For the professional landscape, choosing a business shirt goes beyond selecting the right colours and prints.
Other decisions must be made for professionality, fit, style, and fabric. If you’re seeking a guide to designing your business shirt or company uniform, look no further.
Below are my five essentials to shirt decision-making:
1. Right fit for each body type
No two people are the same and neither are their shirt requirements. Finding the right fit for you or your business is not only important aesthetically, but also for maximum comfort and practicality. The intention is to create clean lines flattering to the body without tension or bellowing.
Most brands offer a slim fit, classic fit, or easy fit to ensure you get the right style. Generally speaking, the right business shirt will be nicely fitted to the body with little excess fabric, with shoulder seams sitting just on your shoulder and sleeves finishing comfortably at your wrist.
2. Cool fabrics
Australia’s subtropical climate leaves little to the imagination in terms of humidity and heat, so choosing the right fabric is essential to your comfort, especially during the warmer months.
A natural fibre such as cotton will allow for better air circulation, which helps to remove and absorb body moisture. The main benefit of cotton is that it is hypoallergenic which means it is the best choice for people who suffer from asthma or allergies, or those who have sensitive skin prone to irritation.
The texture of your shirt fabric is important too – opt for two ply cottons that have a rich handle to them either in plain sateen, twill or herringbone texture. For personal or business use, avoid full synthetic fabrics that can look shiny or cheap and aren’t as breathable as cotton.
3. Machine washable
In a recent survey conducted by Shirt Studio Corporate with over 1,000 participants, it was found that 95 per cent of people considered machine washable fabrics to be very important when selecting a business shirt, as opposed to dry cleaning.
Seventy-two per cent of respondents also said it was very important that shirts were easy to iron, with minimum fuss required – particularly with a busy working schedule or long office hours. Life is busy enough! With this in mind, avoid buying a shirt that requires extra special care.
Dry cleaning your shirt each week will shorten its life span. For laundering, if doing it yourself is not your thing, ask your dry cleaner to launder your shirts (but not dry clean).
4. Pay attention to detail
There are standard business shirts and then there are quality shirts with stand-out features. Features to look out for in a quality garment are well fused stiff collars, removable collar stays, neatly finished stitching – preferably French seams, and darted shirts to create a more tailored and professional-looking fit.
5. Branding, branding, branding!
Shirts provide identity and unity for you and staff members, but also act as one of the most powerful marketing tools available. If you are implementing a shirt uniform for your company, your staff will be instantly associated with your organisation when spotted in your uniform.
Ensuring that branding, corporate colours and logo representation on uniform across all marketing and advertising activities is essential to creating an ‘identity’ for your business and your employees.
Fiona Anchal is the creative director at Shirt Studio Corporate.