Home / 8 Things To Consider When Buying A Men's Casual Shirt
Men's Casual Author Button Up Shirt in Blue

What To Look For in Great Casual Shirts

Here are the 8 things you should consider when buying mens casual shirts

With the workplace becoming less formal, casual shirts are fast becoming an essential part of the modern man’s wardrobe. Able to dress up for the office in a business casual outfit or wear to get drinks or on the weekend, a casual shirt is a versatile workhorse. Understanding the key parts that make up casual shirts will helps you make informed decisions when buying them. Below, we take a look at these details one by one.


1. Casual Fabric

The right fabric is essential when buying a casual shirt. You want to be comfortable, yet have a casual look, not too clean and stuffy. Most casual shirts are either 100% cotton or 98% cotton 2% spandex for a bit of extra ease across your chest and shoulders. Cotton is the best option for breathability, comfort, classic look, and easy care. The weaves you want to consider are twill, poplin (plain weave) and oxford in this order. These are the most classic and well rounded. See our Shirt Fabric Weaves Guide and Understanding Fabric Weight for even more information on fabrics.
Men's Cotton Poplin Shirting Fabric

2. Casual Fit

The right fit of your shirts will make or break the look. Many casual shirts are simply too boxy. Trying to fit "all" body types has made them fit no one well. A casual shirt *should* look well tailored. Casual does not mean sloppy, it's more in reference to the a more relaxed fabric and softer collar and cuffs. Many people make this boxy fit mistake to their detriment.
Men's Casual Inventor Button Up Shirt in Navy

3. Casual Pockets

Not all casual shirts have pockets, but many do to add additional functionality as well as a unique style not found on your dress shirts. A casual shirt can have 1 pocket or 2 pockets on the front. These pockets can have a range of style details, from pocket flaps to button details. Find some casual shirts with pockets here.
Men's Casual Builder Button Up Shirt in Gray

4. Casual Collars and Cuffs

You won’t see any stiff collars or french cuffs on a casual shirt. The most common collars for casual shirts are a simple spread or button down collars. The most common cuff is a barrel cuff with mitered or a round corner. The key hidden factor in both collars and cuffs is the interlining, this is the extra layer of fabric that adds "body" and slight stiffness. A great casual shirt has sewn in interlining as opposed to ironed on interlining, it is much more supple and gives a more natural feel and look. You can tell when a casual shirt uses cheaper ironed on interlining as the collar or cuff will feel stiff like cardboard. The opposite to how a casual shirt should look. For more information on collars please see our complete Shirt Collar Style Guide.
Mitered Cuff on Men's Button Up Shirt

5. Casual Shirt Hem

Casual shirts are naturally worn untucked, so you want to make sure the bottom is a shirttail shape (rounded hem). The shirttail is classic and flattering when worn untucked, the round shape helps conceal your belly and butt and transitions well over pants or shorts. Straight hem shirts are a good alternative to curved hems, but this look does not work for everyone depending on your body type. Shirttails can easily be tucked in, if needed, for a more professional look.
Men's Casual Purist Two Pocket Button Up Shirt in Fatigue Green

6. Casual Seams

Seams add texture and structure to your casual shirts. Reinforced seams also known as flat felled seams slightly pucker and add a masculine durability to your look, as well as to the shirt. Flat felled seams have a clean look on the outside of the shirt, as well as a comfortable feel on the inside. Poorly made casual shirts have a simple basic surge seam which has looped threads showing on the inside, these can get caught and rip easily creating a short lifespan for your casual shirts.
Seams on Men's Button Up Shirt

7. Casual Buttons & Snaps

There are several buttons and snaps that can be used on a casual shirt to add both style and durability. High quality closures add a touch of luxury and masculinity to casual shirts, such as mother-of-pearl (high-quality, natural shell that adds luxury in a subtle way) and metal (more durable; won't crack or melt). You can find more information on our buttons here. Button placement on the front of the shirt is also key. You want to be able to comfortably button your shirt all the way up if needed for the office (without any bumps appearing on the front placket), also importantly you want to be able to unbutton the top one or two buttons for the quintessential casual look.
Mother-of-Pearl and Metal Buttons on Men's Button Up Shirt

8. Casual Stitching

This might seem minor, but small things make a great difference to the life of your shirts. Great casual shirts are stitched using single needle 2 thread sewing machine for the finest and most durable shirt construction (the stitch should look the same inside and outside). Shirts with less quality are stitched with what is known as a chain stitch (looks like a straight stitch on the outside and a chain on the inside), it is a faster machine, so it benefits the production time. But this comes at a cost, if a chain stitch is cut by accident those seams are much more likely to unravel and can easily ruin a whole shirt.
Men's Casual Author Button Up Shirt in Blue Close-Up On Stitching
Understanding the details of a casual shirt helps you decide on the best long lasting option to add to your wardrobe. Batch Men's uses high quality components to give you a versatile and stylish casual shirt that you can wear both to the office or drinks with friends. Shop Batch Men's casual shirts here.