Technical Dress Shirts – also called Performance Dress Shirts – have made big strides in the past few years. When they first broke on the scene, few brands offered solid choices, such as Ministry of Supply’s Apollo Shirt. Since then, performance button shirts have exploded in number and selection, and have firmly established themselves in a niche between regular cotton clothing – dress or casual – and true technical athletic clothing. In years past you had a choice between Fashion – classic dress clothes – and Comfort, and the two rarely mixed. Performance shirts combine the best of both worlds, and these days you can take your pick of all manner of comfy, breathable button shirts. Shirts that are just as comfortable when you’re breaking a sweat when you’re at the desk.
We’ve rounded up the best Technical Button Shirts you can rock as Fall hits – from the sporty to the office-ready. See our top picks below.
Whether you’re catching a flight, doing yardwork or just hanging out, Proof’s G.O.O.D Shirt will keep you comfortable while also adding a bit of style. Woven from a lightweight 100% nylon, it’s soft, comfy and moisture-wicking, and doesn’t cling to your skin the way wet cotton or polyester often do. Maximum Breathability was Proof’s goal, and they’ve given it underarm vents for an increase in cooling airflow.
Storage is plenty, like all true work shirts; it’s got plenty of pockets, including dual front chest pockets, a specialized pen holder and two zippered chest pockets hidden neatly behind the main pockets. These zippered pockets are perfect for storing valuable items – like your phone, wallet, sunglasses. In place of regular buttons, the G.O.O.D shirt features snap buttons, which make for easier, faster on-off.
Whatever you’re planning to wear this performance work shirt, it’ll serve you reliably. Proof specializes in these kinds of modern takes on timeless styles, and the G.O.O.D shirt delivers again.
Another excellent offering from trusty Proof, the Performance Oxford looks nigh indistinguishable from your traditional Oxford cloth button down. But don’t be fooled: this stylish bad boy is woven from a stretchy, breathable 70% cotton, 27% polyester, 3% spandex blend that combines cotton’s comfort with nylon’s strength and durability. Only slightly structured, it feels, looks and moves just like any good cotton button down. Proof even used a stain-resistant finish, equipping it for nights out as much as days on the road. Classy but casual. Comfy but high-tech.
The shirt that started it all (sort of). Ministry of Supply has been at the front of the performance clothing movement since the beginning, and while the competition grows – they still manage stand out from the pack. The Apollo Dress Shirt is one of their flagship pieces – a classy dress shirt made from NASA’s Phase Change Materials (57% Polyester and 43% PCM-infused Polyester), which was originally designed to help regulate astronauts body temperature in changing conditions. It’s got a super 4-way stretch, is “hyper-breathable” and moisture-wicking, as well as amply wrinkle-resistant.
Available in five stylish colors – White, Black, Storm Blue Brushed, Light Blue Brushed, and Navy Blue – the Apollo is a bona-fide dress shirt that works in virtually any business environment – casual or formal. When the workday is up, rock it downtown or on your commute. It’ll keep you ridiculously comfortable no matter the weather, going from one environment to the next with ease. Might just be the best technical shirt out there. For another option, try Ministry of Supply’s Aero dress shirt.
Woven from 46% Polyester, 46% Nylon and 8% Lycra, Mizzen + Main’s Spinnaker shirt is simultaneously hip and classic – making use of timeless gingham patterns (Whitman Light Blue Gingham being our personal favorite). It’s supremely comfortable, with a 4-way stretch, and comes in a perfectly tailored athletic fit that goes effortlessly from office to outdoors. It’s also wrinkle-resistant and no-iron, making getting dressed in the morning that much easier. Modern style, modern performance. Doesn’t get much better.
Luxurious. That’s how we would describe this merino wool shirt in one word. Certainly, more casual than formal, it’s something you might wear chopping wood, sitting around the campfire or even just doing errands. But when the heart rate starts climbing, it’ll keep you cool and dry – while simultaneously trapping in warmth when the temps drop. Mesh panels are placed strategically throughout, using Smartwool’s “body-mapping” tech, to increase breathability. Flatlock seams reduce chafing.
56% Merino Wool, 44% Polyester, 100% cushy. Doesn’t get much more comfortable than this Smartwool tech shirt.
Halfway between dress shirt and fishing shirt, the Matagorda Shirt from outdoor-obsessed Howler Brothers is 100% summer style. Woven from a nylon and polyester blend, it perfectly combines active stretch, quick-drying ventilation and UPF 35 protection into one sleek, fashionable package – with casual plaid patterns to boot (choose from Seaspray, Tropic Blue and Quill Green). It’s meant for fishing or other long days outside, and thus includes a roll-up sleeve tabs, a vented rear yoke for max comfort, and a hidden zipper pocket. There’s even a special piece of microfiber for cleaning your sunglasses, woven discreetly into the hem. Reel in that catch, kick back with a beer on the beach, or fire up the grill in casual summer style.
This shirt has Italian heritage; it’s made from a 75% merino wool-25% nylon blend from Northern Italy’s historic Tollegno Mill, where some of the world’s finest wool suit fabrics are produced. The merino used here in 19.5-micron wool; the smaller the micron, the softer and more luxurious the wool. 19.5-micron is considered Superfine and is only 1/5 the size of a human hair! In simpler terms: this shirt is unbelievably comfortable.
Living up to its name, the Utility Shirt is styled like a classic work shirt and is just at home in the shop as it is around the campfire. Slim cut, it features trusty chest pockets, a semi-spread collar, and a hem length designed for untucked wear. An assortment of old-fashioned plaids and heather fabrics means there’s one for everybody.
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