Back Shirt Pleat and Dart Options

You’ve probably noticed pleats or darts on the backside of dress shirts but never understood the function and purpose of these; let alone what the different versions are called.  The following will educate you on the what’s how’s and why’s of pleats and darts, so you can make an educated decision when ordering your custom dress shirt.

Side Pleats:

Adding side pleats to a dress shirt adds a stylish tailored appeal as well as added function.  It sends the message of business and gives added movement to the arms for forward and upward reaching and stretching. This is especially important for those men who are busy in the workplace and don’t want to bother with having to constantly resituate and tuck in their shirts.  It also lends help to those who want to avoid rips in the elbow fabric of their shirts.

Box Pleat:

A box pleat is more casual and typical with button-down oxfords; it also adds function similar to the side pleats with regard to arm reaching forward and upward, as well as the shirt staying tucked in during this movement.

Inverted Box Pleat:

This pleat is mostly for the stylish person, but again, has the same function as its parent: the box pleat. It’s rather uncommon, but adds a cool unique element to a casual dress shirt.


Adding darts to the back of a shirt .75” depth to each side, is a fix for those with a sway back. It does this by eliminating fabric in the back, while maintaining a trim neat look to the front of the shirt.