There’s always the staple two-ply cotton Wrinkle Free with a self design for those long days (Rs1,699) or the no fuss Dobbies 100% cotton herringbone shirt at Rs1,099. If you want to up the tech specs, try the Non-Iron 100% cotton that costs Rs2,599 (but, remember it does need a light iron after it’s washed). Then there is the Non Iron + Nano Tech, which has been treated so if water falls on it, it slides off. Price: Rs2,499.
The white shirts aren’t displayed because, as the store manager correctly points out, they get dirty. But ask and they will whip out two boxes of pure cottons. Their basic daywear shirt costs Rs7,650. If you are looking for something to wear under your suit, ask for their silky twill shirt with a cutaway collar (Rs9,550).
Zegna has a much wider range—there is even a tux shirt with French cuffs for Rs18,400. We liked the trendy printed white shirt in their Z Zegna range (Rs10,700) and the woven casual shirt for Rs13,100.
There is a sturdy fitted barrel cuff shirt for Rs19,500 and a nice evening shirt with French cuffs. Their tux shirts cost Rs15,550.
Get creative, buy a kurta shirt. Their double layer kurta with cuffs is available for Rs2,400.
Go beyond the classic pin-tucks. For Rs4,750, you can get a lovely linen band collar half placket shirt with a pocket. There is even a button and band halfway if you want to roll up your sleeves.
Before you say CEOs don’t wear Peter England, it is my job to point out that this brand has launched a new Elite 100% cotton white shirt priced at Rs1,095. It’s your call.
If you have been spending more time at your desk than on the treadmill, the relaxed fit linen/cotton blend, for Rs1,499, might be the one for you. In their premium Prodigy range (for whiz kids, apparently), try the classic fit, self-stripes made from Egyptian Giza cotton and priced at Rs1,899. All their shirts come with cheesy notes like this one, on a shirt from their Ivory collection: snow, pearl, chalk, milk, lily, lace, moon, alabaster; no matter how many names one gives white, it stays pure and divine and lights up the dullest of days.
Their True-Tech non-iron, Giza cotton comes fully loaded with advanced microfibres and costs Rs1,499. Of course, like all non-iron shirts, a mild iron is recommended. This shirt is a cotton/polyester blend. If you are the type who wants an extra bright white (think Tide ad), try the Best White non-iron 100% cotton, which has gone through a liquid ammonia moist cure treatment to ensure the lustre remains. Plus, it has got a DP rating of 4+, whatever that means. The label congratulates you on acquiring the perfect white shirt. Of course, you must pay the price: Rs1,799. Avoid their modern fit polyester/nylon/spandex shirt please, unless you want to look like anchor Rohit Roy in the dance show Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa.
They have great shirts. Their Permapress, 100% Japanese cotton made in Thailand with a half cut collar, costs Rs1,999. In the Gods and Kings range, they have a lovely 100% Giza Cotton for Rs1,599. The shirt comes in two versions—French cuffs and half cut collar or regular collar and cuffs. Their piece de resistance is the Permawhite shirt which has been advance treated for more whiteness. The placket and seams are imported and, they claim, pucker-free. For Rs2,399.
If you don’t have access to Italian shirts, this is the place for a nice looking, slim fit shirt. There is a gorgeous cotton one with 4% elastic for Rs2,500. And a self-stripe casual, long sleeve 100% cotton for Rs2,800.
There is a no-frills short sleeves for Rs1,099, a formal self stripes for Rs1,699 and a lovely linen short sleeves for Rs1,399.
Their Purple Club range has a couple of bright sparks. There is a wrinkle resist for Rs2,800 and another one made of Japanese cotton for Rs2,378. They also have several basic twill shirts and a nice Oxford. These start from Rs1,200 (approx.).
If you are on the skinny side, CK’s casual slim-fit will probably fit you better than the one at Esprit. It costs Rs3,495 and it is okay to give it a skip in favour of denims or underwear.
Marks & Spencer
It is raining white shirts here. Their easycare range (65% cotton, 35% polyester) is available in packs of three (Rs1,995) and two (Rs1,695). For some reason, the shirts in the three-pack have a regular collar; the dual pack shirts have a cutaway collar. There is also a pure cotton easyiron with a cutaway collar and double cuffs for Rs1,845. The Autograph range has two whites, both for Rs2,395—a pure cotton Made in Mauritius, and a second, quirkier one with printed inner cuffs and collar. For those of you who still live in the button-down era, there is an Oxford for Rs1,845.
Their double cuff, cutaway collar at Rs1,799 is a popular seller. If you don’t want the frills, ask for the single cuff, normal collar which costs Rs1,699. P.S.: I love their mother of pearl three-hole Trinity buttons.
The yarn is twisted so it bounces back to its original shape much faster, hence resisting creases. Mostly found in a polyester-based fabric.
A cotton based fabric is chemically treated (or coated with synthetic resin) to make it smoother and improve its drape.
An advanced treatment at the molecular level.
Two single yarns are twisted together during the thread-making stage.
A micro structure with a self-design, normally geometric and normally single colour, which is introduced during weaving.
A diagonal weave.