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History of the shirt: the placket.

   

It’s the details that make the difference and even more so when it comes to those subtle trims that can give every look that little something extra. Indeed, the world of fine tailoring is based on the ability to pay particular attention to every detail and shirts are an excellent example of how elegance always depends on the level of precision used and the tailor’s ability to handle the fabrics.


For example, one fundamental element of every man’s shirt is the placket, the part from which the buttonholes are cut out. Located centrally on the front of the shirt, it is usually made with two layers of the same fabric as the shirt, which are folded back and sewn. The placket is one of the details that determine the style of the shirt and there are three main kinds, each one more suited to a different kind of use.


 


American placket.


The American placket is often used in casual shirts. It remains visible and is made by folding the fabric of the shirt back on to the front part and sewing it to create a strip that stands out. A choice that also reinforces the buttonholes, making them less likely to tear near the waist. Ideal for work and leisure clothes, and particularly suitable for denim and garment-dyed shirts, as different shades of colour form naturally along the seams, adding an unmistakable touch of vintage chic. This type of placket can also be easily matched with a tie for a more formal look.

French placket.


 The French placket is one of the most popular types used in contemporary menswear. It is made by folding the fabric of the shirt inwards and then sewing it inside, leaving the buttons visible. Its simple, tidy look gives the shirt a touch of elegance that is perfect for more stylish, sophisticated shirts. Perfect for business meetings and for more important occasions, the French placket adds a touch of class that can make the difference to your outfit.

Concealed placket.


This type of placket conceals the buttons behind a strip of fabric positioned in the middle of the shirt. It is made by folding and sewing an extra layer of fabric over the buttons so that they are invisible and do not spoil how the front of the shirt looks with too many details. The concealed placket creates a chic, sophisticated look and is often used for ceremonial shirts. Simple and ultra-classy, this type of placket can be used without a tie, and is indeed often found in tuxedo shirts, to be matched with the classic silk bow-tie.


 


Choosing which of these 3 types of placket to use therefore depends on the individual’s personal taste and the type of outfit they will be wearing: sporty types who love wearing casual shirts without a tie will choose the American placket, while elegant gentlemen who prefer the jacket and tie look will opt for the French placket, or the concealed type, for that extra touch of class.


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