The basic staple of any office-going man’s wardrobe is the shirt. And for something so simple, most men should be able to get it right. Sadly, this is not the case. When it comes to shirt-related fashion mistakes, there are six ways from Sunday men can get it wrong. So here are the 10 shirts every man should have and some tips on how to wear them the right way…
The Ideal Shirt
There’s no one ideal shirt for all – frankly, there’s no one ideal shirt for you too. Irrespective of color, fabric, collar or cuff – a good shirt is one that fits and falls within the shirt etiquette stated below…
- Avoid choosing S, M, L or XL shirts. Shirt measurements are more about neck circumference and arm length. Get measured for bespoke garments or simply get the ones you have altered to fit.
- The right collar ensures you can fit it one finger between it and your neck. Two fingers means it’s lose and no finger – well, you’re the guy that is asphyxiated by his collar in office, aren’t you?
- Chuck the balloon shirt, please. The shirt has to closely fit your torso, whatever shape your torso may be in!
- Shoulder seams aren’t meant to fall somewhere on your arms – they hug your shoulders. Capish?
- Get over the I-am-wearing-my-daddy’s-shirt little-boy look – cuffs are only supposed to reach a little past your wrists when unbuttoned, not flap way past your hands.
1. Make the Shirt Fit YOU!
Painfully thin, boy-next door, ripped or just round – there’s no excuse not to wear a fitted shirt. You don’t have to fit into the shirt rather the shirt has to fit you. So get a tailor or try different brands till you finally find THE shirt. If in doubt, just buy blue.
2. Go Right with White
Nothing looks better than a simple, straightforward white shirt paired with a smart, well-fitting trouser or suit. It makes you look classy, goes with just about anything, is perfect for any occasion and can really make your tan look good. You can always add color with a tie or cuff links.
3. The Outcast
If you have a decent body, twinkly eyes, and a crinkly smile; the un-tucked shirttail look is just perfect for you. The thing to remember here when wearing a shirt un-tucked is that it needs to be a casual shirt with a shorter length and curvy hem that’s meant to be un-tucked. Do not ever wear a dress shirt un-tucked. It will be way too long to look good.
4. Collar Power with the Semi-Spread
Why this particular collar over others? Reason one is that it’s universally flattering. The second is that it’s versatile and can go with anything and everything. You can wear this shirt casually (but still tucked in please), with a tie, under a suit complete with the requisite bowtie and look dapper as ever.
5. Real Men Wear Pink
Yes, really, they do. And pastel shades of this so-called feminine color really make us women sit up and take notice of you - be it a light or dark hue. If you’re manly enough to be wearing pink, we likey.
6. The Party Animal Shirt
While none of us (I hope) is a fan of the Hawaiian shirt, poufy hair pet detective – having a bright and happily printed shirt can really make a statement at that party you’re hoping to be the star of. Be comfortable in what you wear though – if polka dots are your limit, drop that floral print.
7. Check shirt? Check!
Originating from the Scottish Highlands, being banned in Britain and finally becoming the lumberjack’s moniker – the plaid shirt has certainly come a long way from its rather humble and often violent origins. Now wearing plaid, gingham, Madras, or just about any check shirt is in – so get your palate checked today (pun intended!).
8. Candy, Tiger, Pin or Needle
The next time you reach out to buy a striped shirt – what are you in the mood for? Depending on the thickness of the stripes it could be anything from a needle head or pin point, shadow or pencil, Breton or Bengal and even awning or candy stripes! Whatever is your choice of stripe – these are shirts conservative enough to be worn under a suit and dapper enough to be worn over pants.
9. I Want to Break Free (of ironing?)
Now before you chuck the laundry guy and go all wrinkly to the office, the unpressed shirt is more about being casual in fabrics that do not require meticulous ironing. Most if not all brands do have their varieties of these shirts. Look for terms like wrinkle-free, crisp, iron-free or non-iron for hassle-free dressing on err, pressed-for-time days!
10. Play with the Cuffs
Finally, the shirt cuff has come of age now – wear cufflinks, roll it up to show beefy (not hairy!) forearms and buy shirts with interesting and contrasting cuffs. Go play!
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!