Shirting the Issue
So I think we may have finally covered all there is to know about T-shirts, Cardigans and Jumpers, so we are on to bigger and better things. Or at the very least something with a few more buttons on it. I’m talking about shirts here (in case any of you were still unsure) but I’m going to be talking about them in more of a casual context. I feel with these articles covering our go-to options for clothing your torso I should introduce another standard to your arsenal of items that should be in the wardrobe. And let me tell you shirts are extremely versatile.
Firstly, let me clarify that I’m NOT talking about any of your work shirts. If any of these have survived my article on ‘fit’ then put them to one side for the moment, chances are you’ve spent a little bit of cash on them and we don’t want them to get creased and crinkled in this casual context. What I’m really after are the basic men’s shirts that can be picked from any self-respecting high street clothing store for about 10 or 15 pounds. They may still have a classic formal edge to them (like your work shirts), or may even be oxford quality, but they are a cheaper to buy and will be utilised in our casual wardrobe either as a focal point or layering option in our outfits. Buy these shirts in any standard solid colour, by which I mean blues, whites and pinks and you really can’t go wrong. It’s easy for the everyday man to wear T-shirts (like 90% of the male population) but it takes a stylish guy to throw on a crisp shirt and THEN dress it down to look casual.
I think every man should have a white and a blue long sleeved shirt that they can reach for whenever they want. They are versatile colours and go amazingly well with nearly everything you can find. Whether you’re just relaxing at home or off out somewhere, shirts as casual wear are a great way to separate yourself from a sea of weekenders in their standard beat up jeans and tees.
The key thing here really is the little details and what you pair your shirt with. Obviously putting it with your suit trousers is what we’re trying to get away from. Also, if shirts feel too stuffy or formal for your liking then try losing the neck and top button, leaving it untucked and rolling up those sleeves. This will instantly make the shirt look more relaxed and hopefully you’ll feel that way too.
Beginner Ways To Wear
And, as always, here are some fool-proof ways of utilising your new casual shirts:
- For a really simple casual look, try grabbing your white shirt and pairing it with some dark denim jeans and white trainers. With sleeves rolled up and shirt untucked, it’s so simple you can’t go wrong. Swap the jeans for chinos if you fancy or add a skinny tie or maybe even a blazer to dress it up a little bit for the evenings. Take a look at the Beckham article to find some great casual shirt outfit inspiration. We will be covering checks/plaid shirts in next week’s article as well.
- The colder months always call for a few more layers so try and keep the shirt as your new base layer. Go full on preppy and partner a light blue shirt with stone-wash chinos, a grey v-neck sweater, navy blazer and some brown loafers. Or if you’re a bit more adventurous try a white shirt with some black jeans and a black and red striped tie. Then combine it with a thin snug-fit black hoodie and some white shoes and belt to dress down an otherwise formal outfit.
- Even though the summer may seem like a long way off at the moment, don’t forget your shirts then either. Here view them as your summer overcoat but try and stick to the thinner materials that are available during that season such as linen. Wear a white one over a solid brightly coloured tee or vest with your favourite pair of shorts and summer footwear.
- You do not have to ditch the graphic tees either whilst wearing a casual shirt. For the rockers or those that like a bit more edge to their casual, try pairing your slim grey jeans with some black military boots, throwing on the white graphic tee like normal and then the standard black shirt over the top. A clean monochrome look which adds in a bit more of an edge. Again roll the sleeves up, add a leather cuff or set of bracelet chains and leave just one EXTRA button open at the top of the shirt to show off your graphic.
Basic Shirt Picks