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The Dress Shirt Placket
The dress shirt placket is the area at the center front of the dress shirt where the buttons and button holes run from the collar to the shirt’s bottom hem, known as the “tail.” The placket derives its name from the antiquated French verb “plaquer” which meant “to lay on.” Though you may not pay it much mind, the placket is a crucial element of a dress shirt’s construction because it bears the most stress from regular wear. There are a few different ways to ensure that this very important part of the shirt holds up over time.
Plackets can be made in one of two ways. Either separate strips of fabric are attached to the shirt body, or the body of the shirt is folded back on itself and stitched. The latter method is called a French placket and has its origins with early French tailors who were very fond of this construction. The French placket is really the best since it guarantees no loose threads and doesn’t depend on a seam for it strength. Because a well-designed placket should be reinforced, it may also have an interlining sewn between the layers of fabric that comprise it. The interlining must be thick enough to strengthen the placket yet thin enough to remain flexible.
J.J. Threads Dress Shirt Plackets
Here at J.J. Threads, we expect you to love your custom dress shirts for a long time. To make sure they can hang for an equally long time, all of our shirts are made with interlined French plackets double stitched a half inch from each edge: sturdy, simple and elegant. Plackets come in different types and sizes and generally range from one to two inches in width. The J.J. Threads placket is a traditional 1.5’ inch. We want it to hold the buttons but not to steal the show. We offer two different types of plackets, a regular one (which we’re certain you’re already familiar with and a concealed placket, which may be new to you.
The concealed placket
Also known as "fly front" or "hidden," the concealed placket is mostly associated with formal or black tie dress. It has an extra layer of fabric on top of the buttons concealing all but the collar button from view. Though it is customary to use the same fabric for the shirt body and a concealed placket, feel free to experiment. Who are we to stop you?
If you choose a regular placket we offer you two additional design options: thin piping or wide piping.
A layer of fabric measuring an 1/8 of an inch wide wraps around the inner edge of the bottom piece of the placket. We recommend choosing contrasting solid colors or checks for maximum effect as stripes and prints will likely lose their effect in such small measure. Thin piping is a very subtle addition to your shirt which is generally only visible at the collar and not always at first glance.
The concealed placket
An additional layer of fabric covers the entire lower section of the placket on which the buttons are stitched. Wide piping is much more visible than thin though also mainly at the neck. If you’re an all purpose shirt guy, one of the best ways to rock wide piping is to choose a contrast fabric for the wide piped placket, inner collar and inner cuff. You have a buttoned up shirt you can wear with a tie at the office, and when you go out at night with an open collar, fold your cuff back and voilà, a whole new look.