Average Vs Amazing Shirts – 20 Key Differences Between A $20 & $200 Dress Shirt

When it comes to dressing shirts, there is a world of difference between an average shirt and an extraordinary one. Fabric quality, attention to detail, and overall fit all play an integral role in creating the perfect garment. In this article, we’ll examine the 20 key differences between a $20 dress shirt and a $200 one.

How does the shirt make you feel?

It isn’t easy to judge the shirt’s worth until you’ve experienced what it does to you. Why? Take a look at the value equation for style:

The worth of a piece of clothing is the amount of wear you will get out of it, multiplied by how you feel, divided by the cost. Let’s break it down. Imagine you have a dress shirt or shining shirt for a party that costs you $20; however, you’re feeling awful (say the rating is 2/10), and you wear it five times before throwing it away to an unworn closet. The cost of that shirt will be 5×2/20= 0.5.

Let’s imagine you shell 200 dollars on a shirt that you can feel 10/10 in. You love and use it about 200 times until it eventually breaks down. The worth of this shirt is ten times 200×10 = 10.

Sure, it was ten times more than the previous one, but its value was 20x the price. That’s why purchasing a cheap item for the sake of it is a waste of money.

Fabric Quality

The fabric quality is critical in distinguishing an average dress shirt from an exceptional one. Higher-end models are crafted with luxurious fabrics such as Egyptian cotton, while budget versions rely on cheaper cotton blends.

Thread Count

A higher thread count typically signifies a superior-quality dress shirt. A $200 dress shirt might have 200-300 threads, while an average shirt only has 80-120.

Yarn Quality

The quality of yarn used to craft a dress shirt is integral to its durability and texture. Higher-end models use longer, finer yarns, creating a softer fabric with more excellent wear resistance.


The weave of a dress shirt affects its texture, durability, and breathability. Higher-end garments usually use tighter weaving for better durability and an even finish.

Dress Shirt Fit

A well-fitting dress shirt is essential for creating a professional appearance. Higher-end models often pay more attention to detail, creating an ideal fit. Furthermore, some may provide additional sizing options to get the right size.

Collar Construction

The collar construction of a dress shirt is an essential factor. Higher-end models may feature either fused or unfused collars, determining how it lays on the neck and how well it holds up over time.


Dress shirt buttons may seem like a minor detail, but they make a massive difference in the quality of the garment. Higher-end models usually use higher-grade buttons that are more durable and less likely to break or chip.


The placket is the fabric strip running down the front of a dress shirt. Higher-end garments may feature a French placket, which offers a cleaner and more refined aesthetic than standard plackets on most shirts.


Cuffs are another critical element of a dress shirt, and high-end models may feature thicker, more durable cuffs that won’t fray over time.


The stitching on a dress shirt can affect its durability and aesthetic value. Higher-end garments often feature more precise, consistent stitching for an improved aesthetic.

Buttons Sewn With “Shanked” Method

Higher-end shirts often feature buttons sewn using the “shanked” method. A small thread loop is stitched under control for extra movement and flexibility in its position – decreasing the risk of pop-offs.

Reinforced Placket And Collar

Higher-end shirts may feature reinforced plackets and collars for extra durability and structure in these areas.

Contrast Fabric 

Higher-end shirts often incorporate contrast fabric and patterns for a unique, gorgeous, and eye-catching style.

No Branding Visible

Higher-end shirts often don’t feature visible branding or logos, giving off a more understated and sophisticated aesthetic.

Attention To Detail

Some shirts are made with meticulous attention to detail, creating a sleeker, more refined appearance.

Handcrafted Components

Some higher-end shirts may feature handcrafted components, such as buttonholes or collars, adding luxury and uniqueness.

Sleeve Length

Why is this prominent? Because If the sleeves are small, you’ll be unable to purchase the shirt. If they’re too big, you could have a tailor remove the cuff, shorten the sleeve, and reattach it. It’s a costly fix but achievable. If the cuff is more than the highest point of your wristbone, the sleeves need longer.

Dress Shirt Stomach Fit

It’s similar to the chest. However, you can make it slightly more than 2 inches. The stomach of a shirt shouldn’t be too snug, but it can be adjustable.

Dress Shirt Patterns

If it’s a pattern-printed shirt with barrywang ties, examine one seam, like the shoulder seam, and check whether the patterns are in line. It might not be possible to get them to match precisely, particularly if the fabric is positioned at an angle; however, you’ll see the pattern if someone has tried.