How often have you come across men who wear shirts that are too large? The reason – off-the-shelf shopping that a modern man is so accustomed to.
With every man having a different physique, it’s impossible for any of your favorite brands to make garments that fit everyone and hence these brands get around this problem by making shirts that are for mythical average man. More often than not, you end up with a fit that’s either good with sleeve length but have to compromise on the neck and chest being too large. Or you make do with certain alterations.
Therefore, I highly recommend to consider a custom shirt if you want a proper fit or Identify brand that has used your profile as one of its mythical men. In my case I swear by Philippe, Arrow & Bombay Shirt Company for all my formal shirts.
Now let’s decode, the basic fundamental to dress shirts – Fabric, Fit, color & style.
The fabric is essentially the soul of the shirt. Often, men choose their fabrics using only their eyes. Of course, the color and pattern of the fabric is vital, but it’s just one aspect of the fabric selection process. The feel, weight, weave and composition of a fabric are of paramount importance. A beautiful, bright light weight linen works best during summers while a luxurious cotton or cotton-cashmere flannel will be an ideal companion during the chilly winters.
You need to ensure the shirt fits in three key areas – collar, shoulders & neck. Your collar should have two finger room for comfort, your shirt shoulders must not droop, your long sleeves should end about an inch-and-a-quarter below your wrist joint
White is the most common shirt color and has often been revered as a gentleman’s choice. A classic white shirt will never be out of place. Blue is the second domination shirt color and along with its hues, these shirts can be extremely flattering to most male complexions. Pink, Yellow, Lavender are the next few popular colors. Do not chase the popular color of the season but look for colors that make great accents, but can stand as solids themselves.
Patterns: Solid or Pattern or Plaids ? Solids shirts allows the man the option to highlight other aspects of the shirt, such as a unique collar style or to focus the attention on what really matters – the face. Stripes are less formal and it’s your perfect opportunity to add some extra flair to your outfit. Plaids – the least formal pattern. Just don’t wear this to meet your CEO or the Queen.
While we’re all about embracing individuality when it comes to styling Shirts, here are some of the basic things to note.
- Collar: The purpose of a shirt collar is to frame the face and the occasion. For a corporate approach, a lovely regular collar or button down collar goes well while for a casual occasion a rounded collar works wonders. Bonus Tip – Men with shorter necks shouldn’t wear collars with high backs and Pointed collars always gives more conservative look.
- Sleeves: Short Sleeves or Long Sleeves ? A gentleman never wears a short-sleeved shirt to work or God forbid, under a suit. Short sleeves are for the beach and not at a conference table. Rolling up sleeves while not wearing a suit on a hot day is still considered to be acceptable.
- Cuffs : The shirt cuffs are a small but very important part of a gentleman’s ensemble. As it relates, they should be neither too large nor too tight. If you can fit your hand through a cuff without unbuttoning it, it’s too big. If it crinkles when buttoned, it’s too small. Always go for two button cuffs for a bit of adjustment. Always leave extra allowance for your wrist watch so that your cuff can comfortably button over the watch but still not slip onto your hand.
- Pocket: Any dress shirt without a pocket immediately falls into the “more formal” category. This includes things like weddings and ceremonial events where one might wear a tie. A dress shirt that includes a pocket is made for casual activities. Think office attire and brunches with other young professionals. Double breast pockets are things you only see on a safari or for manual labour, outside activity kind of shirt.
That’s some basic introduction to fundamentals around to dress men’s shirts. Finally Words – A shirt hand-cut and crafted with care, attention to detail and made from some of the best fabric and fitted in a way that feels like a second skin in my opinion is a perfect shirt. A shirt that is made for you, by you, in a style and fabric that suits you.