What’s the Difference in a Casual Shirt and a Dress Shirt?

I get this question all the time. When customers see our option to style their very own casual shirt or dress shirt,  they are stumped. What is the difference anyway?


First of all, think of the difference between a dress shirt and a tuxedo shirt. If you opt for a dress shirt, you won’t have the wing tip collar as a choice. You will only get the options available in most dress shirts.

A casual shirt will have the option of a camp style collar, for example. Think about a Tommy Bahama style shirt with no fusing (the stiff stuff) in the collar or the cuff. I usually recommend your casual long sleeve flannel shirts to be styled without the stiffness as well. It can be styled with a button down collar or even a hidden button down. If you are wearing it with chinos, it is likely a casual shirt. A shirt with a French cuff is not considered casual.


A dress shirt can be worn with or without a tie. It will be paired with a suit or at least a pair of wool or wool-blend slacks. Most corporate office environments call for a dress shirt. I recommend avoiding a button down collar on a dress shirt but am okay with the hidden button down collar. Just be aware that you can see the buttons underneath the collar if you look for them.  A dress shirt will have the option of a French cuff but can be worn with a button cuff or convertible cuff as well. A convertible cuff buttons for closure but also has the option to wear the cufflinks if you like.


We often confuse the situation by wearing a tie with a casual shirt. Hint: The fact that he is wearing it with jeans and a button down collar in my book classifies this as a casual shirt.


Still stumped? We are here to help you custom design your shirt so just let us know!

Dress Well! Be Well!

-Meghan Henley