What Is the Shirt Under a Suit Called and Why It Matters

Have you ever noticed the shirt that lies beneath a suit? This often-overlooked piece of clothing has a crucial role to play in shaping the overall look of your outfit. It’s easy to forget that this shirt, which is often only partially visible, can make a massive difference to your appearance. In fact, it’s often the little things that can make or break an outfit. That’s why it’s essential to know what the shirt under a suit is called.

While the name may vary depending on where you’re from, this shirt is typically known as a dress shirt. Dress shirts are a special kind of shirt that consists of a collar, cuffs, front buttons, and sometimes, pockets. These shirts are usually made of cotton or a cotton blend, making them comfortable and breathable. Dress shirts come in a range of colors, fabrics, and designs, so you’ll never run out of options when it comes to choosing the perfect shirt for your suit.

Whether you’re dressing for a formal event or just want to look your best at work, a dress shirt can elevate your outfit and make you feel confident. Dress shirts are versatile, and they pair well with suits, blazers, and even jeans. By knowing what the shirt under a suit is called, you’re taking the first step towards mastering the art of dressing well. So the next time you put on a suit, don’t forget to give your dress shirt the attention it deserves, and you’re guaranteed to turn heads.

Other common types of dress shirts

While the shirt worn under a suit jacket is commonly known as a dress shirt, there are other variations of dress shirts that are equally important in the world of fashion. Here are some of the other types of dress shirts:

  • Button-down dress shirt: This type of dress shirt has buttons on the collar, giving it a more casual look. It can be worn with a blazer or sport coat for a relaxed yet polished style.
  • French cuff dress shirt: This dress shirt has longer cuffs that are folded back and fastened with cufflinks. It is usually worn with a tuxedo or other formal attire.
  • Spread collar dress shirt: This dress shirt has a wider collar that looks great with a full Windsor knot tie. It can be worn with a suit or on its own for a sophisticated yet modern look.

Each type of dress shirt has its own unique style and purpose, making it important to have a variety in your wardrobe. Choosing the right dress shirt can elevate your overall look and leave a lasting impression on those around you.

Historical Evolution of the Dress Shirt

The dress shirt, also known as a formal shirt, has a long history dating back to the 19th century. The earliest dress shirts were typically made of plain white cotton or linen, and featured a detachable collar. This allowed the collar to be replaced when it became soiled, without the need to replace the entire shirt.

Over time, the dress shirt evolved to include features such as buttons, cuffs, and pockets, making it a more practical and functional garment. Tailoring techniques also improved, allowing for a more fitted and flattering silhouette.

  • In the early 20th century, dress shirts were often made of silk and featured intricate embroidery.
  • In the 1920s and 30s, dress shirts became more streamlined and minimalist, with a focus on simplicity and understated elegance.
  • In the 1950s, dress shirts with bold patterns and bright colors became popular, reflecting the exuberance of post-war America.

Today, dress shirts come in a wide range of styles and fabrics, from classic white cotton to bold prints and textured weaves. They are an essential part of any formal or business wardrobe, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Below is a table summarizing the evolution of the dress shirt:

Time Period Key Features
19th century Plain white cotton or linen, detachable collar
Early 20th century Silk, embroidery
1920s-30s Streamlined, minimalist
1950s Bold patterns, bright colors
Today Wide range of styles and fabrics

Overall, the dress shirt has undergone significant changes over the years, reflecting changing fashion trends and evolving tailoring techniques. Still, it remains a timeless and essential component of any well-dressed gentleman’s wardrobe.

Materials used for dress shirts

The material used for dress shirts is an essential factor to consider when selecting a dress shirt. Different shirt materials produce different styles and textures, and it determines how comfortable and breathable a dress shirt will be.

Some popular materials used for dress shirts include:

  • Cotton: Cotton is the most common material used for dress shirts. It is versatile, breathable, and offers comfort in all weather conditions. There are varieties of cotton used for dress shirts, including Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, and American Upland cotton.
  • Linen: Linen is a lightweight, breathable, and highly absorbent material used for dress shirts, ideal for warm weather. Linen dress shirts are a popular choice for summer events and beach weddings.
  • Silk: Silk is a soft and breathable fabric, suitable for dress shirts used for formal events or weddings. It offers a luxurious look and feel and requires extra care during laundering.

Different types of weaves used for dress shirts

The weave of a dress shirt fabric determines the texture, thickness, and durability of the shirt. Different types of weaves offer different characteristics, and it’s important to select a weave based on personal preference and occasion.

Some of the commonly used weaves for dress shirts include:

  • Poplin: Poplin is a plain weave fabric that makes it lightweight, smooth, and durable. It is a popular choice for dress shirts used for formal occasions because of its crisp and clean finish and light feel.
  • Oxford: Oxford is a basket weave cloth that makes it thicker and more textured compared to other weaves. Oxford dress shirts offer a casual look and can be worn for both formal and informal events.
  • Twill: Twill is a diagonal weave fabric that produces a slightly ribbed texture, making it less prone to wrinkling. Twill dress shirts are suitable for both formal and casual occasions.

Caring for Dress Shirts: Maintenance Tips

Dress shirts may require different levels of care based on the material, weave, and design. Proper maintenance will help to maintain the quality, longevity, and appearance of dress shirts.

Here are some tips on how to care for your dress shirts:

  • Read the care label instructions before laundering your dress shirt.
  • Wash dress shirts in cold water to prevent shrinking and fading.
  • Avoid using bleach and opt for mild detergents to prevent damaging the shirt’s fibers.
  • Avoid using a dryer and opt for hanging to air dry or line dry.


The type of material and weave used for dress shirts is a crucial factor to consider when selecting a dress shirt. Cotton, linen, and silk are popular materials used for dress shirts. Different types of weaves offer unique textures and characteristics, suitable for different occasions. Proper maintenance and care for dress shirts will ensure the quality, longevity, and appearance of the shirts.

Material Pros Cons
Cotton Soft, Breathable, Versatile Wrinkles, May Shrink
Linen Lightweight, Breathable, Absorbent Wrinkles Easily
Silk Soft, Breathable, Luxurious Requires Extra Care, Expensive

Table: Pros and Cons of popular Dress Shirt Materials

Brands famous for their high-quality dress shirts

When it comes to dressing up for a formal occasion, the shirt you wear can play a big role in your overall style. High-quality dress shirts are always an excellent choice since they elevate your style, provide excellent comfort, and are designed to last for years. Here are some of the most famous brands known for their premium quality dress shirts:

  • Brooks Brothers: One of the oldest men’s clothing companies, Brooks Brothers is known for its classic style and high-end garments. They offer a wide selection of dress shirts made from the finest fabrics, including Egyptian cotton, Sea Island cotton, and Supima cotton.
  • Hugo Boss: Founded in 1924, Hugo Boss is a German luxury fashion house that offers a range of premium menswear including dress shirts. Their dress shirts feature timeless designs with a modern twist and are made from high-quality materials like Swiss cotton, pinpoint cotton, and twill cotton.
  • Tom Ford: An American fashion designer, Tom Ford is famous for his premium clothing, accessories, and fragrances. Their dress shirts are no exception, featuring luxurious fabrics like silk and cotton, and a range of styles including classic and slim-fit designs.

Types of dress shirt fabrics

When shopping for a dress shirt, it’s essential to pay attention to the fabric it’s made of since it can significantly impact your comfort and style. Here are some of the most popular dress shirt fabrics:

Cotton: Soft, breathable, and easy to care for, cotton is the most popular fabric for dress shirts. It’s available in a range of weaves, from lightweight poplin to heavier twills and oxfords, making it ideal for every season.

Linen: Made from the fibers of the flax plant, linen is an excellent choice for warm-weather dress shirts. It’s lightweight and breathable, providing excellent ventilation and preventing excessive sweating.

Silk: Known for its luxurious texture and shine, silk is a premium fabric that’s perfect for dress shirts meant for formal occasions. It’s lightweight and elegant, providing an unparalleled level of comfort and style.

Dress shirt collar types

The collar of your dress shirt can significantly impact your overall look and style. Here are some of the most popular dress shirt collar types:

Collar Type Description
Point Collar The most widespread and versatile type of collar, the point collar features a narrow spread that works well with almost any kind of tie knot.
Spread Collar Characterized by a wider distance between the collar points, the spread collar is ideal for larger knots like the Windsor knot and half Windsor knot.
Button-Down Collar The button-down collar features buttons that hold the collar to the shirt and is an excellent choice for casual dress shirts.
Tab Collar Tab collars feature small tabs that fasten behind the tie knot, producing a stylish and sleek appearance.

Choosing the right dress shirt can significantly impact your overall style and comfort. By considering the various fabrics and collar types, you can choose a shirt that meets your needs and helps you look your best.

Factors to consider while buying dress shirts

When it comes to purchasing dress shirts, there are a number of factors to consider. These factors include fit, material, style, color, and brand reputation.

  • Fit: The fit of a dress shirt is crucial. You want to make sure it fits well and flatters your body type. Consider factors such as collar size, sleeve length, and waist and chest measurements when selecting a shirt that fits you perfectly.
  • Material: The material of your dress shirt will impact its comfort, durability, and overall appearance. Common shirt materials include cotton, linen, and polyester. Consider factors such as feel, breathability, and flexibility when selecting the material for your dress shirt.
  • Style: The style of your dress shirt will depend on the occasion and your personal preferences. Common styles include classic, slim fit, and tailored. Consider factors such as collar style, cuff style, and button placement when selecting the style of your dress shirt.

Color: The color of your dress shirt should complement your skin tone, body type, and personal style. Common colors include white, blue, pink, and black. Consider factors such as the occasion and the color of your suit jacket when selecting the color of your dress shirt.

The Importance of Brand Reputation

When selecting a dress shirt, it is important to consider the brand’s reputation. A well-established brand is more likely to offer high-quality materials, superior craftsmanship, and consistent sizing than an unknown or generic brand. Consider brands that are known for their dress shirts, such as Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, and Hugo Boss.

Brand Price Range Materials Fit Options
Brooks Brothers $70-$400 Cotton, Linen, Polyester Classic, Slim Fit, Tailored
Ralph Lauren $50-$250 Cotton, Polyester Classic, Slim Fit, Custom Fit
Hugo Boss $90-$350 Cotton, Polyester, Silk, Linen Slim Fit, Regular Fit, Athletic Fit

Ultimately, the right dress shirt for you will depend on a number of factors, including your personal style, body type, and the occasion. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and select a dress shirt that looks great and feels comfortable.

Dress shirt care and maintenance tips

If you invest in a quality dress shirt, it’s important to take care of it properly to ensure it lasts for years to come. Here are some essential tips for dress shirt care and maintenance:

  • Always read the care label before washing your dress shirt. Some materials may require special care, such as dry cleaning or specific washing instructions.
  • Pre-treat any stains before washing. Use a stain remover or spot cleaner to treat stubborn stains like sweat, oil, or wine.
  • Wash your dress shirt in cold water on a gentle cycle. Hot water can cause shrinking, fading, and damage to the fabric.
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they can weaken the fabric and cause discoloration.
  • Hang dry your dress shirt. Avoid putting it in the dryer to prevent shrinkage and damage to the collar and cuffs.
  • Iron or steam your dress shirt as needed to remove wrinkles and keep it looking fresh. Use a low heat setting and avoid pressing too hard on the buttons, as they can crack or break under high heat.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can extend the life of your dress shirt and keep it looking sharp for every occasion.

The shirt under a suit: what’s it called?

Now that you know how to care for your dress shirt, let’s talk about the shirt you wear under your suit. This shirt is commonly known as a dress shirt, but it’s also called an undershirt or a formal shirt.

The benefits of a wrinkle-free dress shirt

A wrinkle-free dress shirt can save you time and hassle before important events or meetings. These shirts are treated with a special finish that helps them resist wrinkles and creases, even after washing and drying. However, keep in mind that these shirts may require special care to maintain their wrinkle-free appearance.

Pros of wrinkle-free dress shirts Cons of wrinkle-free dress shirts
Save time and hassle by avoiding ironing or steaming May require special care or washing instructions
Keep you looking sharp and professional all day May be more expensive than regular dress shirts
Can last longer than regular dress shirts due to their durable finish May not have the same softness or breathability as regular dress shirts

Ultimately, the choice of whether to wear a wrinkle-free dress shirt or a regular dress shirt is up to your personal preference and needs. Just remember to take care of your dress shirt properly to keep it looking its best, no matter which type you choose.

Outfits that pair well with dress shirts

Dress shirts are a versatile wardrobe essential that can be worn in various ways, making them the perfect base for almost any outfit. Depending on the occasion and dress code, there are many ways to style a dress shirt. Here are some suggestions for outfits that pair well with dress shirts:

  • Suit and Tie: A dress shirt is the foundation of a classic suit and tie combination. Whether it’s a formal event or a day at the office, a crisp white dress shirt paired with a well-tailored suit and tie is a timeless look that exudes sophistication.
  • Blazer: For a more casual yet polished look, a dress shirt can be paired with a blazer. Opt for a neutral-toned blazer such as navy, beige, or grey, and pair it with a complementary tie for a refined yet relaxed ensemble.
  • Sweater: A dress shirt can be paired with a sweater for a cozy and stylish outfit. A crewneck or V-neck sweater can be layered on top of a dress shirt, creating a smart-casual outfit that’s perfect for weekends or more relaxed office settings.

The possibilities don’t end there. Dress shirts can also be paired with denim, chinos, or even shorts, depending on the occasion and dress code. With the right accessories and styling, a dress shirt can be dressed up or down easily.

The Different Types of Dress Shirt Collars

Dress shirts come in a wide range of styles, and each one has a unique collar that emphasizes its aesthetic. Here’s a list of some of the most popular dress shirt collar styles:

  • Point collar: The most common collar style, the point collar has a narrow spread that complements most face shapes and tie knots.
  • Spread collar: A spread collar has a wider distance between the collar points, creating a more open space for a larger tie knot or a bow tie.
  • Cutaway collar: A cutaway collar has a large distance between the collar points, creating a bold and modern look.
  • Button-down collar: A button-down collar has buttons on the collar points, keeping the collar in place and creating a more casual look.
  • Band collar: A band collar, also known as a Mandarin collar, has a short and stand-up collar with no points.

Choosing the right collar style can elevate a dress shirt, making it appropriate for different occasions and dress codes.

What is the shirt under a suit called?

1. What is the purpose of the shirt under a suit?

The shirt under a suit serves as a layer between the body and the formal jacket. It also adds a pop of color and style to the overall outfit.

2. What kind of shirt should be worn under a suit?

A dress shirt is the most appropriate choice to wear under a suit. It should be well-fitted and made of cotton or a blend of cotton and silk.

3. Can a t-shirt be worn under a suit?

No, a t-shirt should not be worn under a suit. It is not formal enough and does not provide the same level of style and elegance as a dress shirt.

4. Are there different types of dress shirts to wear under a suit?

Yes, there are different types of dress shirts that can be worn under a suit, such as classic, slim-fit, and tailored-fit shirts. It is important to choose a style that fits well and complements the suit.

5. Should the shirt color match the suit?

The shirt color does not necessarily have to match the suit. However, it should complement the suit, either by being a similar shade or a contrasting color to add some visual interest.

6. Can patterns be worn on the shirt under a suit?

Yes, patterns can be worn on the shirt under a suit, such as stripes, checks, or small prints. Just be sure to choose a pattern that complements, rather than clashes, with the suit.

7. Can the shirt under a suit be untucked?

No, the shirt under a suit should always be tucked in. An untucked shirt can ruin the overall look of the suit and make the outfit appear sloppy.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for reading this article on what is the shirt under a suit called. Remember to always choose a dress shirt that fits well, complements the suit, and adds a touch of style to your formal outfit. Stay tuned for more fashion tips and advice, and be sure to visit our website again soon!