We’re on the hunt for the perfect button up shirt. Versatile, comfortable, fitted. We’ll be testing the best of the best, and if you have a suggestion, feel free to leave a comment or send one in via Style Tip. Note: B.R. Shirt sizes are limited online. Part of their current “Summer Break” select items sale.
These aren’t neck and sleeve fit dress shirts. What they are, are versatile, have a bit of stretch in the fabric, trim fit wardrobe workhorses that can be easily worn tieless under blazers with chinos, and just as easily under sweaters with jeans in cooler weather.
The Express 1MX, despite all if its drawbacks, has been a more or less unchallenged favorite forever. But then the price jumped to $59.90 (never pay full retail at Express) and eyes started to wander. A worthy challenger was found at Banana Republic for almost the exact same price. Here’s the tale of the tape.
Body Fit: Advantage – Express A medium 1MX in the fitted style is 19″ at it’s widest point through the chest and torso. The Banana Republic is a full inch wider and that’s easy to tell in the above photo.
Sleeve Fit: Advantage – Banana Republic. The 1MX has always suffered from shorter than normal sleeves. But that might have more to do with width of the shoulders than the actual length of the sleeves themselves. The BR doesn’t feel short in the sleeves, and it’s about 1″ wider from shoulder to shoulder compared to the 1MX. Which means if you’ve got some meat on your deltoids, they’ll pull the 1MX sleeves up. Damn.
Fabric: Advantage – None. The 1MX has 3% Spandex while the BR has 5% Lastol. The BR is noticeably lighter weight which is great for summer, but it’s more translucent compared to the 1MX. The 1MX is much harder to iron.
Durability: Advantage – Banana Republic. So far. The stretch poplin from BR feels stronger at the points where the 1MX tends to fray, chip, and completely self destruct. Fabric feels a bit smoother too.
The Winner: DRAW
It depends on your body type and what you want the shirt to do. The BR poplin can’t be worn untucked because the shirt tail drops noticeably lower than the 1MX. But unlike the 1MX, it’ll STAY tucked in. If you’re a bit thicker by way of the gym or the dinner table, the Banana Republic is going to feel better through the shoulders & sleeves (but might need tailoring). If you’re downright thin and like having the option of leaving it untucked, then the 1MX is for you
If your style is more casual, lean towards the Express. If it’s more dressed up, head in the direction of the BR. Regardless, buy during a sale on both of these. $60 is a lot to pay being that you could snag either for $35-45.
Got a favorite fitted button-up? Or an argument defending either of these? Leave it all in the comments below.