Which black dress shirt is best?

The black dress shirt is among the most versatile pieces of clothing anyone can keep in their closet. It works for most professional events but is also easy to dress down. It is easy to pair with accessories but also looks great when worn on its own.

The best black dress shirt is the Calvin Klein Dress Shirt Slim Fit Noniron Herringbone. It’s 100% cotton, making it soft and moisture-wicking, and it’s available in most sizes.

What to know before you buy a black dress shirt

Fit

Black dress shirts typically come in three fits: regular, slim and full.

  • Regular fit is the standard other fits are based against. It is a little loose and relaxed around most areas of the body and usually works when tucked or untucked.
  • Slim fit, also known as athletic or tailored fit, is tight around most areas of the body. It’s best for lean bodies because it will feel and look too tight otherwise. It should also be kept tucked in.
  • Full fit, also known as loose, is loose around the body. It’s best for those with larger or especially muscular bodies. It’s also best kept tucked in because it can seem tent-ish if worn untucked.

Finding the right size

Besides choosing the right fit, you also need to make sure your neck, chest, arms and waist measurements align with the shirts.

  • Neck measurements are taken where the neck meets the shoulders.
  • Chest measurements are taken around the chest and just under the armpits.
  • Arm measurements are taken in two steps. First, measure from the back of the neck to where your shoulder ends and your arm begins. Secondly, measure from that point to your wrist and add the numbers together.
  • Waist measurements are taken around the torso where the navel is.

What to look for in a quality black dress shirt

Material

Most black dress shirts are made of cotton or cotton blends, but there are also a few specialty materials.

  • Cotton is most common simply due to its comfort. It’s soft, breathable and sweat-wicking, plus it’s almost always machine-washable.
  • Cotton blends introduce synthetics, usually polyester or spandex, to the cotton. This reduces costs and adds some features. For example, polyester is more wrinkle-resistant, while spandex adds some stretch.
  • Specialty materials include linen, broadcloth and Oxford cloth. Linen is more casual and perfect for hot weather but wrinkles easily. Broadcloth is ultra-soft and has a unique sheen that catches the eye. Oxford cloth is thick and built for wearing outdoors.

Design

Black dress shirts are typically solid black and available in lighter or darker shades. Some are available in patterns, such as geometric swirls or stripes. If choosing a black-and-white stripe dress shirt, be careful not to choose one that looks too similar to a referee’s shirt.

How much you can expect to spend on a black dress shirt

Black dress shirts can be as inexpensive as $15 or as expensive as $300. Most nonbrand options cost less than $50, while the average branded shirt costs $50-$100. Combinations of the top brands and the best materials start at $100 and go up.

Black dress shirt FAQ

How should I clean a black dress shirt?

A. That depends on the shirt and what it’s made of. Most black dress shirts are machine-washable, but some need to be hand-washed or dry-cleaned. If it’s machine-washable, you can’t just toss it in as-is. First, you need to completely unbutton the front and the sleeves and remove any collar stays it may have. You also need to wash it on your machine’s delicate setting to minimize the risk of damage. Once washed, it may need to be air-dried instead of machine-dried. Either way, it will likely need to be ironed before you hang it back in your closet.

What color suit should I wear with a black dress shirt?

A. Black dress shirts typically pair best with black or white suits. Most shades of gray also look great with black dress shirts.

What’s the best black dress shirt to buy?

Top black dress shirt

Calvin Klein Dress Shirt Slim Fit Noniron Herringbone

Calvin Klein Dress Shirt Slim Fit Noniron Herringbone

What you need to know: It is pure cotton and comes from a well-loved brand.

What you’ll love: The cotton material is naturally wrinkle-resistant and will wick away your sweat without becoming damp or unsightly. The shirt is machine-washable, and the collar works with or without a tie. It’s available in 14- to 18-inch neck sizes and 32- to 37-inch sleeve sizes.

What you should consider: It’s pricey due to the branding. Some consumers found it to be a little too wide in the waist considering it’s a slim fit.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Top black dress shirt for the money

Kenneth Cole Unlisted Dress Shirt Slim Fit Solid

Kenneth Cole Unlisted Dress Shirt Slim Fit Solid

What you need to know: It’s low cost but plenty fashionable.

What you’ll love: It’s a 60/40 cotton and polyester blend that is lightweight, breathable, machine-washable and slightly wrinkle-resistant. The cuffs have two buttonholes to better tailor to your wrists. The front doesn’t have a pocket, which works well for outfits without a jacket. It’s available in 14- to 18.5-inch neck sizes and 32- to 37-inch sleeve sizes.

What you should consider: A few customers felt it was too wide to be a proper slim fit. Others felt the material was too thin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Milano Moda Long Sleeve Dress Shirt with Matching Tie and Handkerchief

Milano Moda Long Sleeve Dress Shirt with Matching Tie and Handkerchief

What you need to know: This set is an excellent and affordable way to add a complete look to your closet.

What you’ll love: The shirt is 35% cotton and 65% polyester for breathability and comfort. It includes a black-and-white striped tie and a handkerchief that matches the shirt and goes well with other shirts you may already have. It’s available in 15- to 18.5-inch neck sizes and 34- to 37-inch sleeve sizes.

What you should consider: The shirt is more prone to wrinkling, so it will need ironing before you wear it. Some purchasers struggled to find a size that fit them appropriately.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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