth semi-spread collar dress shirt, but The Tie Bar makes it easy and among their top-selling shirts is the Pinpoint Solid Dress Shirt. Choose neck sizes from 14.5 to 18.5 and even sleeve lengths for a customizable fit without the customized price.
3. Bonobos Wrinkle-Free Dress Shirt – A wrinkled shirt is no way to impress at the office and more and more professionals are investing in semi-spread collar dress shirts featuring wrinkle-free materials. Bonobos have the answer for your ideal dress shirt with their Daily Grind Wrinkle-Free Dress Shirt. In an almost endless variety of colors and patterns to choose from, you will never run out of options. Neck sizes range from 14.5 to 17.5 and sleeve size options are available from 32 to 36, so it is effortless to find the right color and size for a completely comfortable and wrinkle-free dress shirt.
Best Men’s Outfits – How to wear men’s dress shirts
Here are three of my favorite outfits utilizing a semi-spread broadcloth dress shirt from J. Crew. As you can see the shirt looks great with a variety of pants and shoes. The outfits below consist of a blazer and either jeans, chinos, or wool suit pants.
Men’s dress shirt with jeans
One of my favorite business casual outfits (If you can get away with the jeans). Maybe a little better for an after work party. All of the items in this outfit are made up of items from @jcrewmens, except for an expensive @bulova watch thrown in.
1. J. Crew Men’s Ludlow Slim-fit suit jacket with double vent in Italian worsted wool
2. J. Crew Men’s Ludlow stretch two-ply easy-care cotton dress shirt in solid
3. J. Crew Men’s 484 Stretch Selvedge Jeans –
4. J. Crew Men’s Mercantile Knit Tie Navy –
5. J. Crew Men’s Mercantile Linen Pocket Square –
6. J. Crew Men’s Ludlow Balmoral Shoes Black –
7. Bulova Men’s 96B104 Stainless Steel Dress Watch –
Mens dress shirt with chinos
I love this outfit if I do say so myself. It makes a real power statement. All dark blue blazer, chinos, and sweater with a hint of light blue in the Todd Snyder Dress shirt. Finished off with super clean Oliver Cabell Lows.
1. Navy Blazer: J. Crew Men’s Navy Blazer –
2. Shirt: Todd Snyder Hamilton Blue Men’s Dress Shirt –
3. Sweater: J. Crew Men’s Merino Wool Sweater Navy –
4. Chinos: Uniqlo Flat Front Chinos Navy –
5. Sneakers: Oliver Cabell 1 Sneakers –
6. Belt: J. Crew Men’s Classic Leather Belt –
Mens dress shirt with a suit
Crush any formal event with this J. Crew grey suit, and some accessories from The Tie Bar, and Brooks Brothers.
1. J. Crew Ludlow Worsted Wool Charcoal Grey Jacket –
2. J. Crew Ludlow Slim-fit suit pant in Italian stretch worsted wool –
3. J. Crew Ludlow stretch two-ply easy-care cotton dress shirt in solid –
4. The Tie Bar Grosgrain Solid Charcoal Tie –
5. The Tie Bar Linen Pocket Square –
6. J. Crew Ludlow Balmoral Shoes Black –
7. Brooks Brothers Silver Buckle Leather Dress Belt –