Dress Shirts – Fashion Necessity
In college, I would discover a stylish article of clothing, take it home and wear it all the time. In particular, I can recall a red Ralph Lauren button down shirt (collar buttons to the front) that I cherished. It fit into this category of frequent use. Honestly, unlike my other purchases, this one did improve my look (despite it being too big). My problem, unknown to me, stemmed from my overall lack of quality dress shirts. Turns out, three to four collared shirts do not constitute variety.
If you have deemed yourself a polo or t-shirt man, you may be selling yourself short. Try adding a little refinement to your life with a quality dress shirt. To start, launch your quest for the perfect shirt with a quality solid white one. This staple should reside in every man’s closet. Next, acquire two solid light blue shirts. Then, venture into check and stripes (always a classic). By quality, I mean the shirt should be constructed of exquisite cotton, be accented with choice buttons, and fit appropriately.
Please wear the correct size. Too many times, I have seen men walking around in a fabric balloon. While it doesn’t look horrible, it looks like you tried and missed the mark. Appropriately fitting shirts will enhance your build and portray you as more athletic.
The collar should frame your face well. If your neck resembles that of a giraffe, use a tall collar. For a short neck, try a pointed collar. And, if your face is narrow, wear a spread collar. Also, if your neck comes across as oddly out of shape from your body, use a collared shirt to transform your look. Oddly enough, Cary Grant was self-conscious about his neck. Early on in his acting career, he received a bad audition review because of his neck’s odd proportion to his head and body. From that point, he concealed his neck with various collared shirts, ties, and scarves. Next time you see a movie or picture of him, pay attention to his neck. You will be hard pressed to find a shot without his neck covered.
A spread collar possesses a more prim and proper appeal making it ideal with a suit at the Symphony. And, for that subtle kick back to academic life, add a button down shirt to the mix. As your collection grows and you show off better shirts more often, be mindful of wear and tear. Consider a yellow collar the alarm clock for shirt retirement. Other red flags to alert you include stains, holes and frayed edges. With more elegant shirts, you will set in place this important cornerstone of your wardrobe.