Difference between casual and formal shirt

Difference between casual and formal shirt image

One of the biggest confusions of all time when it comes to Men’s clothing is the difference between casual and formal wear. It has been centuries since the differences between these two have slowly tried to blur out, but the basic foundation of their respective types has been a fundamental difference-maker in the domain. So how do you differentiate a formal shirt from a casual shirt? Don’t worry. We have got you covered. We will help you categorize these two types of shirts, so next time you are out shopping, you know what you want with zero confusion. So let’s get into the details of the difference between casual and formal shirt. But first, let us understand what formal and informal wear is. Have a look at our products of formal shirts which are high in quality and in different varieties.

What is formal wear? 

Shirts that are worn for a sharp, edgy and professional look for business purposes. This attire is to maintain a sense of formality and professionalism on a particular occasion. 

What is casual wear? 

Shirts worn for a casual occasion like a movie date or dinner are called casual shirts. These give a sporty, friendly look for happy occasions that need a sense of lightheartedness and belonging. 

Tips to understanding the difference: 

Understand the difference between casual and formal shirt by below.


Formal shirts come with subtle monochromatic colours or dark hues of colours to give in to the sharp look of the design. You might have observed that the colours for formal shirts are usually dark blue, black, grey, white, brown etc. The brighter lively shades are saved for casual wear shirts. They come in playful colours like yellow, pink, green, orange, red, etc. Colour psychology plays a crucial role in channelizing which type of shirt belongs to which category of men’s wear, making it one of the primary distinguishing formulas to set a difference between casual and formal wear. 


The formal shirts have a decent fabric, most of the time cotton. These fabrics are sometimes self-textured with minimal art embedded in the material. However, when we talk about casual clothes, the fabrics vary from polyester to velvet and demons, depending on the occasion. Casual clothing comes with a variety of options of material that you can choose according to your taste and preferences. 


Casual shirts are comparatively more stylish, with different patterns and ensembles attached to them. The designs also vary from short length sleeves to a simple shirt combination and a hoodie. The variation in the style of casual clothing is beyond excellent. When it comes to formal wear shirts, the styling is quite basic, and there is little space to style the shirts. You might also come across a half-sleeved formal shirt, which is a very stylish take on formal wear. 


Formal shirts come with minimal ensembles or self-textured designs on shirts that create an aura of professionalism in the design. This is the only design element that can be added to the shirt as it may break the appeal’s formal need. Formal shirts also come with a checked shirt formal of complimentary colours, which is the most design element that can be added to the traditional shirt. ‘

Casual shirts have designs that vary from bold designs like motifs, abstract art etc. The designs also include playing with the length of the sleeve, attaching denim ensembles to simple shirts and procuring different collars on the shirt to make it look visually appealing and aesthetically pleasing. Designs of flowers, bold textures or abstract boxes are extremely common on casual shirts. One can easily play around and get creative with the techniques of casual shirts. 

This discussion comes to an end with a subtle note on how with time, the difference between formal and casual shirt has blurred. However, the underlying difference remains and will remain to justify a classification of men’s wear worldwide. Portfolio has an exuberant collection of formal and casual shirts for your regular fashionable apparel.