Men’s fashion Basics – Part 9 – Casual Patterned Shirts
Shirting The Issue Some More

I’m sure most of you have noticed that there are a lot more types of shirts out there than what I covered last week. And you’re right, there are loads. But to have tried and crammed them into the previous article just wouldn’t have done them justice. Also, a lot of these varieties of shirts have preconceptions being dragged behind them and I wanted to clear them up a little bit too.

Other than basic coloured shirts; guys out there can predominately get their hands on striped versions, checked/gingham versions and plaid versions at the moment. All three are great but I want to concentrate on plaid and striped for now. Let’s not run before we walk, right?

Most men who are new to fashion will look at a striped shirt and assume that these should be worn as your ‘going out’ shirts and that plaids are for a casual weekend. That’s fine and very true on a very BASIC level, but with plaid dress shirts being this season’s go-to for most stylish business men (who want to be on trend), who’s to say that those borders can’t be broken down? Combining a plaid shirt with the perfect tie and cardigan/sweater for a night out is just as effective a substitute as stripes. Similarly, a wrinkled and creased striped shirt loosely buttoned over the usual white tee and jeans combo works just as well as plaid does. Again, as with most things in fashion, it is about layering and what pieces you combine them with.

So THE key thing when buying these shirts is bearing in mind what other pieces you might want to pair them with. As a rule with plaid or stripes DONT put them with clothes that have similar patterns to them. Wide stripes with a pencil striped shirt are fine, so are smaller or larger checks than the plaid. What you want to avoid is looking like you’re going to make people dizzy if they stare at you for too long.

An easy way to do this is to tone down the rest of your outfit. Bold stripes or checks can be matched with dark indigo, grey or black jeans, meaning that the shirt suddenly contrasts beautifully with the darker shades and becomes a FOCAL POINT. As we mentioned above, you could also go the other way and throw a great piece of knitwear or jacket over the top of your shirt, and simply have it as a bold layer within your whole outfit.

When it comes to striped shirts, I think the must-haves are a coloured one with substantial (but not too wide) white stripes in either blue, pink or grey and a normal white shirt with black pencil sized stripes (or brown if you want to add more colourful options to your wardrobe). As for plaid, it’s whatever suits your fancy guys, just as long as it doesn’t clash with the majority of your other items. But at a push, I’d say blues, red, greens and purples are great. Going with seasonal colours is a great rule of thumb if that helps more though.

Ways To Wear

And, as always, here are some fool-proof ways of utilising your striped or plaid shirts: -

  • A blue/pink shirt with wide-ish white stripes plus chinos or dark wash denim and brown loafers for a great casual look this Spring.
  • A blue plaid shirt paired with a black knitted tie and a navy gilets that are all the rage this winter. Pull on some raw or black denim and some Chelsea Boots to round it off in style.
  • A white shirt with pencil black stripes with your best pair of jeans and a grey waistcoat. Use a dressy charcoal version and smart shoes for a night out or try a lighter tweed version with a flatcap and docksider shoes for the weekend.
  • I saw this particular outfit on a guy the other weekend and he looked great in it. He was wearing a white shirt with brown pencil stripes and a striped navy and brown tie with jeans and white trainers. The key was that the tie had wider stripes and it picked out the subtle brown in the shirt too.
  • A plaid shirt with a solid colour tie and a cardigan or a v-neck sweater. Put it with whatever jeans/trousers you like and it will always look good, it’s probably why so many guys are doing this look right now!

So there you have it, some more shirts to go and add to your ever growing wardrobe collection. Try out the different ways of wearing them and try introducing them into your everyday casual wear. It’s a great way of looking a little bit more stylish than everyone else and also shows that you know how to put together an outfit with a shirt that isn’t just plain and boring white or blue.

Casual shirt Picks

Burton

Blue Stripe Shirt Purple Check Shirt 168 Blue Check Shirt

Topman

Charcoal Striped Shirt White and Red Check Shirt Black and Grey Check Shirt

All Saints

Dallas Shirt Dakota L/s Shirt Burnett H/s Shirt

Banquet L/s Shirt Berkerley L/s Shirt Barclay L/s Shirt

ASOS

ASOS Flannel Check Shirt Ben Sherman Check Double Pocket Shirt ASOS Stripe Utility Shirt

Ben Sherman Stamp Bold Stripe Shirt Gap Indigo Stripe Shirt Gant Multi Stripe Regular Fit Long Sleeve Shirt