A dress shirt is a cloth garment for the upper body garment with a collar and a full-length opening at the front, which is fastened. Originally it was an undergarment worn exclusively by men. The world’s oldest preserved garment, discovered by Flinders is a “highly sophisticated” linen shirt from a First Dynasty Egyptian tomb at Tarkan c. 3000 BC: The shoulders and sleeves have been finely pleated to give form-fitting trimness while allowing the wearer room to move.
Historically, the shirt was an item of clothing that only men could wear as underwear, until the twentieth century. Although the woman’s chemise was a closely related garment to the man’s, it is the man’s garment that became the modern shirt. In the Middle ages it was a plain, undyed garment worn next to the skin and under regular garments. In medieval artworks, the shirt is only uncovered on humble characters, such as shepherds, prisoners, and penitents. In the seventeenth century, men’s shirts were allowed to show, with much the same erotic impact as lace underwear today. Even as late as 1879, a visible shirt with nothing over it was considered improper.
The shirt sometimes had frills at the neck or cuffs. In the sixteenth century, men’s shirts were often embroidered, had lace trimmings at the neck and cuffs and through the eighteenth century long neck frills (jabots) were very fashionable. Colored (usually blue) shirts began to appear in the early nineteenth century. They were considered casual wear, for lower-class workers only, until the twentieth century. For a gentleman, to wear blue shirt was unthinkable in 1860 but had become standard in men’s wardrobe in about hundred years.
Started their way as an undergarment, today dress shirts are still worn closest to the body. That’s why everything is important – fabric, fit, buttons and tailors precision. Take the time to read our tips, come to our stores and choose the shirt that compliments you.