One of the most significant developments in men's dressing has been the gradual decline of the tie. Although it still has its place, its gradual removal has broken down many of the barriers around how we dress, most recently with the introduction of Dress for your Day.
With the tie removed what remains, in many instances, is a shirt wardrobe that is no longer fit for purpose. Shirts that work perfectly when worn with a tie do not always work without one. There are many things that need to be considered when looking at how you invest in new shirts. If you have a core wardrobe of 7 - 10 shirts on rotation and are only wearing a tie maybe 2 days a week then the choices you make on formal shirts are relatively simple. But informal dressing presents a greater challenge.
The first thing to consider is creating a colour palette that allows for consistent wear. Distinctive prints such as florals are great but they are limiting in terms of the frequency with which they can be worn.
A good Chambray or Denim is essential and then it is a matter of looking at what works best with your colouring and existing wardrobe. Versions of Blue and White will remain predominant but experimenting with muted brown, softer greys and dark monochrome solids will give you good options that will endure regular wear.
You also need to consider style, especially the collar; which must have enough shape and strength to remain proud under a Blazer or Coat without looking too stiff. Another strong option that always works well is a button-down collar.
A double cuff shirt is more formal so you may want to consider a mitered cuff. The shape of the shirt should be tailored but not excessively tight and its length should be such that it will work tucked (or if you must) untucked.
Most importantly buy good quality shirts that will wash and iron well. Good quality cotton will always hold its shape and look good. Make sure buttons aren’t plastic and that they are cross stitched for extra strength.
Dressing for your Day creates new challenges but there is also an opportunity to refresh your wardrobe with some well-considered purchases and new shirts are a simple and effective way to do this.
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