Dress shirts are an essential component of any man’s wardrobe. The older we get the more important they become. Making sure you have the right fit for your body type, the right fabric for the season, and the right cut for the occasion are subtle nuances picked up with time and experience.
That being said, there are resources that help along the way. We read style magazines, look to fashionable celebs, and scope out our peers for inspiration. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned via many, many, fashion faux pas it’s this: learn the basics. Cliché, sure, but it’s true. I can’t tell you how many times I’d see a stylish utility shirt, try to emulate the look and end up resembling a safari tour guide. So, let’s start with a solid foundation, shall we? Here are 5 dress shirt styles every man should own (and how to wear them).
The Aloha Shirt
The Aloha – better known as the Hawaiian – is about as casual as dress shirts come. Seriously. These shirts are relaxed from the neck down. The collar lays flat, none of that stiff business-like business, and the fabric is almost always billowy. These festive pieces work very well in casual atmospheres, but if you’ve always wished they were more socially accepted outside of vacation days, then you’re in luck because they’re in fashion right now. Solid colored pants, chambray or linen work best for tropical vibes, and are a good starting point if you’re trying to modernize the look. Add a pair of huarache sandals to the mix and you’re ready for whatever extracurricular summer has in store. If you’re just feeling extra, however, put one under a linen suit and make office attire your beach.
The Utility Shirt
The utility shirt is by far the most casually versatile dress shirt option for men. Their rugged design, with the double breast, button fastened pockets, comes off as very masculine, but utility shirts are surprisingly low maintenance. Pair them with jeans, chinos, shorts, or joggers. You can wear them on dates, casual Fridays, or for yard work if that’s your thing. Utility shirts add just the right amount of “effortless” appeal to any outfit but be mindful of color pairings.
The Band Collar (Collarless) Dress Shirt
Band collar dress shirts are almost as versatile as utility shirts but what they lack in yard work appeal, they more than make up for in trend setting. The absence of a collar makes for an attractive, minimalist, neckline that lends its clean lines to the rest of the shirt. Some prefer to keep the unobstructed façade intact by opting to eliminate the breast pocket, but a hidden pocket will work to create the same effect. Pair the Band collar dress shirt with denim and a blazer. Casual sneakers or boaters fit this look supremely well, so go with your favorite style and see where the motivation takes you.
The Linen Dress Shirt
The linen dress shirt is a summer staple, plain and simple. Treat it as you would a modern Hawaiian with one caveat – ditch the suit jacket. Linen on linen isn’t a bad combo, in fact, it works quite well for pairing a dress shirt with slacks. The all-over linen look is all about keeping things casually appealing. Opt for neutral colors that complement one another and pair this style with boaters. Go tucked for work ensembles and untucked for everything else.
The Tuxedo Shirt
The tuxedo shirt is an odd essential. It isn’t versatile or especially innovative, but it does make its wearer look damn good. That’s the unanimous and only reason to wear a tuxedo: to look your absolute best. Because of this, you only wear them to the highest societal functions and never before 6 p.m. (unless you’re attending a wedding). But don’t worry too much about when, where and how to wear one, if a soiree is meant to be tux only the invite will declare it a black-tie affair. It may seem counter-intuitive to include a tuxedo shirt in a post like this, but trust me, adding one to your wardrobe will absolutely come in handy sooner than later.
At Original Stitch we offer a fully customizable collection of premium quality shirts, blazers, and pants. Create something that is completely unique to YOU. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from, and tailored in, Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than their off-the-rack counterparts.