Finally—a men's dress shirt that I don't hate wearing
Twillory shirts are surprisingly comfortable.
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
I own exactly one dress shirt and I hate it. I bought it years ago—on sale, mind you—to wear to a wedding, and ever since, its faded maroon aura has been hogging up space in my closet—and as I'm Reviewed's style writer, that real estate is prime. I pull it out on the rare occasion that I have to attend a formal event. I dust it off, iron it, and throw it on for a miserable few hours. It’s heavy, ill-fitting, and unlike most garments that I own, it’s unremarkable. But for someone like me who seldom attends dressy events and who detests wearing long sleeves in the Florida heat, it serves a purpose: Existing as the sole shirt I pull out when I attempt to look formal.
Every time I’ve worn this dress shirt—and all others before it, really—I’ve associated the experience with sweat, heft, and discomfort. I never thought I’d find a one that could make me look good, and definitely not one that could make me feel good. But then I found Twillory. The company makes “performance” button-down shirts composed shirts that are comprised of fabric that offers four-way stretch and is moisture-wicking, as well as more traditional cotton "non-iron" button-downs (though all claim to resist wrinkles). Intrigued, I asked Twillory to send me three shirts to test out: two of its performance shirts, the Leader and Pivot, and one non-iron shirt. At $99 a pop—or two for $139—these shirts had to be good, right?
What is Twillory?
Twillory is a menswear company founded in 2014 that offers trousers, loungewear, henley and polo shirts, and performance button-downs. (Think J.Crew with a hint of Betabrand's dressy yoga pants—workwear you can sweat in.) Twillory’s performance button-downs, which are what the brand is best known for, claim to be moisture-wicking and non-iron, and offer sweatproof collars (exclusive to white shirts) along with four-way stretch. Each performance shirt is 58% cotton, 18% nylon, 5% spandex, and 19% CoolMax, which is a branded polyester known for its moisture-wicking properties. The company also offers 100% cotton non-iron shirts it calls CottonSafe, which are shirts treated without formaldehyde—a chemical often used for wrinkle-resistant effect.
All of Twillroy’s shirts come in men’s sizes S to 2XL—including in-between sizes S/M, M/L, L/XL. and XL/2X—and the button-downs come in a variety of fits as well, from slimmest to most relaxed: extra trim, tailored, and traditional. The sleeve lengths come in 32-33, 34-35, or 36-37 inches.
What I like about Twillory shirts
The fit of these shirts is everything I could ever dream of for off-the-rack—or off-the-internet—clothing. Each shirt felt like it was tailored to my body. I’m normally in between a men’s size L and XL, and Twillory offers exactly that—a 17 in men’s dress shirts, which in Twillory sizes is a L/XL. It measured 24 inches across the chest, 20 inches off the shoulder, and 32-33 inches down the sleeve. I chose the traditional fit because 1) I’m not required to wear a formal, tucked-in shirt at my job and 2) I like hiding my potbelly. I’m shocked I could even button up the collar around my neck and still have room to breathe. Each shirt fit my 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame to a T.
Both performance shirts—the Leader and the Pivot—are glossy and cool to the touch. They’re thin and breathable, and feel lighter than the weighty department store dress shirts I’m used to. I wore each performance shirt for a quick 20-minute stroll on a humid 75-degree Florida morning to see how they performed out in the wild. I was impressed with how breathable the the shirts were and how well they wicked away sweat. With the sleeves rolled up, my walk was comfortable—much more so than when I wear my one dress shirt. The roomier cut of the traditional fit allowed air to circulate around my body, and the stretchy material felt unrestrictive and free.
On the other hand, the all-cotton non-iron shirt is thick, with a unique textured weave pattern. This shirt is made with 2-ply cotton—which is a finer and tighter weave than the normal 1-ply—so it feels tougher. The company’s branded SafeCotton is, according to Twillory, treated without the use of formaldehyde, one of the chemicals that’s essential to conventional non-iron clothing. I was able to wear it right out of the wash, without worrying about steaming, ironing, or pulling at its fabric to remove wrinkles—there weren’t any.
I love the way the collars on all three shirts stand upright, making me look and feel sharp. Each collar comes with a pair of nickel-brushed collar stays. I actually forgot these were a feature on the shirts when I threw them in the wash but was surprised to see that the collar stays stayed put while laundering.
Likewise, the sleeve cuffs on each performance shirt stay securely buttoned. On the Leader and Pivot, the underside of each sleeve cuff features a silky padded fabric accent. This adds some flair, especially when rolling the sleeves up. On the Leader—and all of Twillory’s white shirts—there’s the same grey pad built into the neck of the shirt’s collar to prevent dirt and grime from staining its white color. This is an awesome feature for anyone like me who sweats a lot.
What I don’t like about Twillory shirts
Confusingly, Twillory offers non-iron shirts underneath its SafeCotton collection, while all of its performance pieces are also advertised as non-iron—to the point the company advises customers to “Throw out your iron” in its marketing copy. Despite this, I didn’t find that to be true. They are not non-iron, nor are they wrinkle-resistant. If you want a crisp shirt, these aren't that.
Both the Leader and Pivot performance shirts wrinkled on my walks and again as I sat down in them. You can also still visibly see the fold creases on them from when I removed them from their original packaging. Even more concerning is that the shirt tags advise you to dry clean these pieces and iron on warm. This isn’t a dealbreaker to me because I found the wrinkling on each performance shirt to look natural, but I can’t help but question Twillory’s advertising claims and non-iron promise when it comes to its performance wear.
I’m also not huge on Twillory’s pricing. A single button-down retails for $99, but buying in bulk can save a fortune. Two shirts go for $139, three for $198, and four or more for $230—which breaks down to $59 a piece. I understand that some consumers looking for an office wardrobe may want multiple shirts to keep in rotation, but buying in bulk is risky for anyone unsure if they’ll enjoy Twillory’s products in the first place. You get free shipping and free returns, but I still wish the price wasn’t so dependent on how many you buy.
Are Twillory shirts worth it?
If you’re in the market for formal or office casual clothes and you need to stock up on dressy button-downs, I recommend Twillory’s performance and non-iron shirts if you don't mind some casual creasing in your look. The moisture-wicking performance shirts offer airy comfort for those who commute to work on foot, or anyone needing workwear that will keep them cool. In my experience, Twillory’s customizable off-the-rack fit is phenomenal and its non-iron collection is true carefree shirting. If you can swing a bulk purchase of four or more Twillory shirts—which will cost $230—I say do it. These shirts are worth investing in.
However, if Twillory’s pricing structure doesn’t sit right—and as someone who literally owned one dress shirt for years, I feel you—it may be a safer bet to grab a more price-conscious shirt from a retailer like J.Crew.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.