1. Vocabulary of a shirt

    • Collar

      Collar is an essential part of the shirts and often the biggest factor in defining the style of the shirt. Some popular collars include Forward tip or Classic collar, Button down collar, Spread collar, Mandarin collar, and Winged-tip collar.

    • Placket

      Placket is the button enclosure that holds the front opening of the shirt together.

    • Yoke

      Yoke is the part of the shirt that sits over the shoulder. It is a support for the fall of the shirt.

    • Epaulette

      Epaulette is an accessory used on the shoulder of the shirt. The design was inspired from military uniforms and complements casual shirts.

    • Sleeves

      Fitted and ideal length of sleeves is important for a clean and polished look of the shirt. Shirts are made with either half sleeve ending around the mid of the biceps, or full sleeves that is buttoned around the wrist.

    • Cuff

      Cuff can be experimented with, offering a complete makeover to an everyday shirt. Cuffs accesorised with cufflinks make you look dapper for a dressy occasion. Different types of cuffs include Square cuff, Round cuff, Angle cut, Two button, Three button, and French cuff.

    • Hem

      Hemline is the cut of the shirt at the bottom end. It is generally straight in a formal shirt, which are to be tucked in, and round in a casual shirt.

    • Pleats

      Pleats on back of the shirt are for added comfort and space, for those who prefer a relaxed fit or have a heavier body type.

    • Darts

      The excess fabric at the back of the shirt is folded and turned into darts, to offer a sleek fit.

  2. Origin of Shirts

    Shirts, as we know them now, have evolved into a sophisticated unisex, and one of the most commonly used garment around the early twentieth century. Shirt according to the English fashion is a front open upper body garment with collar and cuff, whereas Americans still consider them as a dress shirt and include t-shirts and polo shirts under more generic definition of shirts.

    The oldest shirt discovered so far is a preserved highly sophisticated linen shirt found in a First Dynasty Egyptian tomb at Tarkan, and can be dated back to around 3000 BC.

    In the middle ages, the shirt was considered as an undergarment. A plain undyed shirt was worn next to the skin, and was considered indecent for it to reveal. Even in medieval artworks, shirts are visible on humble characters such as farmers, prisoners, or laborers. In 1827 Hannah Montague, an American housewife from New York got tired of having to wash the shirt frequently, which her husband wore, and hence invented detachable collars.

    As late as 1879, shirts without anything over them were considered indecent.

    Around early nineteenth century couloured shirts started trending, that were a casual dress code for the working class or lower class gentry. By the end of nineteenth century dictionary defined shirt as "of cotton, with linen bosom, wristbands and cuffs prepared for stiffening with starch, the collar and wristbands being usually separate and adjustable".

    By 1920s shirts started gaining popularity and established itself as a standard. Gaining a worldwide fame and acceptance, around 1930s the accessories for shirt such as collar stays became popular, which kept the collar points connected to the necktie, keeping them in place.

  3. Brief history of shirts

    • In the middle ages, in Europe, shirt became a garment to be worn next to the skin as an undergarment.

    • Earliest shirts were either made of linen or wool, and did not have a front open placket, but were rather worn over the head and tightened by button at the hem.

    • Under Henry VII during 1485-1409 open neck shirts were worn in England, with detachable sleeves doublet on top of it.

    • During the time of Louis the XIII in France, in the mid of 17th century, men’s doublet became shorter and the shirts became more visible at the cuff and hem for the first time.

    • In 18th Century, shirts became a garment of significance, and were no longer seen as an undergarment. Shirts were made of linen and silk and had fancy detachable collars.

    • The first buttoned shirt was registered by Brown, Davis and Co. in 1871, which only became popular after The Great War (WW1).

  4. Learn how to measure yourself

    • Neck

      Measure your neck from the bottom end and make sure you leave a margin of two fingers between your neck and the measuring tape. This will make your collars fit you perfectly and leave some room for comfortable movement.

    • Sleeves

      Sleeves should be measured from top of the shoulder till the wrist, where you will be fastening your cuffs. Make sure you are standing straight with your arms hanging straight on your sides.

    • Chest

      Measure chest from the broadest part of your chest while holding the breath inside. Leave some room for comfort (two to three fingers depending on your preference) or you can have a pleat on the back to get a relaxed fit around abdomen.