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Handmade shirt: Dress Shirt Front Placket Type

Three artistically designed shirts in Navy, Sand, and Bottle Green.

The term "placket" refers to a specific feature of certain garments, particularly shirts. The placket is a reinforced or folded strip of fabric located on the front edge of a shirt, designed to stabilize the opening and facilitate the ease of wearing the garment. The placket can be constructed in various ways, but it is commonly made from a folded strip of fabric. In some women's shirts, the placket may be made decorative through the use of buttons or lace. Naturally, when commissioning a bespoke shirt directly from our trusted tailor, one can choose the preferred style, but caution must be exercised to select the appropriate type based on the type of attire to be worn. In English, the term "placket" can also refer to a decorative slit or neckline found in other types of garments, such as skirts or dresses. In this article, we will focus on the placket present in men's shirts.

Computerized design of a white shirt, front and back.

The front placket of a shirt, although it may seem like a minor detail, is actually a key element that defines both the style and functionality of the shirt itself. This piece of fabric, extending along the front of the shirt where the buttons and buttonholes are located, can vary significantly in terms of design, shape, and construction. Let's explore the various types, its origins, and how it influences the overall appearance of the shirt.

1. Standard or American Placket The standard placket, also known as the American placket, is probably the most common type you will find on men's shirts. It is characterized by an additional piece of fabric that is sewn onto the front of the shirt, creating a raised strip where the buttons and buttonholes are located. This type of placket is sturdy and durable, making it ideal for casual or work shirts.

Model wearing a white shirt with the standard placket.

The placket is commonly used for casual and informal shirts. This style is characterized by the fabric of the shirt being folded outward and stitched, creating a raised strip of fabric. Sometimes, instead of a simple folding, an extra strip of fabric is added for decorative purposes. It is an excellent choice because this type of shirt is easily paired with men's ties, making the shirt highly versatile. The ability to wear it with a tie adds a touch of sophistication and allows the shirt to transition from a casual to a more polished look, suitable for various occasions.

2. French Placket The button-down shirt with a French placket, is one of the most popular options in contemporary men's clothing

Model wearing a white shirt with the French placket.

In this style, the fabric of the shirt is folded inward, leaving the buttons visible but without showing any visible stitching on the outer side of the shirt (as seen in the photo next to it). This design provides a cleaner and more formal appearance.

The front of the shirt features a minimalist design, with buttons directly sewn onto the front fabric. This style offers a clean and simple look, making it a preferred choice for formal or tailored shirts. It is perfect for occasions such as work or even ceremonial events.

3. Hidden Placket As the name suggests, the hidden placket is characterized by buttons that are hidden behind a strip of fabric positioned at the center of the shirt. To achieve this effect, an additional layer of fabric is folded and stitched over the buttons, making them invisible and not adding any bulk to the front appearance of the garment.

Model wearing a white shirt with the hidden placket. Bow tie and tuxedo.

The hidden placket gives the shirt an elegant and sophisticated look, and it is often reserved for shirts worn on special occasions such as tuxedos or formal events where it is paired with a silk bow tie. The concealed placket provides a cleaner and much more formal appearance. This style is commonly used on tuxedo shirts or evening shirts, where a sleek and uninterrupted look is desired. Many uniforms also feature the hidden placket.

4. Pleated Placket for Tuxedos The pleated placket for tuxedos is a highly appreciated and traditional formal style option for evening suits. This type of placket features ten narrow folds on both sides of a fused front panel, giving the shirt a sophisticated and refined look. A distinctive feature of this style is the possibility to replace the first four buttons with jewel buttons or studs, adding a touch of elegance and luxury to the evening suit. However, it's essential to bear in mind that the pleated front placket for tuxedos is meant exclusively for formal and gala occasions. Wearing it in work or casual contexts could be out of place and inappropriate. This type of shirt is designed to complement the evening suit, highlighting the overall elegance and class of the entire look. If you opt for a hand-sewn shirt, you should consult a skilled tailor who knows their craft well because this shirt requires a lot of technique.

Model wearing a white shirt with the tuxedo placket, black bow tie, and smoking jacket.

If you decide to opt for a shirt with a pleated front placket for your evening suit, it is advisable to keep the rest of your outfit subdued and simple. Allow the shirt to be the focal point, while the other elements of your attire, such as the suit and accessories, should be more traditional and in line with the formal dress code. This way, you can create a harmonious balance between the attention drawn to the shirt and the overall elegance of your look. Remember that the choice of placket for your tuxedo shirt depends on your personal style and the occasion you intend to wear it for. If you are attending a formal event or a gala evening, the pleated front placket can be a captivating and distinctive choice. However, if you prefer a more versatile shirt suitable for other contexts, you may opt for a simpler and more minimalist placket style.

5. Popover Placket The popover placket is undoubtedly the most casual and sporty option among the various choices available. Similar to the traditional placket, the fabric is folded on the front and stitched, but in this case, the closure is shorter and stops after approximately 17 cm of opening (plus an additional 3 cm at the bottom) and includes only three buttons. The popover shirt has a look similar to a polo shirt (although crafted with fabrics and finishes typical of a tailored shirt) and is perfect for leisure time and creating a sporty and informal style. While the market offers a plethora of polo shirts, it's important to note that if you decide to have a handmade shirt crafted by a skilled tailor with a popover placket, it will have a much more refined and elegant appearance, despite its sporty design. To summarize, when opting for a handcrafted shirt with this front opening, one should be aware that they are acquiring an extremely informal shirt more suitable for casual and relaxed situations. However, it is not appropriate to wear it with a suit or for other formal occasions. It's worth remembering that this style of shirt features an opening that extends only to the middle of the chest and, as mentioned earlier, has only three buttons. The placket, the part of the shirt that contains the buttons, is folded backward on itself, creating a sporty look.

Model wearing a black polo shirt with the 3-button popover placket.

The popover shirt is designed to be worn as an easy-to-slip-on garment, but it still features a collar, setting it apart from a simple long-sleeved t-shirt. Its structure and thicker material distinguish it from a classic polo shirt, adding a touch of elegance. Despite being a more casual option, it can be crafted with quality fabrics and refined finishes, making it suitable for well-groomed informal occasions. If you wish to wear a popover shirt, it is advisable to do so in informal and casual settings, such as leisure time or relaxed events. Avoid pairing it with suits or occasions that call for more formal attire. The popover shirt pairs well with chino pants or jeans, creating a casual yet polished look. Ensure you choose a shirt made from high-quality materials and coordinate the rest of your outfit in harmony with its casual and laid-back style. Keep in mind that the popover shirt can be seen as an alternative to a polo shirt, with an added touch of elegance. Embrace this option to create a relaxed yet well-put-together look, ideal for casual days or casual outings with friends.

Three artistically designed shirts: Sand, Dark Grey Plaid, and in the middle, a half-bust with a light bottle green half-sleeve shirt.


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