For most men, an outfit begins with a purpose (e.g., a wedding, night out, work day), which then determines the kind of shirt he will choose. Let’s follow a day in the life of a young professional – Ferguson – as he determines appropriate shirts to wear throughout the day.
Seven in the morning and it is time for him to rise for work. Should he reach for the formal collared button-front or the oxford? Should it be a safe solid blue shirt or should he be a little bolder in a gingham plaid? Regardless of the print he chooses, the collared shirt is recognized as work or business attire and is the go-to shirt for business, job interviews, or simply a professional look typically paired with slacks, pants, chinos, or suits.
Eight hours later and he’s ready to head home from a long day of work. Ferguson hits the gym on a regular basis after work, so it is time to rip off the workman’s wear and throw on a lightweight tank top. Tank tops give him the comfort and range of motion needed for the gym, but he can still be stylish and stand apart from all the dudes in their dry-fit, no-style shirts or even better, those attempting to show off in their tiny tank-tops that were bought in the juniors section. Brands and designers are currently incorporating prints and colors such as stripes, florals, and bright pastels. This is not just a great workout shirt, but also works just as well on any warm day around the city or at the beach and park.
After bringing sexy back at the gym, Ferguson is ready to run some errands around town. Now come the decisions. Should he don a polo or a t- shirt? But if it is going to be a t-shirt, then should it be a graphic tee, a v-neck tee, an anti-fit tee, or… Deciding on a simple day-out shirt might just be the most difficult type of shirt to choose. The combinations of color, prints, and styles of tees are endless, but regardless of the style, the tee is perfect for a day out around town.
It’s night time, and depending on the day of the week, this means a date or party time. For these occasions, it’s typically back to the button-front shirt. In this instance, though, Ferguson goes with an oxford for his date and saves the traditional button-front for at least the third date or a more formal event. The oxford shirt still gives Ferguson a dressy look without over-doing it or looking like he just left the office and went straight to the bar. But on boys’ night, club night, or trendier events, don’t be afraid to bring back the tee. Ferguson, a trendy, hip, and slightly rebellious man would likely pair a dark or graphic tee with a fitted dark blazer, making for a chic, but not too dressy, look.
In just one day, Ferguson has sported a button-front, a tank top, a tee, and an oxford. However, this is still by no means an exhaustive list of shirts. I could have mentioned short sleeve henleys, long sleeve henleys, v-neck tees, club collar button downs, etc. This is simply a quick guide into the most basic and essential types of shirts a man should have in his wardrobe. Once you have these core set of shirts, you can expand from there. The possibilities are endless.
Photo Courtesy: Gilt and Fashionable Real Men