The 4 Best Men’s Button-Up Shirts of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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The Kirkland Signature Tailored Fit Dress Shirt, a previous pick, is no longer available online, but may still be found in some Costco stores; it has been moved to “Other good button-up shirts.” Pajama Pants Men's

The 4 Best Men’s Button-Up Shirts of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

A button-up shirt may be your closet’s stealthiest chameleon, equally at home in a blue-chip law firm, an oonz-oonz dance club, and a Sunday farmers market. But this undeniable utility can make choosing a button-up overwhelming, especially since you can spend upwards of $300 on a bespoke version or just $10 for one from a mass retailer.

We recruited testers who wore sizes S to 3XL and looked for shirts in that range (though many brands cap at XXL).

We looked for even stitching (with minimal to no loose threads!) and sturdy collars. We also checked for buttons that stay closed but are easy to undo in a pinch.

We sought shirts made with materials that are comfortable to wear and durable but still easy to care for (no dry-clean-only picks here!).

We considered shirts priced from $20 to $130, and found that the options in the $75-$100 range generally delivered an optimal combination of fit, style, quality, and comfort.

Sizing is key in all clothing choices. But it merits further mention in this guide, since button-ups employ two sizing conventions: alpha (S, M, L, XL) and numeric. For example, I’m a medium in some brands and a 16 x 33 (which represents neck circumference and sleeve length in inches) in others. We tried shirts from both sizing categories and enlisted a panel of five testers—who wear shirt sizes ranging from small to 3XL—to help us make our selections. In the end, we found four shirts—Oxford, dress, and linen—that stood out for their fit, quality, and all-day comfort.

This light, comfy Oxford comes in several cuts and a wide array of colors and prints (which change often). Since the fabric is on the thinner side, this shirt is best suited for warm weather or layering.

How it feels: Light and soft, with a fit that felt customized.

Why it’s great: If you’re looking for a well-fitting, breathable Oxford that comes in a ton of cuts and colors, our panelists agree that the J.Crew Broken-In Organic Cotton Oxford Shirt is your best bet. Let’s start with the size range. This shirt comes in sizes XS to XXL, and a range of cuts: classic, slim, slim untucked, relaxed, and tall.

More fit options allow a shopper to zero in on body, sleeve, and hem measurements. In our testing and research, this level of customization wasn’t available with most Oxfords. So this element gave the J.Crew shirt an advantage, especially for those who often have trouble finding just the right fit from a standard shirt.

In our wash tests, the sleeve measurement shrank an inch, so keep this in mind for sizing.

Because of the customization, our panelists were all able to find a size and fit they loved. “This was my favorite fit out of the Oxfords that I tried,” said Treye Green. “The arms hit at the right length, and there wasn’t any extra fabric when it was tucked in.”

The J.Crew Oxford is made from lightweight, 100% cotton, so it’s nice for warmer weather or layering under a sweater. With its thinner fabric, this shirt has a little more give and allows for a bit more movement than our Uniqlo Oxford Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Shirt pick. And yet the J.Crew shirt still has solid construction—the buttons are snug, secure, and easy to fasten, with extra buttons sewn inside. And the collar stands firmly.

We tested the J.Crew Oxford shirt with mixed blue-and-white stripes (I’m a sucker for heavy New England vibes), but the color range is ample, with 23 colors and patterns available. If you like to mix it up when it comes to your wardrobe, you won’t find more variety than with this shirt.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The J.Crew Oxford feels less substantial than other Oxfords we wore. The fabric is light, and one tester thought the stitching seemed less sturdy and more likely to loosen over time. However, we’ve always found J.Crew’s clothing to be quite durable.

Sizes: XS to XXL Fabric: 100% organic cotton Front pocket: yes Fit: classic, slim, slim untucked, tall, relaxed Colors: rotating, up to 23 (including solids, stripes, and plaids)

Slim-fitting and reasonably priced, this shirt is polished and comfortable enough to get you through a workday or the weekend. It feels a little rigid at first, though, and the quality isn’t outstanding.

How it feels: The Uniqlo shirt’s slim fit isn’t unwearable or stifling, but it is notable. This shirt is well-constructed enough to work into your weekly wardrobe.

Why it’s great: The Uniqlo Oxford Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Shirt is a fairly good-quality Oxford button-down that’s decently priced and comes in a variety of colors and sizes. The shirt I tested had a few stray threads sticking out from the seams, but the combed-cotton fabric was thick. And the shirt has strong buttons and nice, rugged double-stitched seams. Though the Uniqlo shirt comes in fewer colors than our J.Crew Oxford pick, it’s also less than half the price. So the Uniqlo shirt is a great deal, especially if you want to try out a few unconventional colors.

This shirt comes in a wide variety of sizes: XXS through 3XL (though we’ve noticed that they aren’t always in stock). The shirt fit most of our panelists well in their normal sizes, but the biggest caveat is right there in the name: Slim-Fit. Curiously, the Uniqlo Oxford is offered only in a slim fit, with no other options.

In practical terms, that means the shoulder and chest measurements are an inch or so smaller than those of the brand’s regular-fit shirts, including Uniqlo’s flannel shirts. “It’s clear that Uniqlo is made for thinner people,” remarked test panelist Alan Henry after trying a 3XL, which had a chest measurement of 28 inches. (The brand’s regular 3XL measures 29.14 inches.) Even so, Alan found the fit wearable, as did his fellow panelists. If you’re worried about sizing issues, try it on in-store or order a few sizes online and factor in the $7 return shipping fee.

This all-cotton shirt instructs wearers to machine-wash but line-dry. That’s not always realistic, so we threw it in the dryer on low heat to see what would happen. The shirt shrank an inch in length and another inch in the sleeves; that’s not a huge amount, but it is more than on any other shirt we washed. Keep this in mind for sizing and when deciding how to launder this shirt.

The Uniqlo Oxford shirt comes in solid colors and stripes that are updated seasonally. I tested a navy shirt and was surprised at how polished, sleek, and expensive it felt, especially given the price. It’s also worth noting that although the lighter-color shirts have standard white buttons, the navy shirt had matching navy buttons, an unexpectedly elegant and cohesive touch.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Although the Uniqlo Oxford’s fabric is generally comfortable, we preferred the more expensive J.Crew Oxford. Though both feel tough, the Uniqlo shirt was still stiff, even after weeks of testing and a few washes. That said, you’re paying about half the price for the Uniqlo shirt, and it’s a good-looking shirt, so this may be an acceptable trade-off.

As mentioned Uniqlo only makes this in a slim fit. If you prefer shirts that are a bit roomier, our other recommendations may suit you better.

Sizes: XXS to 3XL Fabric: 100% cotton Front pocket: yes Colors: four solids (navy, blue, gray, off-white); three striped (gray, red, blue)

Many dress shirts made from synthetic fabrics are nonstarters, but this button-up’s winning blend of nylon and spandex manages to feel sleek, soft, and just right. Plus, it comes in a wide ranges of colors and patterns, as well as multiple fits and length options.

How it feels: This smooth nylon and spandex button-up has just a bit of stretch, so it feels light and sleek against the skin, not cheap or staticky (like some synthetic blends). The sensation is completely different than what you get with most cotton shirts (which usually feel crisp and can drag against the skin).

Note: Bonobos previously carried this shirt in extended sizes (up to 4XL), which we tested and liked; however, those have since been discontinued. The largest size this shirt is now available in is XXL.

Why it’s great: We have generally found Bonobos clothing to be comfortable and of high quality, so I was psyched to test its standard dress shirt. I wasn’t disappointed. Of the 12 dress shirts I tried, the Bonobos shirt fit and felt the best, and our panelists readily agreed.

The Tech Button Down comes in sizes XS to XXL; you also have a choice between a tailored, slim, standard, or athletic fit (based on chest and shoulder measurements) and regular, short, or long shirt length. As off-the-rack shirts go—that is, shirts that aren’t made especially for your body by a tailor—this is about as customized a fit as you can find. I loved the fit of my shirt, and so did every other panelist.

Like with most shirts we tested, this style has various sizes and colors that tend to go in and out of stock. But they’ve come back again every season reliably.

Senior staff writer Kimber Streams, who wore the Tech Button Down in a size S, found that the short length—which is 1.25 inches shorter than the regular—fit them better than any other button-up shirt. At 5-foot-6, they’re often left with too much bulk on dress shirts, making tucking unwieldy. Not so with the Bonobos shirt. Alan Henry wore a size 3XL (which has a 61-inch chest, 37-inch sleeve, and 33-inch body), and he loved the sizing and the shirt’s soft, pliant fabric. “It feels great with or without an undershirt,” he said. “The length of the sleeves and the width of the collar is perfect.” After it was machine-washed and -dried, this shirt shrank an inch in body length.

My test shirt (size medium regular) sat cleanly across my shoulders and tucked into my pants with minimal wrinkles. At 2 inches, the collar stood a little shorter than others we wore (most were around 2.5 inches); it looked streamlined, not diminutive, and still easily accommodated a standard tie. The collar wasn’t itchy or overly tight, and the stays (rigid plastic inserts that anchor a collar’s point) were thin and stable.

The synthetic fabric is a mix of 93% nylon and 7% spandex, so it has a subtle stretch and feels smooth. Unlike some synthetic blends we tried, this fabric didn’t feel slippery or overly thin; it didn’t feel like the kind of fabric you should be very careful wearing around a fire pit. I despise transparent dress shirts—in dressy settings, your nipples should never show through—and the Bonobos shirt offers full coverage, full stop. No nipple peeks at all, even without an undershirt, which wasn’t the case with a few of the other dress shirts I tested (the horror). That being said, the shirt also wasn’t so thick that it made me hot or sweaty.

This shirt is well constructed, with buttons that are easy to fasten. And the design allows for micro sleeve adjustments, thanks to the two buttons on the wrists. Another nice touch: two replacement buttons sewn inside the bottom of the placket.

One tester was so enthusiastic about his Bonobos shirt that the one he tested wasn’t enough. “Honestly, I’m about to go buy more of these shirts,” Alan enthused. “They’re some of the most comfortable and well-fitting dress shirts I’ve ever tried.”

Flaws but not dealbreakers: At first touch, the fabric of this shirt felt cheap, according to Kimber. And that’s an honest, subjective reaction to material that isn’t natural, like cotton or linen. Once they tried the shirt on, though, they said it felt smooth and comfortable.

We’re disappointed that Bonobos no longer carries this shirt in extended sizes.

Sizes: XS to XXL Fabric: 93% nylon, 7% spandex Front pocket: no Fit: slim, tailored, athletic, standard (XS to XXL) Lengths: short (XS to L), regular (XS to XXL), long (M to XXL) Colors: 21

This slim-fitting linen shirt is refined enough to be dressed up, yet also perfect for a relaxed day at the beach. Like all linen shirts, it wrinkles—and this one tends to go out of stock seasonally.

How it feels: The Club Monaco Slim Linen Shirt feels smooth, well constructed, and breathable but not flimsy.

Why it’s great: Linen fabric can evoke strong feelings—people usually love it or hate it. Its weave is more textured than that of cotton, and many people relish how the coarse, breathable fabric feels against their skin. Others don’t appreciate that texture, or the fact that linen is notorious for wrinkling—most shirts we tested ended up deeply creased and misshapen within an hour. Of course, that’s also part of the charm of linen. The rumpled look is part of the deal—it’s perfect for hot summer days, vacations, or other less-iron-crisp moments.

The Club Monaco Slim Linen Shirt was the best of the eight linen shirts I tested. It wasn’t scratchy—not even on my first wear—and it wrinkled less than most, staying relatively sharp through a day of working, running errands, and grabbing dinner with friends. It skews more pleasantly disheveled than distractingly unkempt.

Note: We have noticed inventory issues with this Club Monaco shirt—in fact, when we published our latest update to this guide, it was out of stock online—and its seasonal availability can be a problem.

Like our Uniqlo Oxford pick, the Club Monaco linen shirt comes only in a slim fit. In general, that wasn’t something that irked our testers—or something they even noticed—except when it came to length. At 29.5 inches, the Uniqlo shirt is shorter than some button-ups we tried; this could be tricky if you prefer a tucked look or if you have a long torso. In those cases, I recommend checking out the J.Crew Baird McNutt Irish Linen Shirt (in the “Other good button-up shirts” section) instead.

The Club Monaco shirt comes in sizes XS to XXL, or 35 inches to 47 inches across the chest and 32 inches to 38 inches in the sleeve. (Though we saw an XXS during testing, stock fluctuates.) Some linen shirts we saw needed to be hand-washed, but this one is machine-washable and can tolerate the dryer, which helps cut down on wrinkles. In our tests, it shrank only half an inch in both body and sleeve length.

Although many of the linen shirts I tested were essentially see-through—pretty standard in the category—the Club Monaco shirt lent more-than-modest coverage. The brand describes the linen as lightweight. And while it’s certainly not thick or burlap-y, I could wear it to work without seeming indecent or overly casual.

The Club Monaco shirt isn't inexpensive. But its value was immediately apparent. I particularly loved the stylish details, like the white shell buttons (on the white shirt I tried). It’s one of only two shirts we recommend with a high-quality thread shank to secure the buttons and make them easier to fasten. The collar buttons down, too, and the shirt comes in a sea of pleasant blue tones, as well as a nice crisp white.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: If you have an especially long torso and plan on wearing the shirt tucked, you might find the Club Monaco shirt too short. (And because the shirt has a slim fit, size up if you like your linen baggy.)

We’ve noticed availability issues with this shirt—it tends to go in and out of stock seasonally—so depending on when you want to buy it, you may be out of luck.

Sizes: XS to XXL Fabric: 100% linen Front pocket: yes Fit: slim Colors: solids and patterns (availability changes seasonally)

I started by researching hundreds of button-up shirts. Based on specs and user reviews, I narrowed the field to 29 highly rated models: 12 dress shirts, nine Oxfords, and eight linen shirts. For this piece, we focused on button-up shirts marketed to men, though these styles can be worn by people of any gender. Kimber Streams, a senior staff writer who is non-binary, enhanced the scope and feel of this guide with their participation. Unlike shirts marketed to women, the shirts in this guide have straight seams, with minimal tapering at the hip and similar measurements at the chest and waist.

In my first round of testing, I wore each shirt for a few days. After getting a sense of the feel, I eliminated ones with thin- or starchy-feeling fabric, transparent fabric, ragged stitching and frayed seams, or flimsy buttons and irregular button holes. I also noted when a shirt didn’t offer enough size diversity and when stores had poor return policies (though that didn’t immediately disqualify a contender). The following criteria narrowed down our list even further:

Fit: Fit is extremely important in all of our style guides, and it can be difficult to account for a wide variety of body types. I recruited panel testers of different sizes to wear each shirt, from S to 3XL. A person’s aesthetic is entirely subjective, but we investigated whether each button-up shirt looked and felt good enough to be worth the price—especially since many of the ones we tested and recommended are costly.

Sizing: Many button-up shirts cap out at XXL, so it was difficult to ding any particular brand for that sort of limited range. Still, we looked for shirts that offered an even wider variety of sizes. To check for shrinkage, I measured the sleeve and body length of each shirt, and then washed and dried it according to its care label. Then I measured again to calculate the difference.

Quality: I was looking for high-quality, well-constructed button-ups that would last for years. During my initial testing, I looked for shirts with even stitching at the seams, few to no loose threads, and well-built collars. In the dress shirt category, I looked for shirts with sturdy collar stays.

Buttons: Some shirts were difficult to button and unbutton, while others were too lax. The best stay buttoned and pop out with a flick of the thumb.

Fabric: We tested shirts in several different types of fabric. But no matter a shirt’s composition, we insisted the fabric felt comfortable against the skin, and that it was durable and opaque enough that it didn’t require an undershirt. We also looked for fabrics that are easy to care for. Most of our picks are machine-washable.

Price: I considered a range of button-up shirts priced between about $20 and $130. There was a significant difference in quality between $20 shirts and those that cost $30. I saw another jump between shirts that cost $30 and those that were $75. Shirts priced between $75 and $100 seemed to be the sweet spot for fit, look, quality, and comfort. I was happy to find a few easy-to-recommend budget-friendly picks, too. I didn’t find anything more than $100 that I thought justified the cost.

Of the 29 shirts, I found eight button-ups—two dress shirts, four Oxford button-downs, and two linen shirts—worthy of a second round of testing. To get a range of opinions, I sent them to a panel of writers and editors whose opinions I trust. (I wasn’t part of the panel, since I’d done the initial testing and research.) Those testers, who wear sizes ranging from S to 3XL, spent a week with our button-up shirt contenders, and then reported their findings.

Dress shirts and Oxford shirts differ from one another because dress shirts feel more formal, they’re made of thinner material, and they have stiff, buttonless collars. Oxford shirts look more casual, and they’re thicker and often rougher to the touch. And—you guessed it—their collars button down. They’re called Oxford shirts because they’re made from Oxford cloth, with a durable basket-weave pattern. Many consider it a badge of honor to wear an Oxford for so long that the collar and sleeves begin to fray. Dress shirts, on the other hand, should never look anything but crisp and new.

Though many people tend to use the terms button-up and button-down interchangeably, a button-down shirt refers to shirts with collars that button down at the corners, typically Oxford shirts. As such, dress shirts are not technically button-downs, though both dress shirts and Oxfords are button-ups (meaning they fasten at the center with buttons).

In this guide, we also recommend a linen shirt that has a distinctly airy look and feel, compared with shirts in the other two categories covered here. But it is also, in fact, a button-down because its collar is secured by buttons.

Every button-up shirt will eventually reach the end of its lifetime in your closet, but the better you take care of it, the longer it will last. To prevent pit stains and protect your shirt, we recommend wearing an undershirt beneath it. You should also wash it in cold water and iron it on low heat (when necessary).

If a button-up shirt is still in good condition but no longer your style, we recommend selling or donating it. You can sell secondhand clothing on sites such as ThredUp, Poshmark, and Ebay. Give Back Box is a vendor service that gives to retailers and charities to help those in need—though items generally have to be in excellent condition. To cut down on shipping impacts, you can check the location of local thrift shops in your area on sites like GreenDrop.

If your button-up shirt is worn out, you can textile recycle it, a process by which old clothes are recovered for reuse. A group called SMART (Secondary Materials And Recycled Textiles) offers a ton of information about how and where to recycle your clothes. When all else fails, turn your button-up shirt into a paint smock, or upcycle it in other fun ways.

If you’re looking for a sportier dress shirt: The Club Monaco Stretch Poplin Dress Shirt looks sharp and streamlined, though it isn’t as soft or comfortable as our pick from Bonobos. Like the Bonobos shirt, the Club Monaco Stretch Poplin Shirt is extremely light-feeling. But I noticed a ton of wrinkles on it, so it’s only a great option if you’re handy with an iron, committed to dry-cleaning, or unconcerned with a few creases.

If you’re looking for a generously cut dress shirt (that’s only sold in Costco stores): Costco’s Kirkland Signature Men’s Tailored Fit Dress Shirt has a relaxed, roomy fit and opaque fabric that is a little stiff. It was previously a pick in this guide, but it’s no longer available online; a representative for Costco told us that it’s still possible to find this shirt in stores (though shopping in-stores at Costco does require a membership). We liked this style for its comfort, durability, and value—the quality is exceptionally good for the price. It only comes in white.

If you want a slimmer Oxford shirt: The Club Monaco Long Sleeve Oxford Shirt is a great, narrow-fitting option that comes in solid and striped varieties. It suited me notably well. But friends who wore it didn’t agree and found it to be ill-fitting, so I didn’t move it on to panel testing.

If you want a unique, exquisitely made (but kinda quirky) Oxford shirt: The Kamakura Tokyo Slim Fit is a really special Oxford shirt with clean construction and beautifully tight stitching. Two significant issues stood out, though. First, I had trouble buttoning it—so much so that I thought I was doing something wrong. Second, the stock and sizing are extremely limited. And Kamakura shirts are made in Japan, so if the shirt doesn’t fit, you have to return it to Japan. (We tested the Kamakura New York Slim Fit in the dress-shirt category, too, and we encountered these same perks and drawbacks.)

If you want a lighter weight linen shirt: For those who don’t mind a more-transparent linen shirt, the J.Crew Baird McNutt Irish Linen Shirt is worth considering. Like our Club Monaco Slim Linen Shirt pick, the J.Crew shirt isn’t itchy, and it is a pleasure to wear. It is a touch see-through, which we didn’t love, though that’s less of a dealbreaker if you’re wearing it while on vacation.

This is not a comprehensive list of everything we tested in previous iterations of this guide.

The Bonobos Washed Button-Down Shirt is lighter and looser-feeling than most other dress shirts, making it less suited for a formal—or even business-casual—setting.

Some may love the pleating along the wrists of the Brooks Brothers Stretch Madison Relaxed-Fit Dress Shirt, but we found the look too stylized to appeal to a wide audience. And securing the top button was tricky; it felt particularly claustrophobic.

J.Crew’s website described the Bowery Wrinkle-Free Stretch Cotton Shirt as “more casual than your dressiest shirt,” which in reality seemed to translate to big, lumpy, and frumpy.

The Uniqlo Men Super Non-Iron Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Shirt has frequent stock issues. When we did get our hands on one, it was pleasantly unstarchy, and the collar is unusually wide.

The wide shoulders of the Untuckit Wrinkle-Free Las Cases Shirt looked silly, falling way below the natural shoulder slope, even after we followed Untuckit’s sizing instructions. And the dark blue threading along the wrist and arm buttonholes was perhaps too eye-catching. Although the Untuckit was well constructed, the cotton fabric felt scratchy.

The Banana Republic Untucked Standard-Fit Cotton Oxford Shirt’s thin fabric is actually lovely. But we noticed a number of stray threads, and the button holes were especially tight.

If it weren’t for the pocket strangely centered on the chest, the Bonobos Everyday Oxford Shirt could’ve been good-looking. It was starchy and uncomfortable, too, with inaccessibly tight buttonholes.

The Abercrombie & Fitch Linen Button-Up Shirt was super-rumpled from the jump, with lots of loose threads along the seams. Even worse, the stitching looked uneven—bent and wrinkled—and the weave was quite transparent, so you would probably need an undershirt.

The Brooks Brothers Regent Regular-Fit Sport Shirt in Irish Linen was too expensive to feel as coarse as it did. Points for expert stitching, demerits for the dreaded tight buttons.

The H&M Regular Fit Linen Shirt was fairly well constructed, but it crinkled heavily in the back. It was also pretty itchy.

This article was edited by Ingela Ratledge Amundson and Jennifer Hunter.

Justin Krajeski is a former staff writer reporting on everyday carry at Wirecutter. He previously wrote about tech at Wirecutter. He carries things every day. He’s very well versed in carrying.

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The 4 Best Men’s Button-Up Shirts of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Pheasant Hunting Vest Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).