Style Basics

What is a shirt gusset? Do you need one?

By on February 9th, 2018

When shopping for a custom dress shirt, you have all sorts of fun options to choose from. For instance, contrast inner collars, unique buttons, and accent thread stitching are most common. But then there’s the shirt gusset. Maybe you’ve heard the term before, but do you know what it is?

A shirt gusset is a small piece of reinforcing fabric that can be sewn onto the shirt side seam near the bottom. Aside from making your shirts more durable, it can be an opportunity for you to show a little style too.

The image below is a great example of this feature on a sporty dress shirt. The contrast fabric was specifically chosen to complement the shirt fabric. On this particular shirt, the gusset material matches the contrast fabric inside the collar and cuffs.

what is a shirt gusset and do you need one

Also, remember that a gusset plate is most commonly a bracket used to strengthen an angle of a structure. There are plenty of gussets all over a typical bridge, for instance. In the same manner, shirt gussets are used to strengthen a shirt.

Short sleeve shirts, when gussets really shine

Usually, you’ll see gussets at the base of the side seam on short sleeve shirts more often than you will on long sleeve shirts. Why? Because with short sleeve dress shirts, it’s more common to wear them untucked, therefore creating the opportunity for it to be visible. Colorful fabrics and contrast fabrics are popular choices. Therefore, a contrasting gusset is a fun way to show a little style.

But a gusset is very much an option. It is by no means mandatory on a shirt. And it can even be cumbersome when tailoring requires the side seam to be opened. Here’s a video on the topic with some additional examples.

By the way, here’s some handy information on how your dress shirt should fit you.

Thank you for reading about shirt gussets! Please email us anytime with questions: