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In the USA, a dress shirt is a shirt with a collar and buttoned or double cuffs, fastened with a placket and buttons down the front, designed to be worn with a tie and suit.

In the United Kingdom, these items are simply thought of as 'shirts', and a dress shirt is a formal shirt worn either with black tie or white tie.

Neckties, or simply ties in the United Kingdom, are commonly worn with dress shirts to formalise an outfit. When this is the case, the top button of the shirt is fastened, so that the tie can fit snug around a gentlemen's neck with a smart appearance.

(Traditional conservative combinations that are acceptable in any circumstances are a plain light blue shirt with a predominantly navy blue tie, or a shirt with blue and white bengal stripes and a red/wine coloured tie.)

There are many different types of dress shirts a man can buy.

Collars

see also main article collar
Regular (technically a Point Collar) 
a collar that appears narrow.
Cut-away 
a collar that is more cut away towards the shoulder - the degree varies; the 'Windsor collar' is very cut away indeed, originaly to complement the Windsor tie knot.
Button-down:
a collar, usually narrow, that buttons over the tie. Not suitable for more formal occasions.

  • Learn about different types of collars.
  • Cuffs

    see also main article Cuff
    Single (technically Barrel Cuffs)
    these cuffs are the norm found on dress shirts. They overlap each other and button to stay.
    Double or French Cuff
    these cuffs are both more traditional and more fashionable and are fastend with cufflinks.

    Dress Shirts in the United Kingdom

    In the UK, a dress shirt is a particular type of formal shirt, always white with french cuffs to be worn with eveningwear. In the US, this shirt is often called a tuxedo shirt or tux shirt, although this is considered somewhat vulgar.

    The shirt required for white tie is very specific. It should be made of a piqu
    material (sometimes known as marcella), have a wing collar, and be fastened with shirt studs instead of buttons on the front. The studs should be either gold or silver with a mother of pearl inlay. Black onxy inlay is also permissible. The cufflinks match the studs. The front panels of the shirt are heavily starched and polished so that they are stiff. Traditionally, collarless shirts with a detachable wing collar fastened on with collar studs have been used, but all-in-one designs are increasingly common. An even more formal alternative to the piqué shirt front is a shirt with heavily starched front panels of a plane material, fastened in the same maner; such shirts are uncommon nowadays. Cuffs will ideally be single, but heavily starched and polished.

    Black tie offers more leeway. Shirts may be soft (not starched), and often have a 'regular' turndown collar. They can be made of the same piqué material as white tie, although a soft shirt with folded pleats along the front is a more common alternative. In past decades, particularly the 1970s, ruffled-shirt fronts were fashionable, although they have fallen out of favour recently. Studs are optional and are usually black. Cufflinks are generally black (ideally silver with a black onyx inlay), but can alternatively be an old school/college/regimental design

     
    The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dress_shirt).  1/5/06
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