The clothes men wear say a lot about them. A white shirt might look plain, but it’s making a statement.
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Why Wear a White Shirt?
In the Victorian era, wearing white was a sign of wealth. Because white shows dirt and stains easily, wearing a white shirt meant men had the means to wash their clothes frequently.
We have more access to laundry facilities these days, but a white shirt is still a classic look. It’s versatile, easy to dress up or down depending on the occasion.
Best White Work Shirts for Men: Our Shortlist
There are so many options available that we compiled a list of the best white shirts for men. These suit a variety of styles, so everyone will find what they need.
Best Men’s White Cotton Work Shirts: Tommy Hilfiger Regular Fit Shirt*
Made of 100% cotton, this Tommy Hilfiger shirt is machine-washable and doesn’t wrinkle, so there’s no need to steam or iron it.
Another plus about non-iron shirts is they stay crisp all day, ensuring men look just as good at 5 p.m. as they did at 8 a.m.
Best White Work Shirt Short Sleeve: Van Heusen Short Sleeve White Dress Shirt*
Wearing a white dress shirt doesn’t mean men must wear long sleeves. Short sleeve options keep men cool in warm weather while still giving them a business casual look.
This shirt from Van Heusen is 60% cotton, 40% polyester, making it safe to throw in the washing machine.
Best Dickies White Work Shirt Short Sleeve: Dickies Oxford Shirt, Blue with White Stripe*
Dickies was once thought of as a company that made durable workwear, but over the years, the company has become more formal.
This short-sleeve button-down gives a classic look that doesn’t affect comfort. The material is slightly heavier than cotton, making it a great work shirt.
Best White Work T-shirts: Carhartt Men’s Relaxed Fit T-Shirt*
White t-shirts are crucial for the work environment.
The relaxed fit style ensures comfort whether it’s worn under a dress shirt or on its own.
Best Designer White Work Shirt: Calvin Klein Slim-Fit French Cuff Dress Shirt*
This Calvin Klein shirt is 100% cotton and machine washable.
What sets this shirt apart from others is how it wicks away moisture. The french cuffs also elevate the overall look.
Best White Work Shirt With Adjustable Cuff: Van Heusen Fitted Dress Shirt *
This shirt differs from Van Heusen’s short sleeve option because it’s poplin, which keeps the shirt looking wrinkle-free all day.
It’s a fitted option, so it’s fuller at the chest and slimmer at the waist, making it easy to tuck into suit trousers.
Best Wrinkle-Free White Work Shirt: Perry Ellis Slim-Fit Wrinkle-Free Dress Shirt*
This shirt by Perry Ellis is the best wrinkle-free white shirt on the list.
It also has a unique motion ease collar, stretching an additional half-inch to accommodate a more relaxed fit when necessary.
Best White Work Shirt for Comfort: Dockers Signature Comfort Flex Shirt*
Dockers is a classic brand offering their comfort flex shirts in both Standard and Big and Tall sizes.
The shirt blends cotton and polyester with elastane, so it’s easy to move and stretch while wearing.
Best Cotton Long Sleeve T-shirt: Gildan Men’s Ultra Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt*
White long sleeve shirts make great undershirts for cold weather. When worn on their own, they look slightly dressier than short sleeve shirts.
They also look great layered with flannel jackets.
Best Poplin White Work Shirt: Lee Uniforms Men’s Long Sleeve Dress Shirt*
White shirts come in various fits, like the Van Heusen poplin shirt that offers a slim fit.
The classic fit of this Lee shirt means it will comfortably fit men of all sizes.
Best Material for White Dress Shirts
Though white shirts look plain, there are variations to the materials. Before buying, it’s best to consider things like texture, washability, and the appropriate occasions for wearing them.
Cotton is the best material for white dress shirts because it’s versatile. Men don’t have to worry about getting too hot, as they might in flannel or corduroy.
This weave makes the shirt look smooth and crisp while feeling soft against men’s skin. A white cotton dress shirt is good enough to wear to work, but it’s also possible to dress it up for a more formal occasion.
Cotton poplin is machine-washable, so taking care of these shirts is a breeze. The material is also suitable for dry cleaning, making maintenance even easier.
Oxford has a heavier weave than cotton, making it slightly stiffer. These shirts are best for casual social occasions and business casual wear. The general rule is that smoother and shinier shirts look more formal, and Oxford is rougher and matte.
Though it’s more casual than a cotton shirt, it’s possible to wear Oxford shirts with suits. It’s typically worn under sports coats or without a suit jacket at all.
Oxford shirts can be machine-washed on the delicate cycle to ensure they last for many years.
White linen is a great material to wear in warmer months. Men still look professional at work, but the material breathes more than cotton or Oxford.
The fabric is comfortable, but it has a slightly rumpled look due to the weave. Therefore, it’s not ideal to wear a suit jacket or tie but rather casual denim.
Linen is best for business casual or weekend wear. Men still look stylish in a white linen shirt, but it doesn’t have the same fancy appeal as a white cotton button-down.
Washing machines on a gentle cycle will clean linen as long as the temperature isn’t too hot or too cold.
Hand-washing is the best option for this material. They should air-dry, not tossed into the dryer, as that can damage the fibers.
Regardless of the accessories, white work shirts are classic, and this list has something for everyone.