Can You Tell The Difference Between A $50 vs $500 Shirt?
Dress shirts may look similar to an untrained eye, but there are subtle details that differentiate a quality dress shirt from one you should avoid buying.
The next time you're at a Bloomingdales or other retailer, check for these easy-to-remember signs to make sure the price tag matches the level of quality.
In this article, we'll show you exactly how to identify a premium, high quality shirt that will become an asset to your wardrobe.
It is important to note that the details we describe in this article are not merely differentiating factors, but speak to the fine level of craftsmanship and detail given to an individual shirt. A shirt exhibiting the following qualities will most likely be constructed from fine fabrics, employ fine stitching techniques, and last many years of wear.
You might have heard this before, but a simple way to tell the quality of a shirt is by looking at the shoulder, where the torso and sleeve meet. When the pattern matches and continues across seams, this signifies craftsmanship which probably translates throughout the rest of the shirt.
2. Stitch density
A lower end shirt has about 3 to 4 stitches per centimeter. A higher end shirt, should have about 8 stitches per centimeter. The higher the stitch density, the higher the quality of the shirt. This rule does not apply to open, airy fabrics, like a summer shirt, because high stitch density is not possible to achieve.
3. Single needle vs. double needle
A high quality shirt should always have a single line of stitching, which is more time consuming but produces a cleaner finish. Double lines of stitching will result in 'puckering,' or bumpiness, along the stitches after a few washes.
The stiffness of the collar usually indicates the quality of the shirt. A cheaper shirt collar will have a single piece of stiff, cheap lining. A high end shirt will instead have two layers of fabric, usually with a layer of separation in between.
5. Back yoke
A rare sighting on lower end shirts, the back yoke improves the fit of the shirt around your shoulders. On more expensive shirts, be sure to look for a back yoke that closely hugs the shape of your upper back.
Mother-of-pearl buttons are a clear indication of luxury and expensive materials. They should feel cold and dense, like a smooth stone. Clicking them together, they should produce a sharp, high pitch sound, as opposed to plastic, which has a dull ring.
7. Button and holes
On expensive shirts, look for a bit of space between the button and the shirt itself. This is an important feature that protects the shirt and prevents pulling. Also, take a close look at the button hole. Fraying button holes are definite sign to avoid. Alternately, a hand-stitched button hole is a clear indictor of very high quality.