Your dress shirts send a message about who you are. Make certain your message is as clean and pressed as your shirts should be. Check for these hallmarks of a high quality custom shirt:
The fabric- avoid thin polyester/cotton blends that are somewhat translucent, particularly in blue or white. A 100% cotton shirt will have a nice weight to ensure you can’t see through the shirt.
Single-Needle stitching is a more costly and time-consuming method of machine sewing that uses one needle to sew one side of garment at a time, providing a consistent, careful stitch. The faster, less expensive method is to sew with double-needle stitching, working both sides of the garment at once, with a greater likelihood of puckering.
Extra stitching- at stress points strategic to fit such as the collar and sleeve. The more stitches per inch, the better the quality of the tailoring. Check areas such as beneath the collar at the back of the neck and around the inside armhole.
Split-Shoulder Yoke- a vertical seam down the yoke on the back of the shirt.
Placket- there should be a count of 20 stitches per inch on a shirt’s placket. The placket is the strip of fabric on which the buttons are sewn. Fewer than 14 per inch denotes lesser quality.
Shirt lining should be the highest quality.
The gusset is a triangular piece of cloth where front and back tails meet on each side. It reinforces side seams. Gussets are a nice touch that sets a shirt apart when it is untucked.
Buttons should be made of mother-of-pearl or some other high grade composite. Plastic buttons can get damaged at the dry cleaner or in the clothes dryer.
The gauntlet button- custom dress shirts should have a button halfway up the forearm that makes it easier to roll the cuff. It should otherwise remain unbuttoned.
Collar should be evenly stitched around the edges.
Collar stays- A dress shirt isn’t dressy without them. Collar stays help keep your dress shirt collar looking crisp and sharp. They should be removable, but they’re essential for giving the collar some body.
A custom tailored dress shirt is not inexpensive. But by investing in a high quality shirt, you will enjoy looking good for a long time with this versatile and durable garment!