Anatomy of a Dress Shirt

In the world of men’s dress shirts, there are a lot of pieces and parts. This ultimate guide will teach you the anatomy of a shirt: what every part does, where they go in relation to one another, and why they are so critical for achieving crisp lines and sharp creases.

A shirt is a garment made from cloth that covers the chest and back. Most of the time, this item will be used to cover your upper body but can also be worn for other purposes like working out or sleeping in. The purpose of wearing a shirt depends on where you are located and what the weather condition is outside at the moment.

The purpose of wearing a shirt is to cover the chest and back. When you’re standing, your clothes will be touching your skin which causes friction with every single movement that you make. This creates wrinkles in the fabric, so when sitting or bending over it becomes more difficult for those creases to line up with the creases in your shirt.

  • Colar: this is the top of your shirt. It can be plain, fancy, or have a button on it like in an Oxford shirt
  • Yoke: this piece is sewn to the front and back pieces of fabric that make up the bodice so they lay flat against each other
  • Label: this will always say what type of garment you are wearing, which is important for a quality product
  • Pocket: this can be in any type of shirt. This pocket will hold items like money or your cell phone
  • Plackett: the plackett has two pieces that are usually sewn with one continuous stitch and folded over to create an open space between them. It’s usual purpose is to close up the opening so you don’t see the buttons on your shirt when it’s tucked in or unbuttoned
  • Sleeve: sleeves go around your arm and end at about halfway down from where they meet
  • Gaulet (optional): these are more decorative than functional, but some people choose not to have gaulets because they worry too much wear and tear might damage their shirt
  • Cuff: these are the parts between the sleeve and the shirt, which is usually made from a fabric that can stretch so you have more room to move your arm around
  • Body: this part of your shirt covers most of you. It’s also called “the yoke” or “back body.” You may see some buttons on it if there’s no collar at all.

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