If you’re a guy reading this you probably don’t need us to tell you that the amount of ‘wardrobe essentials’ that you’re supposed to have are a lot fewer in number than your female counterparts. Whilst the ladies are told that they ‘must have’ a great trouser suit, a classic mackintosh, a pencil skirt, a crisp white blouse, a great pair of heels and of course an LBD (that’s a little black dress, don’t you know!) – among a myriad of other garments, for men the go-to items are considerably less.
So what should you, as a self-respecting man about town, have hanging in your closet? And do you?! Obviously a pair of nicely fitting blue jeans is probably top of most men’s lists, as well as some great white t-shirts. A good quality cashmere sweater will never go out of style and a pair of smart-casual chinos is always handy, as well as a blazer and a couple of decently-cut dark suits; especially if you work in a traditional office environment. Get these basics sorted, add a couple of good quality white shirts and you’ll be laughing.
Finding the perfect white men’s shirt can be a little tricky but once you’ve nailed it you’ll have the perfect capsule wardrobe to take you from breakfast meeting to boardroom to after works drinks – and even a formal black tie event. But don’t forget, it has to be white; a blue or grey shirt just isn’t going to cut it under these circumstances.
A crisp, white shirt says you’re a confident professional who cares about the way he dresses – providing it’s clean and wrinkle-free of course! And it’s not only the colour that can make a difference, but the fabric you choose too can play a part in how you pull off your finished look. For a preppy look choose something made from Oxford cloth with its basket weave finish – shirts made from this will walk the line between casual and smart, whilst for a dressier look that you can still wear with your favourite denims, opt for poplin.
If you’re wearing a plain white shirt you can afford to be a little more flamboyant with your accessories too. Try rolling your sleeves up and sporting a smart, brightly coloured or otherwise eye-catching watch on your wrist. Or say goodbye to your boring black loafers and throw caution to the wind with something a little braver in the footwear department. For a pop of colour throw a bright red cashmere sweater over the top, or alternatively tone it down with a grey sweater or cardigan to soften the look.
Play around with your tie too – and we don’t mean that comedy Homer Simpson tie that you got for Christmas from your aunt, but choose something understated and stylish in wool or silk. Or try Paul Smith who always does great ties, especially in the stripes department.
One thing to remember when buying men’s shirts is to make sure that the style of the collar suits your face. If you have a particularly wide or round head choose a narrow collar and conversely, if your face is on the narrow or pinched side a spread shirt collar will help give the illusion of a little more width.
Finally, don’t just relegate your white shirt to the 9 to 5 or to weddings; if you’ve spent some money on a decent quality shirt get the most from it and use it to add a new dimension to your casual or weekend gear too.
What’s your take on this enduring men’s fashion staple? Do you love a crisp white shirt or are you a strictly t-shirt and jeans kind of guy? Let us know your thoughts in the guest book below – and don’t forget to check out our range of men’s urban t-shirts on our website!