Knit shirts have long been a staple of business casual menswear. Comfortable and versatile, they can be styled with garments of different texture, weight, and formality to achieve a wide variety of looks. Our custom knit shirts are fully customizable in both size and design so you can look your best no matter your style or body type.
Benefits of Knit Dress Shirts
Knit shirts offer the perfect balance of comfort and style. Our knit fabrics are woven from incredibly soft and flexible performance blends with a loose weave for both increased breathability and the unique texture you expect from a knit. The performance materials (polyester, spandex) with which we blend cotton to create these shirts feature moisture-wicking and quick-dry properties to ensure that you stay cool and feel fresh throughout the day.
While knit shirts are slightly more casual than your typical dress shirt, they are extremely versatile. They can be designed as a polo or popover for casual wear, or with a full button front for a relaxed yet sophisticated look you can wear with tailored clothing. Below are our tips for both styling and designing your knit shirts for maximum impact and wearability.
Knit Shirt Design and Styling
Knit shirts are primarily worn in business casual settings, though they can be styled differently to be worn on a variety of occasions.
The Polo Front
The classic polo shirt typically features a shorter collar style, such as our Soft Franklin Spread or Colorado Button Down, short sleeves, a polo hem, and a one- or two-button polo front. In cooler months, you can also style a polo as a long sleeve shirt. Polo shirts can be worn with shorts or chinos accompanied by sneakers or loafers to create a relaxed business casual vibe great for a casual evening or a daytime event.
You can also pair your polo with a tailored jacket to dress it up. We suggest selecting a more substantial collar for your knit shirt for these occasions, such as our Soft President Spread, Soft Roma Cutaway, Soft Ivy Button Down, or Soft Roma Button Down. Resist the urge to put on a tie.
Please note that the one-button and two-button polo front options are only applicable to knit fabrics. While no top button position adjustments are available for them, the two polo front styles offer different button placement options.
A popover knit shirt is a more sartorial take on the polo shirt. It’s similar to the polo, but with a longer soft front placket and three buttons below the collar, creating a larger opening in the front of the shirt that allows you to “pop it over” your head. You can pair your popover with shorts or chinos for a casual look.
Popover knit shirts are easy to dress up. Tuck them into trousers or chinos and add a jacket—we recommend a more unstructured jacket style, like our Waverly. A popover with a larger collar pairs best with a jacket. Try our Soft President Spread, Soft Roma Cutaway, Soft Ivy Button Down, or Soft Roma Button Down, and ditch the tie.
The Knit Dress Shirt
Though not appropriate for formal interviews and serious business settings, knit shirts make a great relaxed business look when styled with dressier tailored clothing.
We suggest designing your knit dress shirt with no placket (a French front) or a Soft Front placket. As with the polo and popover styles, we recommend pairing your knit dress shirt with medium to larger sized collars when wearing a jacket. Although this is a more dressed-up take on the knit shirt, we still do not recommend wearing a tie with it.
Things to Avoid
Knit shirts are a great tool for having fun with your style, however there are a couple of things to avoid. If you’re looking for a tuxedo shirt, we suggest sticking to a more formal fabric, such as a twill, broadcloth, or royal oxford, as knit shirts don’t have the appropriate structure for formalwear. Reserve French cuffs for those more formal fabrics as well—the softer material of knits performs better with button cuffs.
Caring for Your Knit Shirts
We recommend washing knit shirts in cold water and hanging them to dry. We don’t recommend putting your knit shirts in the dryer, as they will likely shrink past wearability if dried on high heat. If you do make this mistake though, try pressing the shirt—in many case it will return to its original size.