Buying Guide: Dress Shirts and Custom Dress Shirts

dress shirts for men

The shirt is, of course, an essential part of every man’s wardrobe.  But most men don’t have infinite resources to buy clothes from, so what are the dress shirts you should focus on when you build your wardrobe? And how do you go about making sure that they fit?  (Really, for the second question, a custom dress shirt is most likely the best option.  If you’re intrigued by this method of looking good, try heading to ShirtsMyWay.com.)

To help you with your search, here are a few rules to remember when buying shirts:


1. Know your
body. Be sure to choose a shirt that compliment your conformation. A shirt can easily make you look larger or thinner depending on your body type and choice of shirt. If your build allows it, then go for slim fit/cut models. A well-fitting shirt suits any man, but beware a shirt that doesn’t fit well as it can make you appear sloppy, overweight, both or worse.

2. The collar, is one of the most overlooked factors of a shirt. A lot of young guys wear their shirts open and without a necktie. That means they don’t check if the collar actually fits, so when they finally need to wear a tie they realize they can’t button it. It is important to have an eye for the spread of the collar. The spread is the gap between the points of the collar. The spread on the collar should correlate with your body’s build  the broader you are, the wider the spread should be.  Easy, right?

3. Fabric. There can be a big difference depending on what fabric a shirt is made of: cotton, synthetics, blends, linen, etc. For example, it may be a good idea to search for shirts in linen, if it is to be worn in warmer climates.

Essential shirts: You must have these in your wardrobe.

Now that that has been handled, we can go over the most important shirts a man should have in his wardrobe:

The White Dress Shirt

white dress shirts

The white shirt is a classic and will always be. it is as versatile as anything possibly can be it goes with practically everything. Make sure you have a minimum of two white shirts in your wardrobe simply because they’re so versatile.  But, try to get them in different variations (different collarscolor buttons, etc.).

The Light Blue Dress Shirt

light blue dress shirt


Another classic is the light blue shirt. Like the white shirt this one suits nearly any other item of clothing. It also goes with all skin tones and hair colors.  You should go for at least one, but two variants of a light blue shirt will probably serve you better in the long run.

The Dark Blue Dress Shirt

dark blue dress shirt

Navy Blue  The dark blue shirt looks great over a pair of dark grey or black pants.  Even jeans, if you avoid blue washes.  One version of this shirt is all you need to start with.

The Black Dress Shirt

black shirt


The black shirt, like navy blue, is a shirt to set you apart from the rest of the pack.  White and light blue are great, don’t get me wrong, but just think about how many guys you saw wearing those colors the last time you were at happy hour.  A black shirt goes great with a pair of light gray or khaki pants. One black shirt should fit your needs.

The Gingham Dress Shirt

gingham shirts

Those who want to branch out further should try their hand at prints like this checkered shirt: the gingham checkered shirt.  It’s a great print to start with. This type of check is pretty damn versatile too; it goes with most of the other clothes you own if you keep the color palette simple. I’d say one or two gingham checks is good.  Definitely in two color families if you wear a lot of color normally.


The Striped Dress Shirt

striped shirts

Last but not least is the striped shirt. The rule for striped shirts is as follows: choose colors that are versatile and not too bold  that way you can’t go wrong.   There’s no need for your stripes to speak louder than your suit.  One or two versions of this shirt should be enough.  Follow the same rules as you did for the gingham to choose how many striped shirts you need.

Of course, no matter what color or style you choose, the fit is really king.  An impeccably fit white shirt will wipe the floor with a sloppy stripe any day of the week.

Thanks for reading!  If you like the article, let me know!

Here are a few links that may interest you: Tandlægerne
Næseoperation Tyrkiet, NæseoperationTandlæge Brøndby StrandAkut Tandlæge ÅrhusTandlæge HørsholmLåsesmedHvidovre.dk, www.Dødsboerkobes.dk.

Caring for and Maintaining Your Wardrobe

Let’s talk about that outfit you have. You know which one. You loved it for a few months, wore it almost constantly, and now you can barely stand the sight of it on a hanger, let alone on you. Sure, you might just be bored, but it could be more than that.

Ask yourself this: Did I take good enough care of those clothes that I loved?

If you can honestly answer yes, then you probably know everything that I am about to say.  If you’re no quite so sure, then read on and save yourself some money (on new suits and shirts) and grief (mourning your dead clothes).

When caring for your suit, there are some cardinal rules to follow: dry clean infrequently, brush daily (pick one up at your dry cleaner or tailor), and store on a wooden hanger in a garment bag. GQ sums it up nicely.

When it comes to shirts, things are a bit more tricky.  Check out our buying guide and figure out the quality of the shirts you own.  The lower quality ones simply won’t last as long, but we all know that when we buy them.  For my own shirts I always follow these rules:

1. For the really saturated colors, I check for wear at the seams as I iron.  Often I notice the color beginning to fade along the cuff seams. That’s when I know the shirt has one, maybe two wears left in it.  The it’s time to donate.

2. For my whites, if I just can’t get that brilliant sheen into the fabric after one wash or there is just too much yellowing of the collar, it’s time to find the replacement.

3, For light shirts, I use a combination of those rules.

 

I put a lot of stock in how the color of the shirt looks.  I have looked at an old photo of me wearing the same shirt and realized just how different it was only a few months later and get rid of it.  Other people put more emphasis on the integrity of the seams.  It’s really between you and your shirts.

I have found that my custom shirts, of course, last longer, but I often buy my off the rack shirts in multiples, making the style go a bit further.  Finding the balance that suits you and your budget is you real task here.

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Suits to Suit Your Shirts

I want to take you through a little cognitive exercise in getting dressed.  Instead of choosing what suit you want to wear today, I want you to choose the perfect shirt.  If this isn’t catching you in the morning, then go ahead and design your dream shirt in your head (If you want to design it for real, ShirtsMyWay.com.  It’s fun).  I’ll wait here.

Got it?  Good, let’s keep going.

Instead of choosing your suit next (it’ll actually come last), pick out your tie and pocket square.

Now choose your accessories for the day.

Your shoes are next.  What goes with that shirt?  It all comes back to the shirt.

Finally, decide what color and pattern suit is right for what you just designed in your head.

 

Is the result any different than it would have been had you started with the suit?

Personally, I love doing this exercise every once in a while because it always gives me subtly different results.  It’s not a radical change, but it does make a difference.  I’ve also noticed that I tend to choose my shirts based more on my mood, which means that the day’s outfit is a little bit more reflective of how I am feeling.  That makes me walk down the street with a bit more confidence.

I’ve tried the same thing with pocket squares, ties, and shoes, but I’m almost never really satisfied with the result.  I always spend 10 minutes finding the thing I don’t like and changing it.  In the morning, this wastes my time, when trying to decide what kind of suit to invest in next, this wastes my time and my money.  When I wear my shirts, I know I’ll have outfits to suit my personality.  And with this little trick, I have suits to suit my shirts.

A Breakdown of Different Occasions

As a man well into his life, you by now know that you can’t wear just anything anywhere.  Certain occasions call for certain sartorial (I just love that word) choices.  As Emily Post explains so eloquently, those occasions range from casual to white tie.  But let’s not kid ourselves.  We know that, in reality, that becomes gym sweats to the least dirty suit–most of us don’t have a lot of occasion to go black, let alone white tie.

But what are the pieces you really need to invest in to be sure you cover your bases?  And, more importantly, that you cover them stylishly?  Let’s start at the bottom of the pyramid, the most wear and the least formal: your casual clothes.

 

Casual: For this category, a solid pair of dark wash jeans will be your most versatile bottom.  For shirts, button-downs (not to be confused with button-ups!  Check out the shirt guide if you’re having trouble with this one) and oxfords will take you from casual Friday to Sunday strolls.

Business Casual: The key to going from casual to business casual is in everything but the shirt.  You can wear an Oxford everyday (if your office allows for that), but dress it up with some slacks, dress shoes (I love a good loafer for business casual), and a fun tie.  “Business” doesn’t mean you have to immediately throw out your prints.  Business casual in a plaid shirt, textured tie, slacks, and wingtips is perfectly acceptable.  A jacket can also do a fine job of elevating your look to be office appropriate

Business Professional/Formal: The big difference here is that the jacket is absolutely essential.  Match it to your slacks and make sure your shoes are cap toes or oxfords.  Maybe try a monk strap if you want to assert your personal style. I like a boot when it drops below freezing.  I loathe the loafer in business professional.  I prefer sleek lines.  The tie should be kept conservative.  Overall, this look is about as traditional as it gets.  Don’t vary too much from it for interviews, but once you’re in the office you can play with color a lot more.

Creative Formal: This is where my list begins to differ.  I would say this category is not above biz pro (if you’ll pardon the abbreviation), but rather alongside it.  This is where you can play with colors, textures, and prints.  Accessorize the hell out of your suits and really show of your personality and your style.

Formal: Essentially, this rule is simple.  Buy at least a dinner jacket, if not a tuxedo.  A tux will serve you well.  Even if a wedding invite, for example, says you can go more casual, a tux will ensure that you’re among the best dressed people there.  Don’t be afraid to have fun with it.  That really comes down to the occasion itself.  A tux doesn’t mean no color.  It could mean a hot pink tie and pocket square.  Read into who is inviting you and why they are having their event.  State dinner?  Play it safe.  Children’s benefit?  Have fun!