The buttonhole on the neck band and one at the bottom of the front placket should be cut horizontally for easy movement, a centimetre more for comfort. Rest should be cut vertically.
The shape and number of buttons can vary. But the fit should be such that a watch can be comfortably worn under the shirt fabric. Pleats on the cuffs should never be too deep. The cuff attachment should always look straight.
The armhole of ready-to-wear shirts is cut generously to ensure that most men will find them comfortable. The problem with this is that if your arm doesn’t fill the armhole you’re left with a lot of loose fabric under your arm. Getting the armhole fit right is very important.
Mother of pearl buttons. Collarbones to keep collar straight and upright.
Monogram should be tone on tone on the bottom edge of the cuff, elegantly and casually visible from under the jacket sleeve. A few cms of the cuff should always be visible outside the jacket sleeve.
Front placket can vary from classic,hidden bottom or no placket at all.
Shapes may vary from cut away to French collar but my favourite is the stitchless hidden-down button classical collar . Perfect for any occasion. The collar should have no creases; be perfectly fused without feeling like cardboard; should be upright when not wearing a tie, and at no time should lie flat or spread open like wings. When wearing a jacket with a shirt, a well-made collar should be about 1.5 cm taller than the jacket collar at the back.
The perfect shirt sleeve should always have a straight and tubular shape, never too loose or too full.
My ultimate shirt fabric is Fine Sea Island cotton.Their fibers are much longer than other cottons, and thus easy to spin into smoother yarns. The feel is incredibly comfortable.
Pockets make a work shirt look smart, but I prefer a no pocket shirt.
Vito Dell’Erba is Creative Director, Raymond Ltd.