Who makes the best dress shirt for men? That’s an impossible question to address definitively, because the answer depends on how you prioritize fit, fabric quality, style, design features, price, convenience and returns. Below are 21 dress shirts for different budgets, preferences and offices.
The menswear companies below make up a small slice of a larger ecosystem of innovative men’s style brands that are helping men dress sharp in the digital age.
Off the Rack Dress Shirts for Men
The easiest, and most practical, option for men is to buy a “ready to wear” dress shirt off-the-rack online or in a brick-and-mortar store.
Richmond, Virginia-based menswear startup Lebury has to be my favorite destination for off-the-rack dress shirts. Their shirt styles, colors and patterns are unique and among the best I’ve ever found online or in person. Stop by Ledbury’s stores in Richmond or Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood if you’re in either city. Shirts from $98.
Hugh and Crye
Washington, DC-based Hugh and Crye makes a range of professional, Oxford and business casual button down shirts for men. Their shirts feature an innovative fit system: Choose from 12 unique options that combine size (tall, average or short) with fit (skinny, slim, athletic or broad) that get you close to a custom fit. Their fit system makes it one of the best dress shirts for an athletic build. Professional shirts cost $85.
The company may be best known for chinos, but Bonobos also offers a nice line-up of “Daily Grind” dress shirts for men, priced from $98. One nice feature is the ability to visit a Bonobos guide shop to see how their clothes fit. Another is the ability to select a specific sleeve length down to the inch (32, 33, 34, etc).
Dandy & Son
Base in Oslo, Norway, Dandy and Son specializes in dress shirts for men with an extreme cutaway collar. It’s a bold, British-inspired look. (They also have less-extreme cutaway collars.) Shirts start at $59 and sometimes less on sale.
Twillory’s startup roots date all the way back to 19th Century Germany. Today, based in Long Island, Ricardo Goldschmidt, Harry Cedarbaum, Asher Weinberger and Eli Blumstein run the business that stemmed from a shirting business founded by Goldschmidt’s great-grandfather. Shirts from $99, or bundle 4 shirts for $54.99 each.
Brooks Brothers offers a versatile selection of 6 different fits including extra-slim, fitted, classic, relaxed and big-and-tall. They also offer a variety of fabrics that dictate price points, from BrooksCool to the Brooks Brothers Luxury Collection to the Golden Fleece collection. Prices range from $69.50 for a Milano slim fit dress shirt to $225 per shirt for the Golden Fleece collection. Brooks Brothers has been innovating since 1818. One of the nice things about the bricks-and-clicks brand is the ability to walk into one of its many physical stores like its concept store in Georgetown.
Mott & Bow
Mott & Bow has a nice selection of semi-spread and button down collared shirts for men that are appropriate for the office, featuring 100% cotton fabric from renowned Italian mill Albiate.
You won’t find crisp sea island cotton shirts at Taylor Stitch. What you will find are attractive solid oxford shirts, made from burly oxford fabric, and appropriate for work for $98.
Batch specializes in utility shirts. Traditionally, utility shirts are more casual, with a two front pocket design. Batch has a dressed-up line-up of work utility shirts featuring premium materials that could be appropriate for a business casual environment.
Netherlands-based Suit Supply has always been fashion-forward. It’s dress shirts, like its suits, have a little bit of an edge. Some feature flash patterns, colors or cutaway collars (some feature all three). If you live near a store, like Suit Supply’s Washington, DC shop in the Georgetown Four Seasons, you can try on a shirt in person. Shirts from $99.
Affordable Dress Shirts for Men under $50
Since it’s not practical (for most of us anyway) to buy a closet-full of expensive dress shirts, I wanted to break out a separate category of affordable dress shirts under $50.
You’re not going to find Thomas Mason fabrics at a price point of less than $50, but there are a number of brands who have built a solid reputation on delivering quality at an affordable price.
I’m convinced that Charles Tyrwhitt is one of the best dress shirt brands you can buy for under $50. Founded by serial British entrepreneur Nicholas Charles Tyrwhitt Wheeler in 1986, Charles Tyrwhitt is famous for its 4 shirts for $199 deal, which works out to just under $50 per dress shirt. Their shirts have held up exceptionally well for me over the years. (I prefer their extra slim fit, as even the regular slim fit can be blousey.) I also own several Charles Tyrwhitt neckties that I love.
Brooks Brothers 4 for $199 deal
Brooks Brothers, already mentioned above, has matched Charles Tyrwhitt’s offer of 4 dress shirts for $199. It’s unclear whether this is a limited time offer or not.
Buttoned Down and Goodthreads
Buttoned Down and Goodthreads are two of Amazon’s Prime Fashion Brands for men. Both of Amazon’s house brands offer button-down dress shirts for men, including Buttoned Down’s supima cotton non-iron dress shirt and Goodthreads’ “The Perfect Oxford Shirt.”
Uniqlo makes super-cheap dress shirts for men. Choose from slim or regular fit and either 100% cotton “super non iron” or “easycare,” which includes a 4% spandex blend for stretch. Dress shirts start at $29.90 or potentially less on sale.
Custom Dress Shirts for Men
Off-the-rack dress shirts might be the easiest option, but bespoke or made-to-measure dress shirts will produce a better, custom fit.
In particular, made-to-measure might be the best dress shirt option for skinny guys or men with an athletic build. For more background on the dizzying array of bespoke and made-to-measure clothing, see Modern Fellow’s complete guide to custom.
Here are several options for custom-made dress shirts:
Proper Cloth is a master of custom dress shirts for men. Once you get your measurements and fit preferences right and that first shirt feels perfect, it is a breeze to order new ones. Founder Seph Skerritt and his team take great pictures, have a useful customer review system in place, and offer an enviable array of fabrics and options in a format that doesn’t overwhelm. Shirts from $85. See Modern Fellows’ review of Proper Cloth dress shirts for men for more, and get a $20 discount off of your first order with this link.
Ratio Clothing founder Eric Powell runs a great company out of Colorado, and there is a lot to recommend about his shirts. For one, Ratio Clothing’s shirts are ethically-made (some made in America) yet don’t cost a fortune. In addition, Eric’s goal is to make ordering a custom fit shirt from Ratio Clothing as easy as ordering from Amazon.com by enabling customers to quickly create a custom “size blueprint.” Finally, Ratio has a wide variety of unique and colorful shirts, including campus oxfords and old school J Crew-like flannels.
Black Lapel is one my favorite online custom tailors for suits. I’ve had the chance to wear and review a number of Black Lapel’s made-to-measure suits for men. I’ve also had a chance to try Black Lapel’s white twill dress shirt ($139), which is a heavier weight option perfect for fall and winter, that has held up exceptionally well over more than 5 years of wear.
Alton Lane, Blank Label, Indochino, etc.
There are countless other online custom tailors who can make made-to-measure dress shirts. Choose from brands including Alton Lane, Apposta, Blank Label, Deo Veritas (see my interview with founder Vinnie Sikka), Hockerty, Indochino, Knot Standard and Lanieri, an Italian startup that delivers custom suits (and shirts) using premium fabrics.
Menswear shops with a brick and mortar presence including Brooks Brothers, Ledbury and Suit Supply also cut made-to-measure shirts. (Take a look inside the Suit Supply in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood to get a glimpse of their made to measure lab.)
Performance Stretch Dress Shirts for Men
Tech fabric with stretch is being implemented in everything from activewear to underwear to suits, observes DC style professional Robert Ordaway. Stretch fabrics have also resulted in a range of “performance dress shirts.”
Best known for their undershirts and underwear, Tommy Johns makes stretch performance dress shirts from a ComfortStrength™ thread fabric of 72% Cotton, 23% Nylon, and 5% Spandex. Their tech fabric shirts also feature InvisiGrip® technology to keep you “streamlined, tailored, and always tucked in.” The shirts cost $128.
Mizzen and Main
Mizzen and Main is well-known for its performance fabric clothing. It makes a wide range of performance dress shirts for men that feature a quick dry tech fabric made of an 85% Polyester 85% and 15% Spandex 15% blend. Shirts from $125.
Named after the Rhone River in Europe, Rhone specializes in clothing made from performance fabrics. Perhaps better known for men’s activewear, Rhone’s commuter dress shirt features a lightweight Italian fabric that wicks moisture and contains Nylon & Elastane. It costs $118.
What is your favorite dress shirt for men?
Who did I miss? Let me know in the comments.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
Other cool stuff:* The Essential List: These 41 innovative startup brands will transform your wardrobe
* Discover more than 30 thoughtful gift ideas for men from unique shirts to colorful socks
* Shop Modern Fellows' list of recommended menswear brands.
* Search 12 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the Modern Dad for Fathers' Day, Christmas or his birthday
* Browse our list of essential men's style books.
* Discover the best places to buy men's socks online.
* Check out these gorgeous, affordable watches with numbers
* Find Alternatives to Warby Parker that also let you try on prescription eyeglasses at home.
* Explore 10 options for amazing chinos from these menswear startup alternatives to Brooks Brothers.
* Get $25 off your first suit at Black Lapel, one of our favorite online custom tailors.
* Score $20 off your first shirt at Proper Cloth, one of our favorite online custom shirtmakers.