By their nature, dress shirts aren’t the most stand-out or interesting part of any man’s outfit. Of course, that isn’t to say that they don’t play a crucial part.
A dress shirt, especially when worn without a sport coat or jacket, holds a formal outfit together. It’s the base from which most of the rest of a guy’s getup is built. So it would make sense that you’d want to choose wisely. But what, exactly, makes a dress shirt? A lot of reasonable people lump dress shirts in with any button up shirt with a collar. We’re here to tell you that this is wrong. Dress shirts can vary from maker to maker, style to style, but they all have at least a few common characteristics. The first is the quality of their fabric. Generally you’ll find that these shirts have a higher thread count and a tighter weave – giving them both a thin, crisp feel and a glossy look. Using this qualifier as a base, we’ve pulled together 15 of the best dress shirts for men. Whether you wear them everyday for work or for something big like a wedding, we’re positive these will rise to the occasion.
H&M Easy Iron Slim Fit Shirt
Looking for something simple, quick, and easy to throw on for the daily grind or an unexpected formal event? This easy iron shirt made from a blended cotton and polyester fabric may be the pick. The affordable shirt features a super slim cut which is ideal for those on the slighter side, but not suitable for a more built frame.
Frank and Oak Andover Stretch
One of the chief complaints you’ll hear guys make against dress shirts (or formal wear more generally) is that it they are stiff and constraining. If you count yourself among that group, we have something to tell you: you’re not looking in the right place. There are plenty of shirts out there – like this one from Frank and Oak. Not only is it attractively cut, with a slim, crisp collar, but it features a decent stretch to it.
Club Monaco Slim Button Down
One of the more interning aspects of this shirt is the angle of the collar. While most formal shirts will either commit to a point or spread style, this one seems to try and have the best of both worlds. We think it accomplishes that task.
SuitSupply Light Blue Check
Not all shirts have to be stark white in order to be considered formal. So long as the pattern is unobtrusive, it can fly. Take SuitSupply’s shirt for example. The pattern on this Egyptian cotton spread collar shirt is super understated. You can only just barely notice the light grid throughout the shirt. A solid pick from a great online men’s store.
Hugo Boss James Slim Fit Contrast Trimmed Poplin
Sometimes all it takes to stand out is a thin black line. Of course, this shirt from Hugo Boss is much more than just a little herringbone detail. Cut from a quality cotton poplin fabric and featuring a spread collar and pearlescent buttons, this incredibly clean and crisp shirt is ready for the most formal of wear.
Ministry of Supply Apollo 3 Dress Shirt
Ministry of Supply started with a very specific mission – make men’s dress clothes radically more comfortable and dynamic. If ever there was an example of how well they’ve accomplished this task, it is their flagship Apollo 3 Dress Shirt. The young company used the same special Phase Change materials that NASA developed in order to control astronauts’ body temperatures during flight – which is to say that this shirt is just about 14 times more breathable than a common one. To top it off, it’s moisture wicking, wrinkle resistant, and machine washable.
Taylor Stitch Hyde in Sky Cotton and Linen
A great shirt starts with top quality fabric and ends with a highly skilled cut. Taylor Stitch’s Hyde shirt has both. Made from a 50/50 mix of cotton and linen, it is incredibly lightweight – making it ideal for comfortable summer wear. Of course, the San Francisco based clothing company didn’t stop there. The shirt also features pearl buttons, a semi-spread collar, and a clean pleat-free look.
Brooks Brothers Madison Fit
The enemy of any guy’s wardrobe is wrinkles. But, of course, they’re just about impossible to avoid. Or at least they are if you don’t have Brooks Brothers Madison Fit shirt. Made from American grown Super 100s 2-Ply Supima cotton, the formal shirt is designed to resist wrinkles and stay fresh even after running it through the wash.
Mizzen+Main Blackman Shirt
No cotton, no problem. Mizzen and Main’s performance dress shirt is made out of polyester, nylon, and lycra – making it super stretchy, wrinkle resistant, and moisture wicking. What more could you ask for during a hot summer like this one?
Jack Spade Diamond Dobby Shirt
For those looking for a spread collar shirt with more of an eye-catching design, this may be the ticket. Made from 100% cotton and featuring button cuffs – it’s all a guy could want and more.
Bonobos Jetsetter Dress Shirt
With a brand like Bonobos, it is hard to go wrong. The company originally started with the intent of providing men with great chinos, and have since expanded to a whole slew of other essential mens clothing categories. When it comes to formal shirts, they haven’t strayed far from their original mission. Their cotton, lycra, and polyester blended fabric is comfortable to wear and – thanks to a modern cut – sharp looking, too.
Outlier Freecotton Button Up
Outlier has always taken a certain pride in their ability to mix the dynamic with the everyday. The Freecotton dress shirt is the formal embodiment of this ideal. The shirt, cut with a four way stretch Freecotton, has a minimalist vibe to it that fits well in and out of special occasions.
Ermengegildo Zegna Cutaway Collar
If you’ve alway been one to want to wear an Italian made shirt, then you should maybe consider this pricy but incredibly well made option. Made with a brilliant white brushed cotton with mother of pearl button fastenings, double cuffs, and a cutaway shirt collar – it is an ideal pick for wearing with a tux.
Todd Snyder navy and white Stripe Poplin
A shirt proudly made in the USA. This classic button up is made from a fine Egyptian cotton, features a spread collar, and a sharp and tailored fit.
Richard James Ivory Slim Fit
A pure cotton dress shirt made for the most formal of occasions. Thanks in part to its cutaway collar, streamlined front, and modern cut, it has a minimalist and slim look to it that looks just as well with your sport coat on as it does with it off. A true top quality pick.
50 Best Men's Wardrobe Essentials
A great outfit doesn’t begin and end with a dress shirt. It takes a whole lot more. Check out our comprehensive list of the best men’s wardrobe essentials and see for yourself.