The Best Men’s Dress Shirts That Blend Old-School Sartorial With Modern Technology


Life might be riddled with sweats, but the best dress shirts will still make you look and feel like a million bucks. Worn by itself or part of an ensemble with a suit or sports jacket, some dress shoes, and a sleek leather belt, a well-fitting shirt Supermans an outfit, swooping in to save the day (or night) with its crisp lines and powerful aesthetic.

But in the world of proper shirting, there’s so much to know. If you’re used to alpha sizing (small, medium, etc.), making the translation into neck and sleeve sizing can be confusing. Also, what’s the best type of dress shirt collar for your face or body type? And furthermore, what’s the deal with collar buttons?

Features to Look for When Shopping for Dress Shirts

First, a quick style 101 before diving into the best dress shirts and how to find them.

Dress Shirt Collar Styles

It’s easy to distinguish the difference between a button-up shirt and a button-down shirt; the former has no collar buttons while the latter does. But the level of formality? That all ties back to the collar style where you’d knot a tie. From the vintage vibes of club collars to the expansive elegance of spread collars, dress shirts have many varieties.

While each has its situational merits, it’s best to stick to either straight collar or spread collar shirts. The points of a straight collar fall just outside of the button placket on both sides whereas those of a spread collar fall a little wider. Both are classic and versatile, which makes them easy to wear in a variety of situations. The button-down collar is a similar variation, and it’s a great pick for more casual looks. Once you have some straight or spread collar dress shirts in your rotation, try experimenting with cutaway, wing, and band collars. They’ll add some flavor to your wardrobe choices.

Dress Shirt Fabric Types

Traditionally, the best men’s dress shirts have been made from cotton, linen, or blends of those fabrics. With the advent of modern fabric technology, many brands have also started to utilize synthetic materials like polyester in their dress shirts. Here’s what you need to know about the various fabric options before buying.

Cotton, the perennial favorite for dress shirts, is lauded for its soft feel against the skin and its versatility. From high-powered boardroom meetings to leisurely Sunday brunches, cotton dress shirts strike the right style chord. Cotton gets a bad rap in performance apparel because it absorbs moisture and sweat, but this is less of a concern for dress shirts (though cotton shirts can show sweat marks if things heat up). It’s plenty breathable for day-to-day wear, and it has a naturally comfortable feel that synthetics just can’t match.

Linen, a quintessential summer fabric, is woven from flax and offers exceptional breathability, making it a top choice for warmer climates. The downside? It wrinkles easily—a potential issue if you’re aiming for a crisp, professional look.

In recent years, synthetic fabrics have entered the fray. Polyester, with its moisture-wicking properties, helps keep you dry, while elastane adds stretchiness for enhanced freedom of movement. If flexibility is the goal, these are the best dress shirts for you. But synthetics don’t quite match the premium look and feel of cotton or linen. Hybrids do exist, however, and can be very nice-looking. 

Dress Shirt Cuffs Styles

There are two primary dress shirt cuff styles to know about. The single cuff (a.k.a. barrel cuff) features sewn-in buttons and is easy to roll up. The double (or French) cuff, an often-lauded symbol of wealth, has an extra swatch of fabric that folds back and fastens with cufflinks or studs. Though the double cuff has traditionally been an integral part of the classic tuxedo ensemble, many guys now lean towards the ease of a single cuff. Unless you really love cufflinks and dress formally often, opt for dress shirts with single cuffs.

How to Wear Men’s Dress Shirts

When do you break out the big guns and don the dress shirt? The obvious answer is when you’re attending formal events: weddings, galas, award ceremonies, and similar occasions. But don’t feel the need to limit yourself to stuffy black-tie affairs. While the 9-to-5 uniform has taken a casual turn, a crisp dress shirt (blazer optional) can still turn heads in the office or elevate your look for an upscale dinner.

Every man needs a few good dress shirts in his arsenal. With special consideration given to collar style, fabrication, cuffs, and today’s trends, these are the best dress shirts for men

Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission. 

The Best Men’s Dress Shirts of 2023

Courtesy of Calvin Klein

Technically, this cotton-spandex blend dress shirt is like a fully loaded car. It’s stretchy, machine-washable, non-iron, and moisture-wicking. The slight sheen of the fabric creates a crisp, sleek look that looks great on its own and doesn’t distract from whatever neckwear, sports jacket, or other flourishes create the rest of the outfit. It comes in plenty of colors and is reasonably priced so you can afford to grab the basic white and powder blue and then some.

Colorways: 9

Fabrics: 96% cotton, 4% spandex

Sizes: 14”-18.5” neck, 32”-37” sleeve

Pros Cons

Easy to care for

The combination of stretch fabric and slim fit can still feel restrictive

Looks good with or without a tie


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Courtesy of The Tie Bar

Despite the name, The Tie Bar isn’t just the ultimate destination for neckwear anymore. The brand now offers guys some of the best affordable dress shirts and polos around. The herringbone style, non-iron cotton shirt, inspired by one of Pantone’s recent colors of the year, is a Tie Bar bestseller. The shirt features a semi-spread collar that looks killer without a tie, a subtle textured pattern, and a shorter length that can be worn untucked.

Colorways: 1

Fabrics: 100% cotton

Sizes: XS-XL

Pros Cons

Non-iron fabric

Slim cut might not fit more athletic builds

Versatile color


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Courtesy of Brooks Brothers

Embrace the timeless elegance of Brooks Brothers with this non-iron dress shirt. Crafted from American-grown Supima cotton with a touch of elastane for added stretch, it’s finished with an Ainsley collar that measures four inches from point to point. With its signature barrel cuffs and pucker-free seams, this shirt sets the standard for quality construction and details.

Colorways: 3

Fabrics: 97% cotton, 3% elastane

Sizes: 14.5/32-18.5/35

Pros Cons

Non-iron fabric


Roomy fit


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Courtesy of Mizzen + Main

Say yes to a dress shirt that works as hard as you do. Mizzen + Main’s Leeward shirt is wrinkle-proof, quick-drying, and boasts a four-way stretch fabric for ultimate comfort on warmer days. Plus, it’s cut to mid-zipper length for a clean drape when worn untucked.

Colorways: 29

Fabrics: 88% polyester, 12% elastane

Sizes: S-XXL; trim & classic fit; regular & tall cut

Pros Cons

Wrinkle-proof, quick-drying fabric

Synthetic fabrics aren’t as soft as cotton

Looks good untucked


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Courtesy of Bonobos

The Jetsetter Stretch Dress Shirt from Bonobos is a dependably comfortable, well-fitting dress shirt made from premium stretch fabric. With its huge range of original patterns and colors and four fit options, this shirt is a versatile wardrobe staple that can work for just about anybody.

Colorways: 37

Fabrics: 95% cotton, 5% elastane

Sizes: 15/32-17.5/36; slim, tailored, standard, & athletic fit

Pros Cons

Premium stretch fabric

Only spread or semi-spread collars available

Multiple fits

Wide range of color options


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Courtesy of J.Crew

J.Crew’s Ludlow suiting collection is always a hit. This dress shirt is crafted from a 100% cotton fabric with a super-soft hand feel and a featherlight drape on the torso. The French placket (a button placket style that doesn’t “fold back,” unlike the standard front placket) and spread collar add an extra dash of dapper.

Colorways: 1

Fabrics: 100% cotton

Sizes: 14.5/32-17.5/36

Pros Cons

A great foundation for a J.Crew suit

French placket is slightly harder to iron

Stylish details


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Courtesy of Charles Tyrwhitt

Inspired by the brand’s early days in Bristol, this Charles Tyrwhitt non-iron dress shirt converges traditional menswear with the modern man’s desire for comfort. Added stretch allows you to flex, whether you’re in the classic, slim, or extra slim fit offered in the Clifton Weave fabric dress shirt. While it comes in core colors like white and light blue, the oatmeal presents the option to venture into the world of earth tones—a raging trend not just for fall, but anytime outfits, recently. If opting for a tie, the brand recommends a classic Windsor to complement the spread collar. Otherwise, unbutton a few to chill the vibe.

Colorways: 9

Fabrics: 100% Cotton

Sizes: 14.5-20 neck, 32-38 sleeve (custom available); classic, slim, & extra slim

Pros Cons

Offers some flexibility

No solid gray option


Multi-buy discount with four or more shirts


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Courtesy of J.Crew

Like denim, chambray is a cotton fabric, but where the former is thick and stiff the latter is light and soft. This chambray shirt from J.Crew is made from 100% organic cotton and hits the classic American notes that you expect a J.Crew shirt to hit. It’s vaguely inspired by workwear with subtle dressier touches like a button-down collar, with the end resulting in a nice balance of casual and formal.

Colorways: 1

Fabrics: 100% organic cotton

Sizes: XS-XXL; classic, slim, slim untucked, tall & relaxed fit

Pros Cons

Five year wash won’t fade in the laundry

Leans too casual for truly buttoned-up occasions

Available in five different fits, including slim untucked


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Courtesy of Everlane

This Oxford is a bestseller for a reason. It’s made from all-organic cotton that’s been ethically farmed and is free of nasty chemicals. It also offers a more relaxed fit. It’s a great choice for more casual occasions and pairs well with khaki pants, light-wash denim, and a good pair of sneakers

Colorways: 6

Fabrics: 100% organic cotton

Sizes: XS-XXL

Pros Cons

One-year warranty against damage

Fabric isn’t very stretchy

Roomy fit


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Courtesy of Amazon

The Untuckit brand has been built in the chasm between the casual and the dressy, and the Gironde is perhaps the dressiest that a shirt designed to be worn untucked can look. The nylon-elastane blend is stretchy and wrinkle-resistant while the reinforced collar stays crisp longer than most. It might not be the shirt you’d wear with a full suit, but it is a way to look polished and put together in business casual settings where a classic dress shirt isn’t the move.

Colorways: 2

Fabrics: 92% nylon, 8% elastane

Sizes: S-XXL; regular & slim fit

Pros Cons

Available in lots of sizes (that do tend to run small)

Can’t be worn tucked in due to the shorter hemline

Best way to look put together with an untucked collared shirt


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Courtesy of L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean’s pinpoint Oxford dress shirt promises a crisp, ironed look without the hassle of actually ironing. It’s made from a wrinkle-resistant cotton fabric that is, in a word, convenient. With a relaxed fit through the chest,..

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