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The 8 Best Performance Dress Shirts

Much-needed material improvements for the traditional style.

best performance shirts
Gear Patrol

For the professional man with a proclivity for sweat, hope is out there. Performance fabrics that were once exclusive to athletic apparel are now being made appropriate for business meetings and dressier nights out. These next-gen, high-tech shirts keep you cool and collected when the temperatures turn up, so while others keep a change of clothes close by, you’ll be dry, cool and unwrinkled.

Best Overall Performance Dress Shirt: Rhone Commuter Shirt

Commuter Shirt
Rhone Rhone

Rhone's Commuter Shirt saves those, as the name suggests, commuting — either cramped on a subway or slouched in the driver's seat — from the hassle of having to refresh themselves upon arrival. The shirt proves machine washable and interwoven nylon and elastane offer natural wrinkle release.

Best Affordable Performance Dress Shirt: Gap Performance Poplin Shirt

Performance Poplin Shirt
Gap Gap

Cut from a blended stretch poplin fabric with moisture-wicking CoolMax tech, Gap's Performance Poplin Shirt comes in two cuts and nearly a dozen colors. Plus, given the brand's inclination for ongoing sales, the shirt's usually under $50 dollars.

Best Upgrade Performance Dress Shirt: Faherty Movement Shirt

The Movement Shirt
Faherty Faherty

Founded by Mike Faherty, a designer who rose through the ranks at Ralph Lauren, Faherty produces an array of staples inspired by sun and surf — and New England prep styles. Cut from a proprietary blend of cotton, lyocell, nylon and spandex, their Movement Shirt appeases both camps by guaranteeing a good-looking, albeit traditional, fit but with plenty of stretch at stress points. Pick from a few plaid color ways, several gingham patterns or your usual solids.

Ministry of Supply Apollo Shirt

Apollo Shirt
Ministry of Supply Ministry of Supply

Cut from 57 percent polyester and 53 percent polyester infused with NASA's temperature regulating Phase Change technology, Ministry of Supply's aptly named Apollo shirt offers the same performance abilities of athletic apparel with the look of something more formal. This iteration is slimmer through the body, moisture-wicking and boasts a curved hem you can wear tucked into pants under a blazer or undone — if you're striving for a more casual feel.

Mizzen and Main Lightweight Leeward Dress Shirt

Leeward Dress Shirt
Mizzen + Main Mizzen + Main

The Leeward Dress Shirt looks like your typical sheer suiting staple, but its 88 percent polyester and 12 percent spandex construction promises comfortability, super-fast drying, steadfast anti-wrinkle support and zero pilling. It's also available in array of colors.

Bonobos Jetsetter Stretch Dress Shirt

Jetsetter Stretch Dress Shirt
Bonobos bonobos.com

Long flights guarantee at least a few wrinkles — and who the hell, in their right mind, would want to wear a dress shirt during one? (Writer David Coggins would argue otherwise.) Bonobos' Jetsetter option betters the experience by transforming the tailored shirt into a travel-friendly top. Cotton and spandex complement one another, and collar stays ensure you'll stay intact.

Brooks Brothers Madison COOLMAX Dress Shirt

Madison Performance COOLMAX Dress Shirt
Brooks Brothers brooksbrothers.com

This option is the best of a Brooks Brothers dress shirt crossed with an "athleisure" item. It's non-iron, courtesy of its broadcloth base woven from 120s Supima cotton. You can choose between fits, sleeve lengths and collar sizes, but this style only comes in one color — the white hue you see here.

ESQ Angelo Bamboo Blue Dress Shirt

Angelo Bamboo Blue Shirt
ESQ esqclothing.com

Bamboo — yes, bamboo — gives ESQ's performance fabric dress shirt its softness and breathability. Over a decade of tailoring done at their Chicago shop informs the brand's cuts, which are classic yet flattering. Plus, not only does its composition — 48.5 percent bamboo, 48.5 percent microfiber and 3 percent lycra — prevent wrinkles but it also deters odors and wicks sweat.

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