Contrary to the popular belief, there are actually plenty of differences between formal and casual shirts. Apart from the obvious fact that both are worn for completely different occasions, there are major difference in the way they are styled and the fabrics that are used.
Let us try and understand in depth what factors set shirts for men apart from each other:
Formal shirts for men are styled and colored conservatively. They generally have stiffed collars which is very useful to withstand neckties below them and suit jacket lapels above them
Casual shirts for men have more patterns, pockets, decorative stitching, and attractive buttons. Casual shirts have the option of having collars that are less stiff.
Majority of the formal shirts come with tow measurements mentioned on the tag: the length of the neck and sleeve.
For instance, we look for shirt with 16” (neck), 33, 34 (sleeve length). You might come across a substitute to this with European sizing: 38, 40, and 42 etc.
Casual shirts are simpler with their sizing. You can easily differentiate them with Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L), and so on.
Formal shirts are usually made with tight cotton having high thread counts. Sometimes, formal shirts have a hint of sheen added to them to make it look dressier.
Casual shirts come in more rugged weaves like plain oxford or flannel, and lighter weaves like linen and chambray. They are also available in a plethora of colours and patterns.
The fitting should be the same for both formal and casual shirts. It should give a neatly fit itself into your back and shoulder area, crisply embrace your torso, and lightly hug your hips
By saying lightly hugging””, we mean that the final button of your shirt should close without constraining your hip area, and at the same time you don’t want it to be flowing aimlessly like a huge T-shirt.
This is one of the major factors that differentiates formal and casual shirts. It is also very easy to understand.
Formal shirts are generally supposed to be tucked in, so they are usually made longer. The logic being that the shirt should stay tucked in even if you are moving and shaking a lot.
Casual shirts have lower side seams and shirt rails that are shorter than formal shirts. This makes it suitable to wear them un-tucked.
I hope you all have got a fair clarity about the difference between formal and casual shirts. Now, all you need to do is find an appropriate shirt based on the occasion you are getting dressed for.