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A Guide to Men's Dress Shirt Construction

A Guide to Men's Dress Shirt Construction
Illustration of tools for dress shirt construction

We consider ourselves to be shirt nerds here at Hugh & Crye. As such, we pay a lot of attention to the details when it comes to things like style, fit, fabrics and construction. We think that attention to detail is evident in our shirts.

A Guide to Men's Dress Shirt Construction
Contrast gussets on a men's dress shirt

The gusset is the small piece of triangular fabric sewn in where the side seam meets the hem of the shirt. It adds extra strength to this high-stress area. All of our shirts feature gussets, usually in a contrasting fabric for a little extra style. Most brands don't use a gusset because it's a difficult and time-consuming sewing technique.

Single needle stitching
Single-Needle Stitching

Single needle stitching uses two pieces of thread that lock the pieces of fabric together from both sides. A single seam is sewn, then folded over itself and sewn again. The result is a much stronger seam and a cleaner look with only one visible seam on the outside. Most mass brands use a double needle seam that is less labor intensive, but more prone to puckering and tearing.

Sewn interlining of a dress shirt

Interlining is process in which an extra piece of material is sewn in between two layers of the shirt cloth that gives our collars, cuffs and plackets extra structure and a stiffer feel. Not only does proper interlining result in a crisper, more structured look, it also helps the shirt hold up to repeated washings and ironings.

Back darts on a dress shirt

An essential element to our fit, darts are the two curved seams in the back of the shirt. They take in some of the extra fabric in the back and give a shirt a tapered shape. Few other brands use darts because it is an additional manufacturing process, and often they are reluctant to offer a truly slim fit.