Your shirt placket says worlds about your dress shirt, and you may not even realize it!
The term applies to the piece of cloth in the middle of the shirt’s front that holds the shirt buttons when fastened.
Plackets are usually always constructed from multiple layers of fabric.
It may feel like such an insignificant part of your shirt, but it plays a prominent role in determining the formality and style of your shirt.
The front placket can mean the difference between a professional shirt and a casual weekend one, so button up!
We’re diving into the world of plackets.
The most popular style for a dress shirt placket is the front placket.
It’s dressy, so it’s a good option to wear with a suit.
You’ll probably find that your best work dress shirts are fashioned with this placket style.
On the other hand, this style would not be the one to choose if you’re aiming for casual shirts.
To create this look, the shirt material is often folded back over itself and sewn down.
Sometimes the designer will use a new piece of placket fabric instead of folding the shirt edge over.
These dress shirts often use a fabric interlining to give the edging a slight stiffness, but a similar version lacks the fused interlining.
The result is a soft front placket, which is a more casual style.
No Front Placket
You may have heard this placket style called a French front; they are the same thing.
This shirt looks like there’s no placket. The edge is folded under, and its stitches don’t appear from the front.
Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there!
A no-front placket can be either dressy or casual; either way, it’s a very clean look, thanks to its simplicity.
This is a good choice if you’re looking for a crisp and elegant dress shirt.
However, use caution when ironing the French placket! This style is harder to iron well.
Covered Fly Front Placket
The full placket is covered with another strip of fabric that hides the shirt buttons.
Sometimes the covered placket style is simply called the fly front.
Although this is the most formal style for a shirt placket, it’s also relatively rare.
You’ll usually only find a covered fly-front placket on a tuxedo shirt, but it’s an unusual shirt choice.
Most tuxedo shirts keep their buttons visible so you can change them out for studs, but more on that in a bit.
Plain Tuxedo Front Placket
This shirt style is the tuxedo version of the French placket.
Can you guess how you should wear it? It is only ever worn with a tuxedo.
Similar to the French front placket, a plain tuxedo front placket doesn’t appear to have any placket at all.
So then, what makes it different from a French front?
The top four buttons can be removed and replaced with studs, a popular move with tuxedo shirts.
Studs allow you to customize your shirt and put together matching accessories.
The decorative studs make your shirt much fancier than regular plastic buttons.
Pleated Tuxedo Front Placket
This placket style is a formal style placket, a traditional favorite for tuxedos.
It has ten narrow folds on both sides of a fused front placket, and you can swap out the top four buttons for studs.
A pleated tuxedo front placket is a more showy and eye-catching shirt and is only ever suitable to wear with tuxedos.
It would look wildly out of place around your office!
If you opt for this striking tuxedo shirt, keep the rest of your look subdued and simple, and your tuxedo should be traditional.
Pique Bib Shirt Placket
A pique bib shirt placket is another formal dress shirt only for tuxedos.
The second piece of material, usually white pique, is sewn onto the front of your shirt, giving the appearance of a wide placket.
It makes the placket appear refined, making it more formal than other placket types.
The bib extends several inches on each side of the shirt buttons and usually below the fifth button.
Naturally, this tuxedo shirt also has removable buttons to make room for studs.
Popover Shirt Placket
A popover shirt is a very casual style; it isn’t appropriate for a suit.
On this shirt, the placket only goes halfway down the torso and has just three buttons.
The placket part of the shirt is folded back onto itself, as with the front placket.
A popover shirt is a pullover shirt, and it always has a collar. That, and the thicker material, separates it from a long-sleeved t-shirt.
It’s similar to a polo shirt, though from a dressier material.
Western Front Placket
Western front plackets create a very casual shirt style.
It combines the soft front placket and a western yoke style.
The yoke on this shirt type is a slightly altered version of a classic western shirt that extends along the shoulders, not just the back.
You won’t find these casual shirts very widespread; they are only common in certain regions.