Dress shirts and ties are where your formal wardrobe really begins to show some creativity. In this article we are going to take a look at one half of that combo, the dress shirt staples of a man’s wardrobe. If you instantly thought of staples to keep your shirt in the right spot throughout the day, then this article is perfect for you because you are most likely trying to up your style game in anyway possible. This article will show you how to build an essential shopping list for your dress shirts, whether you are just entering the world of needing to be formally dressed often enough to warrant a shopping trip, or if you just are looking to minimize and revamp your wardrobe as a whole. These few versatile shirts will give you all you need to dress formally every day of the week, or serve as a jumping off point for your new life as a stylish gent, depending on how fashion conscious you are.
When it comes to choosing your first five, six or even ten dress shirts it is important to remember that versatility, simplicity and quality are king, queen and jack (so to speak). Starting with only a few shirts you need them to be classic shirts that you can look good in and wear often. Once you have that down you can start bringing in some of your personal stylings, but until then classic quality dress shirts are the way to go.
When looking at dress shirts that will serve you well there are a few things to avoid full stop, until you feel that you are ready to take more fashion risks. There are many different collar types to choose from when it comes to dress shirts, but unless you have the ties to fill them out spread collars should be put off for a while. Spread collars can come off as showy and overly formal if worn incorrectly and so shouldn’t be in your wardrobe just to begin with. French cuffs can also go pretty much in the same category as “too much” for the average man. The last thing to avoid is unnatural fabrics. When just starting you will want to make sure that at least the majority of your shirts’ make up is cotton, otherwise you run the risk of poor quality or and no breathability. So without further ado, here are five dress shirts that every man should own:
1. The Classic White Shirt
The first dress shirt you need is the epitome of classic men’s style. The white dress shirt has been and will be around forever and is a look that goes with just about every tie and suit combination you can put together. It may be a safe choice, but it is easy and a definite essential for any man’s wardrobe. The white dress shirt is also the shirt you will want to stock up on first, because once you have found the perfect one you can always use more.
2. The Pale Shirt
Typically the second shirt that you will be advised to invest in is the pale blue shirt, but times are changing and that second shirt does not have to necessarily be blue anymore. Colors like lavender, pink or a pale blue are all acceptable for that second shirt. If you want to play it safe, or if you don’t think you have the skin tone for lavender or pink then there is no shame in going for a light blue shirt. These colors are all nearly as versatile as the classic white dress shirt, but allow you a bit more color to work with and give off a more casual vibe.
3. The Grey Shirt
The grey shirt is one of the oft forgotten essentials for men’s style and so will let you look great with ease. The grey shirt works well with nearly any neutrally toned suit or tie and can even be used as a more stylishly daring choice as you grow more confident. To keep the grey shirt from seeming drab, opt for a fabric like chambray to keep your shirt staple from becoming dull after a few wears.
4. The Striped Shirt
This piece of your wardrobe allows for a bit more of your personal style to shine through, but you will still get some style guidance here. For a striped shirt it is a good idea to keep the base color of the shirt to one of the previously mentioned colors and the stripes on the thinner side. While the color of the stripe is of course your choice, to make your wardrobe more cohesive try and think of colors that are already somewhat prominent in your wardrobe and work from there.
5. The Checkered Shirt
The last of the absolute essential dress shirt staples gives you yet even more room to show your personal style. Whether you go with the classic windowpane check or something more trendy like the gingham check is up to you. Keep in mind the same advice on color as was mentioned for the striped shirt and let your personal style shine through.
Five dress shirts may not seem like too many to start with, but when you add a few suits and a large selection of ties you have more than enough combinations to last you months before having to repeat an outfit. Hopefully by that point you will have gotten a bit of a handle on your personal style leanings by that point allowing you to branch out of the essential wardrobe. If you have a shirt that you think deserves to be in every modern man’s essential wardrobe feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section!
Ready to start your Ties & Accessories shopping? All of the Dark Knot's Ties, Pocket Squares and Lapel Flowers come elegantly packaged in a black gift box, along with recommendations for matching attire, so that you always know you are well dressed! Feel free to view our entire collection here.