How To Buy A Shirt – Buying Checklist [2024]

Expert Opinion By Fashion Writer & Doodler

Many of us have the dream of having a wardrobe that is filled with high-quality and stylish shirts.

But, the question arises of how to buy a shirt.

Shopping for clothing when comes to buying a shirt is an arduous task.

There are numerous things that you have to consider and before you know it your head will be spinning from all the options available.

The shirts that you have in your closet are the best way to express yourself.

There is a shirt for every occasion, whether it be casual or formal.

Choosing which t-shirt or polo will fit your needs can be difficult.

There are many things to consider, such as style, color, length of sleeves, material, and more.

How to choose the best stuff for your casual t-shirts?

So you can get what you need without having to make multiple trips from store to store.

Also, discuss how to choose the right t-shirts for different occasions and what brands are worth investing in.

The best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to have a checklist that helps you buy shirts the right way and avoid the hassle of regrets or an embarrassing incident.

Checklist For Buying A Shirt:

  • Measure yourself to determine your size.
  • Choose the style of shirt you like.
  • Select the right fabric.
  • Make sure the shirt fits well.
  • Check the care label before washing.
  • Color and print should not be overlooked.

Most Important Criteria For Buying A Shirt

Source: Youtube

1. Size And Fitting

Steps you can take to make sure the shirt fits correctly:

1.1 Measure Yourself To Determine Your Size

Button up one of your dress shirts and place it next to an expensive formal dress shirt.

Notice how much larger the casual t-shirt is;

This should help clue you in on what size button-down collar or tie fits best around your neck.

i. Check Accurate Measurements
A Man Giving Measurements For Shirt Stitching

If possible, your friend help you take measurements.

Measure around the widest part of your chest and upper back, which is typically right underneath where your armpits are located.

This measurement will be used to purchase formal dress shirts that fit comfortably without strangling.

ii. Follow the size chart

Look at size charts for different brands, so you know which sizes will fit the average height and size.

This way, if a brand runs small or large, you won’t end up with shirts that don’t fit well. It also helps save time because when in doubt order the next size up.

If you’re unsure about sizing, always opt for a larger size so that you can have the shirt tailored to fit perfectly.

However, there are general sizes available for men and women to choose from:

General Shirt Sizes For Men

General Men's T-Shirt Size

General Women’s Shirt Sizes

General Women's T-Shirt Size

1.2 Make Sure The Shirt Fits Well

If you can’t have a friend measure for you, look in the mirror and make sure your shirt isn’t too tight.

Try holding up both sides of your collar to see if they stay level when secured at the center with a tie.

Check out different casual t-shirts that fit well with other people to get an idea of what type of casual t-shirt fits best. 

2. Select The Right Fabric

best fabric for shirt

The fabric and fiber content of the shirt are the most important factors for me to consider.

Usually, t-shirts are made from 100% cotton, a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers, or 100% polyester.

For thinner cheaper t-shirts, a jersey is used, for thicker t-shirts, a sweatshirt jersey is used.

The interlock fabric is used for more drapey and expensive t-shirts.

Stretchy t-shirts are made of cotton spandex.

In contrast to jersey knit, interlock knit is densely made, durable, and won’t curl up.

The fabric your t-shirt is made of will affect how comfortable you are, and that will depend on where you’re wearing the shirt.

If you’re going to wear a T-shirt in a hot climate, you should have a fabric configuration that’s 100% cotton.

In an air-conditioned room, it doesn’t matter if your t-shirt has polyester fibers mixed in with the cotton fibers if you live in a tropical climate.

There are also additional benefits associated with synthetic fibers, such as colorfastness, reduced shrinkage after washing, stability, wrinkle resistance, and ease of maintenance.

A cotton t-shirt is comfortable and water-resistant.

You can’t go wrong with a Ring spun cotton t-shirt – they’re soft, durable, and lightweight.

Cotton and polyester blends make t-shirt fabric softer and more durable than cotton.

The softest t-shirts are made from a rayon-polyester-cotton blend.

There are some great t-shirts made of 50% polyester, 25% ringspun cotton, and 25% rayon.

It’s called a tri-blend t-shirt because it has the durability of polyester, the absorbency and comfort of cotton, and the softness and drape of rayon.

It might not be comfortable to wear 100% polyester t-shirts all the time,

but they’re great for sports activities because they’re lightweight, stretchy, and wick sweat away from the body and evaporate quickly.

That’s not the case with cotton.

Despite absorbing sweat, cotton stays wet for longer.

Polyester tees dry fast.

Fine cotton is a versatile material that makes ideal dress t-shirts since it is breathable, crisp, and light.

Cotton dress shirts, whether worn alone or with a suit jacket, are sure to make you look sharp and fashionable.

Linen is another great option if you live in a hot environment or want something a little more casual.

This fabric, made from silk, is extremely cool and effective in wicking perspiration away from the body.

It does, however, have a more laid-back vibe to it.

As well as a unique coarse texture that may not be to everyone’s taste.

An oxford t-shirt is an excellent choice for a more casual look because it is a bit thicker than a fine cotton shirt.

It is also a good choice for outdoor occasions,

Since it is slightly thinner than a fine cotton shirt.

This fabric might be good for you if durability and usability are important to you.

3. Choose The Style Of Shirt You Like


When shopping, try on different t-shirt or dress shirt styles that catch your attention and see which ones you like the most.

If possible, bring someone along to help you decide,

Since they will be able to give an unbiased opinion of what works well together with other pieces in your wardrobe.

Choose shirts according to:

  • Fitting Types
  • Collar Styles
  • Colors & Patterns
  • Cuff Styles
  • Styles & Details
  • Brand

3.1 Fitting Types

Depending on a variety of factors, the fit of a dress shirt can vary greatly.

There is no truly “standard” fit across menswear rather, there are different fits that suit different people and cater to their needs.

  • Modern-Fit Dress Suit
  • Slim Fit Dress Shirt
  • Skinny Fit Casual t-Shirts
  • Classic Fit Formal Shirts

3.2 Collar Styles

The most common collar types are:

  • Straight Point Collar
  • Semi-Spread Collar
  • Long Button-Down Collar
  • Short Button-Down Collar
  • Club Collar
  • Wingtip Collar
  • Cutaway Collar
  • Band Collar

Different collar styles can add value to your attire but if you want to wear a collarless shirt then read this guide for styling with the collarless shirt.

3.3 Cuff Styles

A cuff is a small piece of fabric that goes around your wrist and can be found on the bottom half of dress shirts.

It’s important because it helps determine how formal or non-formal an outfit will look from thereon out.

cuffs have just as big if not greater impact on our overall impression!

To look more stylish read our guide on how to wear cufflinks.

Dress Shirt Cuff Styles
Dress Shirt Cuff Styles

The most common cuff styles are:

  • Barrel Cuff
  • Single Cuff
  • French Cuff
  • Cocktail Cuff
  • Convertible Cuff

3.4 Colors And Patterns

Casual Shirt Colors & Patterns

It depends on your taste – and other factors like color wheel combinations and stuff like that.

When selecting a dress shirt, it’s usually best to go with a solid color.

However, if you’re wanting something more unique, don’t be afraid to choose a shirt with a pattern.

The common shirt colors and patterns are:

  • Solids and vivid patterns – only for casual/social wear
  • White with a light stripe or check – typical business attire
  • Plain white – the ultimate in business formality
  • Solid colors – casual business attire

3.5 Dress Shirt Styles & Details

All work t-shirt styles are embellished with numerous elements all over the t-shirt.

It distinguishes each one from the others.

These tiny things are becoming increasingly rare in today’s world.

In the end, many minor details such as inscriptions and designs on plastic buttons have become commonplace.

3.6 Brand

There are a few well-known brands that sell high-quality dress shirts.

Some of these brands include:

  • Brooks Brothers
  • J.Crew
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Polo
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Good Thread

These brands offer a wide variety of shirt styles to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

Additionally, these brands typically use high-quality materials in their shirts, so you can be sure you’re getting a shirt that will last for years to come.

4. Printed Shirt Designs

Printed Shirt

There are times when the designs on a t-shirt come before the fabric or anything else.

All other considerations can pale in comparison to your love for the artwork, cool texts, quotes, etc on the t-shirt fronts.

5. Occasion – Where Are You Going To Wear Your Shirt Or T-Shirt

You should consider the purpose of wearing a t-shirt – though even before that, consider the occasion.

T-shirts aren’t usually worn to formal events.

It depends on the occasion where you’re wearing one.

All of these things need different considerations, whether you’re at the gym, playing football, or going out with your friends.

Read this guide for styling yourself for different occasions.

A t-shirt that disperses perspiration and dries quickly is perfect for sports.

Football Jersey t-shirts are made from 100% Polyester.

When you’re relaxing at home, a t-shirt made of natural fibers will be more comfortable.

Long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts with hoodies or layers of t-shirts are great for winter outings.

5.1 Difference Between Formal Shirts and Casual Shirts


People’s dress shirts can be worn for many different occasions.

Formal and casual, they all serve the same function: to help you look your best in any situation with ease!

Though there may seem like a lot of variety when it comes down to choosing between them t-shirts come in various colors.

Everything really boils down to two categories formal or informal, collared vs un-collared.

There’s also an additional level below those two options called semi-formals which fall somewhere along this spectrum

But deviate from their counterparts by having buttons rather than closures near the neckline.

Features of Formal T Shirts

  • They are always white or some basic colors.
  • Formal dress shirts have a strong collar that can be folded in a variety of different ways.
  • They’re usually paired with a tie.
  • The fabric and fabric weight of formal dress shirts is of great quality, and they have a tail bottom hem since they are designed to be tucked in.
  • They’ve got French cuffs on them.

Features of In-Formal Shirts

  • The casual dress T-shirt is frequently multicolored but not plain unless it is linen.
  • They have one or two pockets on the front.
  • They don’t have a bottom hem because they’re designed to untuck.
  • The cuff and collar can be made of contrasting fabric.
  • They don’t require a tie to be worn.
  • Down the collar, the buttons are less structured.

6. Don’t Ignore Customer Reviews

Check out shirt reviews to find out if a certain shirt is worth buying by reading about other people’s experiences with it.

This will help you avoid wasting time on shirts that don’t fit well or aren’t comfortable after wearing them for a few hours.

Make sure shirts are made of breathable material like cotton or linen to help you stay comfortable all day long.

Whether it be inside your air-conditioned office or outside on warm or summer days.

Some other materials dress t-shirts can be made out of include silk, polyester, wool, and rayon;

Make sure casual t-shirts made of these materials are blended with other shirt fabrics to prevent overheating.

Wrapping It Up – How To Buy A Shirt

As a professional, you have to know what makes for an appropriate outfit and how best suits your needs.

After all the research I’ve done on different dress shirt styles here are my top recommendations.

The first step in finding the perfect business shirt is determining which style works with both business casual occasions

As well as more formal events such as weddings or holiday parties.

There isn’t one right answer when choosing from amongst these selections.

It depends entirely based off personal preference.

Once the above-mentioned criteria have been established taking into account other factors including size shape fits etc, you are good to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best fabric for a casual shirt?

Linen, oxford shirt, cotton, or denim would be our perfect choices when it comes to formal shirt materials.

What color of shirts should men own?

Men should absolutely have a few informal shirts in their closets, as they may be dressed for a variety of occasions due to their versatility. We suggest sticking to the essentials – white, blue, and black – and then adding a few brighter colors or prints for those moments when you truly want to stand out.

What to look for when buying a shirt?

These things must be considered when buying a shirt
1. Check out the style of shirts
2. See the Brand
3. look at the material
4. check the reviews

Tasha Juli
Tasha Juli Korman is a fashion and lifestyle blogger. She has been blogging for over five years now and found her niche in the world of style! Whether it's taking you on a personal journey through her wardrobe or sharing outfits that match your own personal style, you enjoy following along.