In Review: Dress Shirts from TheTieBar and Amazon’s Buttoned Down Label

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The Tie Bar Pinpoint – $55 | Buttoned Down Pinpoint – $39

Note: Both shirts in this post are a trim (not standard) fit with a 16″ neck. Sleeve length is a 32/33 for TheTieBar, and a 33″ sleeve for Amazon’s Buttoned Down brand.

There are a lot of dress shirts out there. But two more companies have recently decided to throw their hats (torsos?) into the ring. And both of these companies are probably not who’d you expect to start cranking out button up, pinpoint dress shirts.

The Tie Bar has been known for their affordable neckties and assorted accessories (like, well, tie bars) for years. Amazon is a retail juggernaut. And now both of them are making dress shirts that come not just in the basic S/M/L sizing, but full on neck and sleeve measurements. For a fit perspective, head here for the measurements of the dude (hi!) in the photos. Off we go…

 

The Tie Bar Trim Fit Non Iron Pinpoint Shirt – $55

Top: Post Ironing fit + placket and button stance.
Bottom: Post wash & dry, no ironing. Still some slight wrinkling, which is tough to see, but not terrible.

Specs:

  • Size tested: 16″ neck, 32/33 sleeve
  • Pit to Pit: 20 3/4″
  • Length from back of collar to tail: 29 3/4″
  • Collar Point Length: 3″ (pretty standard)
  • Distance from top to 2nd button: 2 3/4″ (This is actually pretty short, meaning, unbuttoning just the top can look a little constricted)
  • 100% Cotton
  • French Placket
  • Made in China

The Good:

  • Really, really nice fabric. Super soft. Supple almost. But not overly thick or weighty.
  • Feels a bit more fitted than the Amazon option (which we’ll get to in a second) and is a bit trimmer through the chest when measured.
  • Overall construction quality feels pretty solid.
  • Collar point length is a standard, 3″. Should be fine tieless, even though it leans more of a true spread than a semi spread.
  • Even though the 2nd button is pretty close to the first, unbuttoning the third looks solid, and doesn’t seem to show too much chest.

The Tie Bar’s collars are 3″ long, which is better for going tieless. 
Amazon’s on the other hand is just 2.5″ long.

The Not So Good:

  • Like all (almost all?) other non-irons, this claims to be a non iron (just wash, dry, and wear!) but the vast majority of us will still take an iron to it. Why? Because while it has less wrinkles than a regular cotton shirt, there’s still some subtle wrinkling/slight ridges fresh out of the dryer.
  • $55 isn’t hyper competitive in terms of price. That’s about where Nordstrom sells their shirts.
  • No free returns. You’ll get hit with a $5.99 prepaid label charge.
  • Sleeve lengths are the ballpark, 32/33 or 34/35 or 36/37.

The Bottom Line:

Really nice fabric and good construction, but there’s nothing all that new or earth shattering here. And it’s the lack of free returns that might push guys to order elsewhere.

 

Amazon’s “Buttoned Down” Non Iron Pinpoint Dress Shirt – $39

Top: Post Ironing fit + placket and button stance.
Bottom: More wrinkling all over compared to the TheTieBar option post wash & dry.

Specs:

  • Size Tested: 16″ neck, 33″ sleeve
  • Pit to Pit: 21″
  • Length from back of collar to tail: 31.5″ (longer than most dress shirts)
  • Collar Point Length: 2.5″ (shorter than most dress shirts)
  • Distance from top to 2nd button: 3.5″ (Pretty standard. Ledbury, for example, is 4″)
  • 100″ Supima Cotton
  • Regular Placket
  • Made in Indonesia

The Good:

  • Inexpensive at $39, and ships fast and free via Amazon.
  • 3.5″ drop from first to second button = looks just fine with only the top button undone.
  • Longer tail length helps keep it tucked in.
  • More exact sleeve measurements compared to the competition. There’s no 32/33 here. It’s either 32, or it’s 33.

The Not So Good:

  • You can’t buy one unless you’ve got an Amazon Prime membership. Which seems… odd.
  • Fabric feel is just so-so. A little stiff. Not scratchy, but not soft.
  • Will still need to be ironed, post wash. Comes out of the dryer with the classic non-iron, light puckering/subtle wrinkling. Again, I don’t really believe any shirt is truly non-iron. Some just come out with less wrinkles than others.
  • Fit is fine. Not a true slim. More fitted than a traditional fit, but not super close either.
  • The yoke seam (the one that runs along the back of your shoulder blades) is taped in a blue oxford cloth. Some have complained that this blue line shows through a little bit when worn without a jacket or sweater over it. It does show, but only a little.
  • Collar is more of a true spread than a semi spread. You’ll need some alloy collar stays when going tieless.

The blue taped interior seam can show through, a little, in some light.

The Bottom Line:

Good. Not great. It’s a shirt. Not a terrible shirt. Just a shirt. The more precise sleeve measurements are a nice design priority though.

The Very Final Bottom Line:

The Tie Bar option outperforms Amazon’s new “Buttoned Down” alternative everywhere but the price and ease of returns. Yet, Amazon requires you to be a Prime member to even order one of these things. Meanwhile, The Tie Bar does free exchanges, but not free returns. Neither The Tie Bar nor Amazon will blow anyone’s doors off, but each are fine enough shirts for their asking price.

A fit comparison between the two. Left: The Tie Bar. Right: Amazon’s Buttoned Down brand.
Pit to pit measurements are: The Tie Bar = 20 3/4″ … Buttoned Down = 21″

If a winner has to be chosen? If you’re on a serious budget and already have Prime? Then there’s no harm in going with the Buttoned Down brand. But otherwise, prepare yourself for a curveball. Nordstrom’s Trim Fit “Smartcare” line still has to be the champ of reasonably affordable dress shirts. The fit is pretty similar to the two brands featured above, the fabric is solid and so is the construction. They’re $55 at regular price, and unlike The Tie Bar, they return for free. And yes, just like these “non-iron” shirts above, you’ll want to take an iron to the Nordstrom shirts post wash and dry as well.

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