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The Formal Shirt: What Sets It Apart

Businessman in blue suit adjusting his tie

What makes a shirt formal vs. not? Find out the difference here.

What makes a shirt formal? The difference between formal, business-casual, and casual clothing can set your business apart in tone and professionalism. What do you need to convey to your customers, and what is the industry standard? In the workplace and outside of it, you can find these traits that set the formal shirt apart from the rest. 

The Button-up Shirt

In men’s wear, the button-up shirt developed in the late 1800s and has since become the definition of the formal shirt. However, you might have also heard of the button-down shirt. Is there a difference? Button-down shirts have a small button securing each collar flap to the shirt and are considered less-formal button-up shirts. 

Neutral Colors

The most formal shirts use inoffensive colors that are more neutral or toned down. You might call them conservative. They stick with classics like crisp white, black, gray, navy, dark red, muted green, etc. Formal shirts are a solid color and never patterned.

High-Quality, Thicker Fabrics

High-quality shirts are made of thicker fabrics that are durable but comfortable. They have a higher thread count and are usually 100% cotton, making them breathable and soft. Women’s button-up shirts typically have a thinner fabric.

Designed for Tucking In

You will know if the shirt is meant for tucking in. Dress shirts usually tuck into the pants or skirt for a smart, streamlined look with nothing flapping about or hanging out. If it is men’s wear, the dress shirt will usually be longer than a men’s casual shirt, for the reason that it should tuck into the trousers.

Formal Shirts Are Also Comfortable

There is an idea that the more formal a garment is, the more uncomfortable it is. The truth is that men and women should be able to move about freely in their formal attire just as easily as their casualwear. A good fitting is a must, especially for work uniform purposes. There should not really be a difference between casual shirts and formal shirts concerning comfort. 

Lord Baltimore Uniform Rental offers formal work uniforms, including Oxford button-down shirts, with fittings for each employee. We will work with you on logo placement, color, size, etc. With us, you can rent, lease, or purchase. 

Trust Your Employee Uniforms to the Professionals at Lord Baltimore

For over forty years, Lord Baltimore has provided cost-effective uniform rental services throughout the East Coast, including Maryland, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

To learn more about how employee uniforms can help your business, please contact Joe Bateman at Lord Baltimore by calling 800-292-1224 or visit We also handle uniform and mat rentals and purchases for restaurants. Additionally, we also sell and rent uniforms, shop towels, fender covers, and mats for the manufacturing and automotive industries.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 29th, 2023 at 10:38 am . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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