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Synthetic stretch dress shirts

4843 Views 17 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  iam.mike

So I found a company that makes great dress shirts for athletes that fit almost perfectly right off the rack. But the material composition of their shirts is 62% Nylon, 32% polyester, and 6% spandex and I've read that people on this forum really dislike synthetics. Why is that? It stretches well in the bicep , fits great in the shoulders, drapes well, and feels decent, so it solves most of my problems. I understand that bacteria can easily grow on synthetics causing it to smell but is there another material composition that stretches that is better than the synthetic material in this shirt? Would any plant based fabrics be any better? The shirt was $90 which I thought was expensive for a synthetic dress shirt.
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People here dislike synthetics for daily wear, not necessarily for sports use: I think most people who actually sweat (sports, HIIT, strength training, etc) will concede that cotton is just about the worst thing to wear. Synthetics definitely win the day in the gym.

One exception I would say, for some applications, is merino wool baselayers, which I definitely prefer over synthetics for hiking, mountaineering, etc. I wouldn't wear it in the gym, though, since even merino (miracle wool that it is) doesn't have the evaporative (ie. cooling) qualities that synthetics have.

As for $90, technical and fitness clothing can certainly get on up there (my wife is a devotee of Lululemon or how ever you spell it), but honestly I just grab the stuff deep-discount at Ross; the clothes I wreck with CrossFit, 5Ks, and Spartan races is $5 shirts and the like (though they might be $50 suggested retail, who knows?)

I actually meant dress shirts for the office. Many people who lift regularly have difficulty finding dress shirts that fit well in the shoulders and chest but that are also tapered in the waist. Synthetic gym shirts definitely get expensive, I was just wondering why people were against the material for suits they wear to the office.
I don't find synthetics comfortable, and they never look as good. Why do you need stretch in a dress shirt? They aren't meant to fit tightly, and you don't need to be flaunting your physique all the time. The office is especially not the place to be showing off your muscles. However, you would certainly need to spend more than $90 to get a well-fitting cotton shirt. You need a talented bespoke shirtmaker who knows how to not only fit a shirt that follows the shape of your body but also fit a shirt that allows a comfortable range of movement.
I'm not showing off my muscles. I'm just saying that shirts that fit well in the chest and arms are too big in the shoulders and waist. A lot of people (including some women who wear dress shirts) have this problem. shirts fit great off the rack and I don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on them. I was just wondering why they used a stretchy synthetic fabric. I actually talked to the owners once and they are planning on making suits in this stretchy fabric as well.
Have to chime in here.

I've lifted for years (and years...) and have a 10 inch drop. The only solution, for off the rack, I've found to this fit problem is to be sure the chest and shoulders fit, then have the tailor fit the rest.

This can still be a problem, however, with the neck size, depending upon the shirt.
I had the same problem until I found the state and liberty shirts. I couldn't believe how well they fit all around off the rack. It's still borderline on the biceps but still much better than anything else I've found off the rack.
@barca10 - If you actually new me, you'd know that if I told the tailor to make my bespoke shirts a certain way, I would certainly be happy to admit that.

I have no experience with bespoke clothing or shirts, other than the first two I have mentioned. So, I left it in the hands of the tailor to fit me as they thought would be their recommended fit.

Maybe you're right, and they didn't fit me properly. Possibly next time I get a bespoke shirt, I'll have a better experience.

Until then, I'll happily wear my spandex-infused dress shirts that I feel most comfortable in.

Thanks for the discussion.
Thanks for your post. I wasn't aware of some of those other stretch shirt options. The advice on this forum is always very helpful, but I think what people don't get is that people that do regular strength or bodybuilding have periods throughout the year where their weight and muscle mass will fluctuate depending on their goals. The stretch fabric gives a little bit of room for growth so that we don't have to constantly buy new shirts.
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