There are the types of guys who own a white shirt and style it the same old way every time. Then there are guys who own one, but save it just for such occasions as weddings as a ‘safe’ style item. Finally, there are those who shy away from it altogether because they got it in their head that a crisp white shirt is simply too formal or even ‘corporate’ to be rocked on a daily basis. That’s where we come in. A white shirt is the Cadillac of shirts, and you deserve to rock one as often as possible in as many different ways. Trust us, this clothing item is a gem, a style chameleon and it will work hard for you, you just have to learn to play the shirt game and we’re here to teach you the rules.
You probably didn’t bother with keeping up with Fashion Week, so we did the work for you, and we’re here to tell you that the preppy look is totally back in style. A white shirt with a crew sweater in your most flattering color along with a pair of chinos is a winning combo. Throw in a great belt and a pair of either loafers or top-siders and you are good to go. If you want to take the look up a notch, you can always go with a tie in a contrasting color, although this works better with cardigans, which by the way you are also very welcome to rock with a white shirt. Keep in mind that the shirt should be tucked in if you decide to wear a belt, and leave it untucked if not. This may even be a better option for guys who want to retain a cooler, non-crisp, but still sleek vibe. Of course, the only way you can top this is if you take the sustainable route and go for a shirt made out of organic cotton – remember, green is the new sexy, plus, your shirt will have a much longer lifespan.
Classy AF (As Frasier)
Sometimes the obvious choice is the best one. Although Hawaiian and floral shirts are all the rage now, if you want to look classically handsome and polished when the situation calls for it, a classic white shirt is the way to go. The best thing about rocking them with great tailored men’s suits in Sydney – because great suits can be found all over Australia and the world, whether you have a wedding to attend or are getting ready for a big meeting – is that they’re frill-free. It goes phenomenally with every other color, so you don’t have to worry about your suit or tie color clashing with your shirt. JT didn’t wear a suit and tie with a white shirt for no reason.
The casual guy is one most reluctant to rock a white logo shirt, and if you’re the guy, be ready to be pleasantly surprised. Choose a pair of your go-to jeans. They can be regular or slim fit – whatever suits your style persona. Throw on a regular single color tee and put on a pair of your finest white sneakers. This is where the magic happens; put on a white Oxford shirt – not a fitted one and don’t button up. Let it breathe and give out the casual athleisure vibe. Make sure the tee is in a contrasting hue – something like maroon will look great. It will make the white pop, while still not looking formal.
You can definitely dress the white shirt down, it most certainly doesn’t need to look smart and sharp. For a really casual look, go with dark straight-leg jeans, a pair of Adidas Originals and if you feel like it, throw on a watch just to accessorize a bit. Put the white shirt on, this time you can stand to go with a slim fit, roll up the sleeves and don’t button it all the way up. It’s best to unbutton one, as two can give off the wrong impression.
Sleek for no reason
Sometimes you don’t even need a reason to get all decked out. This is where slim fit pants come in along with a cool scarf and a fedora. Don’t be afraid of the hat, it’s still the mark of a true gentleman, and it’s coming back in style, so you might want to get on board. Now, you can choose a timeless fitted blazer or the trendy oversized one, but make sure it’s checked – it adds to the sleekness. Throw the scarf around your neck, put on those loafers again and you are first date gold.
Peter is a men’s lifestyle writer at Gentleman Zone magazine from the UK. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.