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The Mens White Dress Shirt — A Definitive Buying Guide on Our Favorites

JW Lewis

Tour any guy’s clos­et and you’ll almost cer­tain­ly find a mens white dress shirt.  It’s been a sta­ple in men’s attire going back over 100 years.  To most men white dress shirts all look the same, which couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth.  There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent attrib­ut­es (col­lar, cuff, plack­et, etc…) along with fab­ric com­bi­na­tions that can change the look of the white dress shirt sig­nif­i­cant­ly. In this guide, we show­case a num­ber of dif­fer­ent fab­rics and attrib­ut­es suit­able for dif­fer­ent envi­ron­ments across all price points.

mens white dress shirt - white oxford

Mil­ward White Oxford by Deo Ver­i­tas


Our Favorite Mens White Dress Shirts — Do’s and Dont’s and Where to Buy Them

The Standard, All Purpose Mens White Dress Shirt

Non Iron White Dress Shirt by Deo Veritas

White Twill Non Iron Shirt from Deo Ver­i­tas

Fabric / Attributes:

This is the one shirt every man should have in his clos­et.  Pin­points or twills are durable weaves that will drape you ele­gant­ly and not have any of the opaque­ness you’d find with a lighter, thin­ner weave (i.e. Broad­cloths, Poplins). The Eng­lish Spread col­lar is per­fect for any occa­sion and looks equal­ly ele­gant with or with­out a tie.  This is a shirt you can wear 1–2x a week for years with prop­er care.  As with all of the shirts here, we rec­om­mend either dry clean­ing or machine wash­ing on cold and then air dry­ing. NEVER machine dry.  Dry­ers rob the shirts cot­ton of mois­ture which short­en their life.

Non Iron Twill White Dress Shirt

White Twill Non Iron Shirt by Deo Ver­i­tas

Where to Buy

Off the Rack:

Custom (As Shown Above):


The Formal, French Cuff Mens White Dress Shirt

Formal White Dress Shirt

Andes White Pin­point by Deo Ver­i­tas

Fabric / Attributes:

  • Twill Weave
  • Ital­ian Spread Col­lar
  • French Cuffs
  • French Plack­et (Fly Front / Hid­den Plack­et for a Tuxe­do Shirt As Shown Above)

Whether it’s a wed­ding, a funer­al, or a job inter­view — every man needs a for­mal, white, French cuff dress shirt.  French cuffs are dis­tin­guished by their clo­sure which requires them to be fold­ed once over with cuff links.  Addi­tion­al­ly, a for­mal white dress shirt should have a French plack­et which gives the front tor­so a much more stream­lined look.  As for the col­lar, we rec­om­mend a longer point length (i.e. our Ital­ian spread col­lar) since the points will tuck ele­gant­ly under­neath your blaz­er lapels — a men’s fash­ion neces­si­ty.

Formal White Dress Shirt

Andes White Pin­point by Deo Ver­i­tas

Where to Buy:

Off the Rack (Standard Sizing):

Custom (As Shown Above):


The Casual, Oxford Cotton Button Down Mens White Dress Shirt

 

OCBD White Dress Shirt

Mil­ward White Oxford by Deo Ver­i­tas

Fabric / Attributes:

  • Oxford Weave
  • But­ton Down Col­lar
  • 1 But­ton Bar­rel (Round­ed) Cuffs
  • Front Plack­et
  • Straight Cut Hem (Option­al)
  • Pock­et (Option­al)

A favorite for cool, fall week­ends pop­u­lar­ized by Brooks Broth­ers, is the Oxford But­ton Down shirt.  As the sto­ry goes, John Brooks (the grand­son of the founder of Brooks Broth­ers), while on hol­i­day in Eng­land in the late 19th cen­tu­ry, noticed that polo play­ers had their col­lars fas­tened to their shirts with but­tons dur­ing match play. At this point, the prover­bial light went off and Brooks quick­ly took the idea back to the States with the inten­tion of bring­ing this nov­el idea to mar­ket. The but­ton down col­lar itself is dis­tin­guished by it’s lack of inter­lin­ing mate­r­i­al or col­lar stays giv­ing it the trade­mark but­ton down ‘roll’ that is not seen on any oth­er col­lar type.

Oxford cot­ton is notably one of the more heavy weaves you’ll find on a dress shirt.  It’s dis­tin­guished by a some­what grainy tex­ture that begins to soft­en after a few wash­es.  It’s rigid tex­ture and low thread count requires min­i­mal iron­ing, mak­ing it a per­fect casu­al piece of attire.  Pop­u­lar­ized by com­pa­nies such as UNTUCK­it, many men are opt­ing for a short­er, straight cut hem in order to wear this type of shirt untucked.  Addi­tion­al­ly, this shirt can option­al­ly be worn with or with­out a pock­et.

OCBD White Dress Shirt

Mil­ward White Oxford by Deo Ver­i­tas

Where to Buy:

Off the Rack (Standard Sizing):

Custom (As Shown Above):


The Summer / Beach Mens White Dress Shirt

Linen / Cotton White Dress Shirt

White Linen / Cot­ton One Piece Col­lar Shirt by Deo Ver­i­tas

Fabric / Attributes:

  • Cot­ton / Linen Weave
  • One Piece Col­lar (aka Cal­i­for­nia or Coop­er Col­lar)
  • Cock­tail Cuffs
  • French Plack­et

A time­less clas­sic that has become a sar­to­r­i­al favorite. As we’ve writ­ten about pre­vi­ous­ly, the one piece col­lar itself is a sin­gle piece that extends through the front tor­so and dou­bles as a plack­et. This rein­forc­ing effect is that the col­lar stands on its own, with­out col­laps­ing under it’s own weight — as is com­mon when wear­ing a blaz­er sans tie. Some­times, hid­den but­tons are placed behind the col­lar points to help give the col­lar it’s dis­tinc­tive ‘roll’. No top but­ton and a curved top plack­et give it a unique­ly con­tem­po­rary casu­al look.

A mid 20th cen­tu­ry clas­sic, this col­lar was pop­u­lar­ized in the 40/50’s via men’s style icon Gary Coop­er. Con­se­quen­tial­ly, it’s some­time referred to as the Coop­er Col­lar. For it to look / func­tion as described, it requires a skilled pat­tern cut­ter and seam­stress, mak­ing it pri­mar­i­ly a cus­tom / bespoke item.  We have list­ed one off-the-rack shirt mak­er below (Kamaku­ra) which is skilled in the mak­ing of this type of shirt.

Linen is almost always syn­ony­mous with warmer, sum­mer attire as it breathes excep­tion­al­ly.  The draw­back is wrin­kling which give it a more dis­tressed, casu­al look that is per­fect for warmer cli­mates.  This is one shirt that would pair equal­ly well with a pair of styl­ish jeans or a pair of shorts and flip flops.

One Piece Collar White Dress Shirt

White Linen / Cot­ton One Piece Col­lar Shirt by Deo Ver­i­tas

Where to Buy:

Off the Rack (Standard Sizing):

Custom (As Shown Above):


Interested in designing your own custom mens white dress shirt?

Get started here!

 

 

 

 

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