How to Pick the Right Men’s Shirt for Any Occasion

MD-527 Black White Dots crossbodyMore and more men are openly acknowledging that they have an interest in fashion that goes beyond displaying a sports logo on a T-shirt or cap. For decades, the popular bro view has been that real guys don’t do the men’s designer thing, kind of like real men don’t eat quiche. Those days are gone as more and more “real men” are admitting that they actually do care about more than comfort when picking out clothing. Unfortunately, most men haven’t been steeped in culture of stylish dress, and the effects of that lack are everywhere. It’s the guy at the office who sports a paisley designer men’s shirt with his pinstripe suit because the colors match. It’s the dude who thinks his oversize T-shirt with team logo is perfect over chinos – never mind the fact that he’s wearing chinos to begin with. For those guys, here’s a quick primer on how to pick the right men’s shirt for any occasion.

Office Dress

Put away the plain white cotton men’s dress shirt. It marks a man as unimaginative – and that’s death in just about any profession. These days, men want to show that they can think outside the box without going over the line. White’s right in some situations – but only for men who can carry the color off without looking washed out and sick. For dress days – big meetings or front-facing executive and PR positions – experts recommend solid color button down men’s designer dress shirts in hues that coordinate with suit color – and accentuate complexion.

Style Tips: Watch the fit. Many men wear shirts that are too big. If the shirt blouses over the belt or wrinkles when it’s tucked in, it’s too big.

Office Casual

Office casual used to be a once-a-week dress-down thing, but more and more workplaces have figured out that employees are more productive when they’re comfortably dressed. Gauge your office mood, experts say. At some companies, a golf shirt or men’s designer sport shirt fits the workplace ethos. At others, casual Friday simply means unbuttoning the collar of your favorite men’s dress shirt and leaving the tie in the top desk drawer. For those lucky enough to work in a creative environment, men’s designer dress shirts offer a wide range of options, including the bold prints and sophisticated good looks of men’s casual dress shirts from designers like us at Michael & David Menswear.

Style Tips: Walk the fine line between standing out and fitting in with traditional styles in unusual color choices, or break the mold with a classy men’s designer casual shirt featuring contrast cuffs and button placket.

Casual Parties and Nights Out

Especially in warmer weather, men’s short sleeve dress shirts are a tempting option for casual parties or hanging out at the local watering hole. Here’s a warning from the style experts at Esquire – if you wear these wrong, you’ll end up looking like an ‘80s nerd in a time warp. Men’s casual button down designer shirts are a nice compromise. Some slick styles feature three-quarter length sleeves with contrast cuffs and the slim fit that Esquire recommends for shorter sleeve men’s button down shirts.

Style Tips: Oversize short sleeve men’s dress shirts are a fashion faux pas. Esquire recommends a slim fit worn with slim pants to keep the silhouette neat and clean. We call this fit American Slim, to distinguish it from the tighter fit preferred by some European designers.

Club Nights

Busting it out on the dance floor requires a really hot look. Luxury fabrics, perfect fit and meticulous tailoring add up to a total win on the club scene. The Latin look is one of the hottest looks in the club, and it never goes out of style. Invest in some high-quality men’s dress shirts with a Latin vibe – a Michael & David Menswear specialty – and wear them with pride.

Style Tips: Pair slim fit shirts with slim fit jeans or black slacks for the ultimate club look. Men with a great physique can get away with tucking in, but most men will look better if they leave them loose over their jeans – the slim fit should be just right to hit at mid-hip and hang comfortably without pulling or billowing.

Choosing the right men’s dress shirt isn’t a science, and it’s certainly not brain surgery. All it takes is a few simple rules and an understanding of the proper fit for clothing. Once you get it down, you’ll always look right for the occasion.

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