What is a Placket?

shirt placket on dress shirt

Written by Tanya Zhang

The dress shirt placket is the portion of the clothing that gives your shirt a distinct look and feel. What style you choose plays a significant role in the appearance of the rest of your attire, especially a jacket or suit. If you want to look your best, you’re going to need to know about shirt fabrics and the difference in plackets.

Not familiar with the various dress shirt placket styles? Fear not, as I am going to give you a rundown of the different types so you’ll know what to look for when shopping for dress shirts. Here's a separate guide on shirt weaves like chambray and twill fabric. In this article, I’ll discuss what is a placket and how they look on dress shirts. 

visual infographic showing 6 types of dress shirt plackets on mens shirts

What Is a Placket?

So what exactly is a dress shirt placket? The term refers to the double layer of fabric that fastens the button to the buttonhole of the shirt, and you can find it in the center of the front of the shirt. Maybe you weren’t aware that there is more than one type of shirt placket.

shirt placket on a polo shirt

Plackets can also be found in various other garments, such as polo shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts, and even some types of jackets or outerwear. They are commonly used in any garment that requires an opening or closure for easy wearing or removal.

In this guide, we'll go over everything to know about shirt plackets and you'll know all about the various plackets once you finish reading.


Types of Placket on a Shirt

Front Placket

front placket

The type of placket shirt is the most common frontal style of formal shirt. The fabric is folded back and stitched with fusion interlining, giving this visible placket a refreshing and sophisticated charm. If anything, you will rarely go wrong with this style of placket on your business shirt.

In fact, the front placket is the most popular type of shirt placket. It has a very modern appearance. The placket fabric is folded outwards with a stitching line.

Soft Placket

The soft front placket is very similar in style to the classic fusion front placket but with a soft, unfused structure. It is very suitable for casual shirts, with soft collars and cuffs.

French Placket (No Placket)

french placket

French front placket is a popular placket style, without folding back placket. It has a very clean, neat, and tidy appeal. It is more difficult to iron than a standard front flap, but it is suitable for business and casual shirts. Nimble Made has a collection of these French placket dress shirts

This delicate shirt placket creates a clean one-piece fabric look, as the placket fabric is folded back and sewn from the inside. The plain design looks very elegant, but it is also often used in casual shirts. Ironing this type of shirt placket may be a bit tricky in terms of where you can and can’t reach it, but it’s doable with some practice.

Stand Up Front Placket

This type of placket shirt provides extra support for the collar and helps it stand very well. This front placket also looks like the standard front placket, but it is made of a special hard fusion interlining on the back of the placket.

Stand Up French Front

The updated version of the placketless design, this front placket uses rigid fusion on both the front and back (buttonholes and buttons) sides of the dress shirt placket. 

The rigid fusion lining provides extra support, ensuring that your collar will stand well regardless of whether you wear a jacket or not. It looks like the standard French front, but due to the fusion, the fabric does not wrinkle around the buttonhole.

Popover Placket

Part formal shirts, part polo, the popover placket has a soft front, and there are only three buttons under the collar. As its name implies, you need to “pop” it over your head to wear the popover placket. This is a casual design option, to be sure.

This kind of sports casual shirt placket is often used for many types of casual shirts. The fabric is also folded back to create a front look with a visible placket, but the lacing is shorter due to only having three buttons. To wear comfortably, just put the shirt on your head and secure three buttons.

Western Front

The Western Front combines the Soft Front placket with elongated, stylized yoke details along the shoulders. As a casual design option, Western Front will automatically set the yoke to the Western yoke style to complete the look.

Perhaps a more casual look compared to other placket styles, but certainly one that fits the bill for informal occasions where the dress is still a bit higher than casual.

Covered Placket

Often referred to as the Fly Front, the covered placket is a more formal style placket with an extra part to cover the buttons on the front of the shirt. Usually used for tuxedo shirts, this will definitely make your shirt patterns look very clean and well-groomed.

Fly Front has an extra fabric to cover the buttons under it. A covered placket is a very fashionable choice and one of the most formal choices. Although it is not very common, it gives you the cleanest look you can achieve. Because of its form, this type of shirt placket is usually associated with a tuxedo shirt.

Tuxedo Front

The appearance and structure are similar to those of the French front, but the top four buttons under the collar are detachable so that they can be replaced with tuxedo rivets. I recommend using this option only when buying a tuxedo shirt.

Tuxedo Front Pleated

tuxedo front pleated shirt placket

Another classic formal style with 10 7/16-inch pleats on each side of the front placket is the pleated tuxedo placket. The tuxedo shirt folds are made from the folds of the fabric on the front of the shirt. The four buttons at the top under the collar can be detached for replacement with tuxedo rivets.

This pleated tuxedo shirt or classic black option can complement the bold look of the shirt. Once again, I recommend this style only when sporting a tuxedo shirt. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking woefully out of place.

Soft Wide Front Placket

The soft wide front placket is a traditional version of the casual soft front placket. The placket is ¼-inch wider than the 1 ½-inch soft front placket and has the same soft, unfused structure. It is very suitable for casual shirts, especially those who prefer a more conservative look.


Wrap Up

Now that you know what plackets are and how many different styles there are, you should have a much easier time finding the right ones for various occasions. And if you’re ever unsure, simply refer back to this entry to brush up on your plackets.

dress shirt with french placket shirt


Frequently asked questions about the shirt placket

What is a placket on clothing?

A placket is a strip of fabric or opening in a garment that allows for ease in putting it on or taking it off, typically found on the front of shirts or dresses.

What is a placket front shirt?

A placket front shirt refers to a shirt design that features a visible strip of fabric running down the front, usually with buttons or a zipper, allowing for easy closure and opening of the garment.

What is the English of placket?

The English word for "placket" is "placket" itself.

What is a one piece placket?

A one-piece placket refers to a style of placket that is constructed using a single continuous piece of fabric, often found on shirts or dresses, providing a clean and streamlined appearance.

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