Are you wondering what a shirt placket is? If so, do you stare into the mirror while you are buttoning up your dress shirt in the mornings? The next time you do, pay a little attention to the strip of fabric down the front of your dress shirt that you button through. That strip is known as the shirt placket, and even these come in different styles that we will discuss in just a moment.
Besides pure aesthetics, a shirt placket also has another role to play on your shirt. It helps to reinforce and retain the shape of the front of your shirt, which tends to get twisted and pulled and generally comes under a great deal of stress when you wear it.
Having said that, what are the options you have when it comes to shirt plackets?
Conventional Placket Front
The most common style of shirt placket found on dress shirts, this is an inch or two of fabric, either folded over or attached as a separate piece. The fabric is secured with stitching a slight distance from the edge, normally one-fourth of an inch, on either side from the top (collar) to the bottom (hem). It adds stability to the front of the shirt and makes the front of the shirt aesthetically symmetrical. This is a standard English and American look. In fact, dress shirts worn by James Bond typically use the conventional shirt placket, with variations in stitching.
French Front Shirt Placket
Some consider a conventional shirt placket to be a little outdated compared to the French front. Here, the fabric is folded inwards and no stitches show on the front of the shirt. However, if you look on the other side, you should see them. Although lacking symmetry, some men prefer the cleaner and plainer look of this form of shirt placket. Many think of this is a very European look as compared to the Conventional shirt placket.
Fly Front Shirt Placket
A Fly Front shirt placket has a flap of material on the front to conceal the buttons underneath. It is also sometimes known as the covered shirt placket. Not the standard fare when it comes to purchasing off the rack dress shirts, this look is for those who wish to stand out. It can be worn to formal events that require a tuxedo, as a fly front tends to draw attention away from the shirt to the bow tie. If you are dressing for a job interview, you definitely should not be considering this.
So there you have the most common types of shirt plackets you can choose from. Be sure to look out for them the next time you decide to purchase dress shirts.