Building Blocks of Menswear: Dress Shirt


The men's dress shirt has revolutionized women's fashion in more ways than people notice. Women had the option of maintaining a professional appearance while achieve all their goals from their career. As it turns out, the dress shirt began as a status symbol for men. However as the years went on, it truly changed...

Used as an undergarment in the 17th century, the dress shirt became the most popular attire for men of all walks of life. There was one distinct style with different embellishments, cuffs and collars that would signify status and wealth. Fast forward to the 19th century, dress shirts were used to separate white-collar workers (corporate) from blue-collar workers (industrial/labor). As women continued to rebel in the '70s, many hippies attach to the trend and designers followed suit. 

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There are three styles of dress shirts: bespoke, made-to-measure and off-the-rack. Bespoke and made-to-measure are customized clothing. The difference being bepsoke is completely custom made from fabric to fits, while made-to-measure has existing patterns that can be tailored to the wearer's body type. Off-the-rack is the most common style to the population. They are shirts with the same design, pattern or color manufactured in large quantities. Sizes are based off of general measurements ranging from XS-XL, in some cases larger. Shirts even had different fit styles- traditional, regular and slim.

What was once the dress shirt evolved into the woman's blouse. A garment covering the body from the shoulders to the waistline, with or without a collar and sleeves, the blouse has become the essential piece for women's work clothes. Nowadays, blouses are stylized with pockets, cuffs and buttons going mid-way. As addressed yesterday, it's modesty only propels any woman above her male counterparts. Keeping all attention to what you contribute and eliminates the male gaze. 

Want to learn more about the blouse? Read this NYT articles about the rebirth of the blouse.


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