Choosing the Right Shirt for the Right Occasion
Men wear shirts of one type or other every day, sometimes it may be a sweater, but for the most part, shirts are a man's staple.
Their shirts range from T-shirts to polo shirts to dress shirts, with variations of each.
For many men, choosing the right shirt is no big deal, if it's clean...put it on.
But for men who care about their appearance, shirt choice matters, and the choice begins at the time of purchase.
Shirts in the beginning
Did you know that previous to the 1700s, men's shirts were considered undergarments, and as a rule, the collar was the only part of it that was visible. Wealthy men wore shirts that featured detachable cuffs and collars, which they would change daily, making it possible for the body of the shirt to be worn for more than one day.
Around the late 1800s shirts began sporting buttons, which made them easier to put on rather than pulling them over your head.
Have you ever wondered why men's and women's shirts button on different sides?
During the "early" years of shirts with buttons, it was only the wealthy that could afford them. These men dressed themselves, so putting the buttons on the right side of the shirt was for convenience. The wealthy women of that era however, were dressed by their personal maids, and to make it easier for the maid to button the shirt or blouse, the buttons were placed on the left side.
Even after the "common" folk began using shirts with buttons, this button placement remained.
Choosing a Shirt
When it's time to purchase a new shirt, here are some things to consider:
- Quality Fabricis probably one of the most important considerations:
- Linen is a great fabric for business or casual summer wear.
- Cotton is the #1 choice for business, it is not only comfortable to the touch, but breathes to keep you cool, it's durable and launders well.
- A blended fabric that contains elastane (Lycra) will help your shirt fit better and retain its shape.
- Collar Constructionis an important part of the shirt. Shape and size should be considered.
- The collar should be in good proportion to the lapel of the suit or jacket that you will be wearing it with.
- How will the collar fit with the way you tie your ties?
- Shirt collars can be flattering or unflattering to your face or body type; long collars accentuate longer faces and men with short necks should avoid high, button-down collars.
- How does the shirt fit? Just because a shirt says it's your "size" doesn't mean it will fit the way it should.
- When your arms are hanging comfortably at your side, the sleeves should touch the top of your thumb.
- When you reach forward or stretch your shoulders, the shirt should still feel comfortable and not bind.
- Make sure the shirt is long enough to tuck in and stay tucked in.
As a men's clothier and fashion consultant, I have been fortunate enough to help many clients choose the right wardrobe, one that is custom designed and tailored for them. I can help you create the right look for your lifestyle.
I keep it simple and save you time by coming to you, on your schedule, making it more convenient.