Ask Our Stylist: What dress shirts are a "must own"?
Dress shirts are the foundation of a smart wardrobe. Though they are often overlooked in favor of suits, shoes, and accessories, developing your closets shirting selection will give you endless combinations for a myriad of ensemble types. Here are a few of the basics to help you begin building your staple shirting collection.
There is no single wardrobe item (aside from underwear) that is more multipurpose and iconic than the solid white dress shirt. This shirt can be worn in formal, semi-formal, and casual settings and easily elevate an ensemble from iffy to crispy in an instant. Because of its versatility, it gets a lot of use so we'd recommend having at least two in your rotation.
Your fancy white shirts are best used for your more formal soirees like cocktail events, dinner parties, and black-tie. Most often these shirts are constructed with a higher thread count for a brighter sheen (80/2 to 102/2) and woven using a more intricate weaving pattern like a herringbone, hairline stripe, or dobby. We suggest designing your fancy white shirt with a point collar and french cuffs.
Often viewed as the secondary "workhorse" shirt, light blue shirts are a great alternative to your solid white shirts and help introduce color into your shirting collection. We'd suggest doubling up on these shirts as they'll get a lot of wear. A simple poplin weave in a medium weight is great for professional settings, though we'd also suggest an alternate option in an oxford weave and button-down collar for slightly more casual affairs. Lighter shades of blue that are pastel in color are more versatile.
Lilac or Pink
The Lilac or Pink shirt both work in place of each other, and the choice between the two comes down to skin tone. You never want your clothes to wash you out so choosing a shirt color that has a visible contrast between your skin and the shirt cloth is ideal. Similar to your light blue dress shirts, these options help add color to your wardrobe and break up the monotony in your shirt rotation.
Casual can mean many things when determining the formality of a shirt. These things include shirt patterns, fabric types, sleeve length (short or long), collar style, and shirt length. Aside from the aforementioned shirting staples, casual shirts can and should always reflect your personality.
Here are some tips to help you make the right casual shirt choice:
•The larger and bolder the pattern the more casual the shirt
•Button-down collars are the most casual shirt collar second only to the stand collar
•Short sleeves are always casual
•Straight hemlines are more casual than curved hemlines
•Heavier shirt cloths like flannels, canvas, and denim are typically viewed as more casual