Take a butchers at this shirt thread on the Kitmeout Fashion Forum, including:
“Interesting thread this, you say that Paul and Shark are pikey shirts but then you say you want casual? Personally I will wear what is considered a dress shirt at any time of day and nearly anywhere. I define casual shirts as those things with crinkly fabric that don’t go near my back or belly. eg. Some Armani Jeans, Emporio Armani, D and G, some Hugo Boss etc. If you wanta decent shirt then stick to what is termed a dress shirt but there are such a variety of colours available and cuts and collars etc that they can be worn at different times and on different occasions.
To dispel a couple of things on here, don’t touch Boateng with a bargepole, all factory machine made, fabrics are diabolical and I mean that 100% if you have any sensitivity in your skin then they will itch. Boateng trades on producing bright garish colours saying he brings new style to the Row, his shop isn’t on the Row it’s Vigo Street but they are moving to their new location on Saville Row but like their neighbours Richard James, Kilgour, Gieves and Hawkes they attempt to profit from the Saville Row name to the uninitiated and produce developing world cheaply made shirts with sub-standard fabrics albeit not at a price like top end shirt makers charge they are positively cheap in comparison.
For your pricepoint I can recommend a few brands that will give you decent shirts and reasons why. You may at that point get a Canali Exclusive Collection, this is a line above standard Canali offering a higher weave cotton from a better mill feels almost like silk, big mother of pearl buttons, some hadnwork but minimal compared to Brioni, Borelli, Kiton, etc. but collar will be superb great strucutre won’t flop like the other rubbish. Many ar priced now at £199 but a couple are £140 so within budget and you can always scour sales occasionally some are in the sales. Also look at Zegna Couture, Zegna mainline shirts are not great at all they are a similar albeit slightly higher quality to Kilgour, ichard James, Boatng but I only ever get one if the pattern is superb or colour and I can’t get siilar from exclusive collection. The Canali standard line is superior to Zegna standard line but Zegna Couture however is excellent, in my opinion slightly higher generally than Canali Exclusive Collection. Prices range from £179 to £289 but again check sales you might get one or just stretch your moneys if its a special purchase.
Must make a point here as is one of most inaccurate statements ive seen on this forum, the mentioned Saville Row tailors/mostly RTW outlets producing shirts are in no way on a level near Dolce Gabbana. Dolce Gabbana is not D and G and never will be, one is young developing world made fashion clothing one is a line of Italian made mother of pearl button high weave quality fabric clothing. Dolce Gabbana shirts start around £179 to £390 and are incomparable to the other tat and must not ben confused with D adn G. Their pattern matching is excellent, buttons are all mother of pearl without an exception, styling is fantastic can choose from tailored fit, classic fit, slim fit etc these are good shirts, not Borelli, Brioni Kiton but still very good. You may get soe in the sale they do a couple of plain models that often pop into sales Harvey Nichols Harrods etc.
Brand though that I think you may like is Kenzo, they are muchcheaper price point starting at £75 going to just over £200 for more whacky stuff, fabric is nowhere near the above Italian shirt-makers but it’s respectable and won’t irrtate the skin, collars are where they let themselves down liek the above RTW Saville Row shirts they won’t hold shape well when waearig the shirt but you get what you pay for, however pattern wise they produce some lovely shirts particualrly ones that the aldies seem to love on men so that’s a bonus! Don’t go for what’s in the shops, head down to Sloane Avenue where the Kenzo shop is and downstairs is full of menswear and they have some very nice clothing, they do nice cashmere thin sweaters that can be worn without a t shirt or vest, they are around £330 but really nice but you may well find a shirt that keeps you really happy.
Also definetly look at Etro, Etro are a brand that can pnch above their weight because they weave and produce their own fabrics giving them economies of scale, some of the fabrics on their £150 shirts are incredible, really good, to get better you would have to go for Carlo Riva cotton which is used By some Brioni shirts, most Kiton and Stefano Ricci and then you are talking about £375 and way beyond. Some Etro is very extrovert but very little is actually tacky and they produce one of the best collars in the business. For me as someone who rarely rares a tie nowadays it’s extremely important that when open the collar holds shape and the shirt stays in place below the collar to create good symmetry, Etro collars are outstanding, go to their shop in Bond Street big selection but even better their store in Milan, hundreds of lovely shirts. When you feel fabrics also put index finger inside the shirt through where its buttoned and hold aginst thub allows you to get a great feel for just how good the fabric is. Promise you will be very very happy with an Etro shirt in a design you like.
Corneliani also worth looking at, stick to mainline, Corneliani ID I would avod, fabrics vary some are decent some when you step up to £140 a shirt ar very nice, theydo aprticularly nice high weave thin cottons in spring summer collection but warning will need dry cleaning after every where extremely thin fabric, beautiful to wear though and looks very good, white collar white cuff with patterns Corneliani are excellent at. Buttons all mother of pearl.
Also Armani Collezione, important not to confused Armani lines, Armani jeans clothing personally I won’t wear much of it. Armani Collezione price goes up but so does quality and change in style. Good fabrics, mother of pearl butttons some amazing cuts, very slim and inventive styling again way ahead qualiy wise and construction of Boateng, Richard James etc. Try them on though before buy as they come up mega small same with Dolce Gabbana slim fits.
Any questions please ask, will help all I can, from what you have said about casual, comments on colours etc I think Armani Collezione may well have something for you especially Spring Summer 2008 and prices are excellent from £100 to £190 I have paid. My comments come from my collection which has somehow gone beyond 80 shirts and if you want me to criticise any of the above brands I will be happy to do so there ar always bones to pick for me with anything I have!
One word of advice though advoid anything Jermyn Street as in these on permanent offer made in developing world plastic buttons shitty fabrics types like TM Lewin, Pink(some still in Northenr Ireland made but still terrible), Hawes and Curtis, Tywhritt etc. They move production to cut costs and qualiy just always suffers unfortunately. .”