A Glossary of Terms on the Anatomy of a Shirt

A Glossary of Terms on the Anatomy of a Shirt

If you are a newcomer to the world of bespoke shirting or mens tailoring, then you may find yourself slightly baffled by some of the terminology used relating to the humble garment that is the shirt. We wrote this piece to easily breakdown the jargon and help you understand the component parts of the shirt, so you have all the information you need to be able to find and purchase the right type of shirt for you. 

The Collar

This part you will be familiar with. Technically all types of garments for the body have a collar, T-shirts and jumpers can have various collar styles too but here we look at the components of a shirt collar.  

Collar Base/Collar Stand - the part that is attached to the placket of the shirt and is the part that sits around the neck.  

Collar Leaf – the part that folds down from the stand and is visible and on show. The leaf is the part that creates a particular style and will be referred to by such, for example cutaway, button-down or classic. The type of collar style you choose should be carefully considered for every occasion with your own body and facial shape being a key factor to consider.  

Point Length – the vertical distance from the top of the collar to the bottom.  

Point Spread – the distance between the bottom of the collar points. You should choose a collar type that creates a spread between points that is complimentary to your choice of tie. 

Interlining – this is a piece of fabric that is placed in between the collar fabric to help give structure and shape. So, depending on the type of shirt you are buying and your own style preference you may prefer a stiffer or more relaxed collar. Linen shirts, for example, suit a much more relaxed collar than you would expect on an evening shirt that is worn at a formal event. It is possible to choose varying types of interlining with us at W H Taylor Shirtmakers.  


This is the fabric part of a shirt that sits across the top of the shoulders. It is an instrumental part of ensuring a shirt fits correctly as the way it drapes on the shoulder dictates the silhouette of the whole shirt. It can be made from one of two pieces of fabric, and it is the part of the shirt that all other sections are attached to. At W H Taylor our shirts are made with a two-piece split yoke which creates an allowance for the difference on shoulder drape. 


Sometimes referred to as the Button Stand it is the strip of fabric that runs vertically down the centre of the shirt that holds the buttons. There are various types of shirt Placket which are differentiated largely by the type of edge they have.  

Dress Placket, or for us a Standard Placket is where the edges are doubled over creating a refined and neat edge.  

French Placket is similar in appearance but has no fold and therefore a finer flapped edge. This looks neat and is often chosen for formal events, however it is much harder to iron and maintain its neatness whilst wearing.  

Hidden placket is where there is a flap of fabric that is sewn over in a way to conceal the button stand. Again, this is a smart look and a choice many gentlemen choose for particularly formal events.  

Half placket is where the shirt pulls over the head and only has buttons on the toop half of the shirt front. This is common in more casual shirts such as those with a tunic collar and in more lightweight fabrics like Linen.  

Arm hole

The section the sleeve is attached to 


The section of fabric that encapsulates the arm. Usually cut wider than the cuff for ease of movement. 

Sleeve Placket

Similar in construction to the front Placket but this small Placket runs horizontally up from the cuff of the shirt and helps to create shape and structure to the sleeve. Our Sleeve Plackets feature an under and over gauntlet to further strengthen and hold shape to prevent gaping while also allowing ventilation.  

Cuff – the part of the shirt that sits around the wrist and is constructed in a number of styles. There are three types of cuffs we offer, the two most popular are Double or French cuffs which require the use of Cufflinks and a Buttoned Cuff. Each are available with variations of edge style (rounded, squared mitred) and whether you choose from one two or three buttons. You can also choose a cocktail cuff if you are creating a bespoke shirt that is designed to be worn as part of an Evening Suit.  

Shirt front

Self-explanatory, the shirt fabric that makes up the front of the shirt. 

Shirt back

As above. 


Side pleats and a central box pleat run vertically from the Yoke on the Shirt back to create shape and aid movement 


This is the bottom edge of the shirt or any fabric garment or sewn item in fact. At W H Taylor you can choose a traditional hem style which allows for a longer tail on the shirt so that wearing tucked in as part of a formal look you will ensure it doesn’t gather or come loose when sitting and standing. You can also choose a casual style hem which is cut shorter so they can be worn untucked as part of a more informal look.  

Shirt Tail

The piece of fabric that sits lower than the waistline and is dictated in length by the hem style chosen.  



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