Shirts- The Style StatementBuying Guides in Shirts

The work environment demands that men look professional. The professional appeal comes with wearing pants, shirts and suits. But most men have no clue how to shop for shirts, suits or pants. A man walks into a store, picks whatever fits and moves on. Dressing up for work takes more than just looking decent. We have to look stylish and just as professional. The first thing we need to do is establish how many shirts we need. We most likely have some shirts already in our wardrobe. How many more do we need and in what designs? Numerous brands produce varying designs of shirts for men. Shopping for shirts for men should thus be an easy undertaking. Shirts can be expensive or affordable depending on where we shop and the quality. Quality obviously comes with the expensive tags, but it's not always the case. We can find affordable designer shirts for men that are just as high quality as high end shirts.

The Style

Men's shirts come with various collar types- the most common are the point collar, button down collar, and the spread collar. The point collar is designed to wear with a small knotted tie and gives a polished professional look. In contrast, a casual look is achieved with a button down collar worn with or without a tie. The spread collar accommodates a wider tie with a forty-five degree angle. Another style consideration is the cuff. Button cuffs are the most popular and a good quality dress shirt will include a button that closes the sleeve. A French cuff gives a more formal look and generally requires cuff links, a traditional and handsome accessory.

The Color

The white dress shirt is a traditional essential. With that being said don't be afraid of color. We should take an inventory in our closet. Match a brown suit with a cream or tan colored shirt, a black or gray suit with a blue or jewel tone. Soft pastel colors can be another wise choice as can stripes or even a bolder print or pattern. We should always keep in mind the look we are going for; casual, professional or formal and choose accordingly. A regular men's store or a specialty shop can help us with options and choices and make good recommendations.

The Fit

Fit is a most important aspect to be considered when shopping for a dress shirt. The highest quality garment will not be attractive if it fits poorly. A dress shirt should fit snugly but still be comfortable and not restrict our movement. We should try it on and button it all the way to the top. There should be no gaps between the buttons with even spacing in between. Move around and make sure there is no pulling through the shoulders or back. We should raise our arms over our head to make sure the shirt tail is long enough to not pull out of the waistband of our pants. We should also bend our arms and reach forward to see that the sleeves are long enough. Cuffs should fit snugly and not hang down on our hand. Slip our fingers between our neck and the shirt collar making sure the collar is not too tight to be uncomfortable and restrict movement, or too loose and look sloppy. A good fit can be found off the rack for some men, others may require a tailor for alterations. For a perfect fit a custom shirt is the answer. Look locally in high-end men's stores or our dry cleaner for a tailor.

The Fabric

Fabric type may depend on our personal preference and needs. A wide variety is available. One hundred percent cotton is natural and breathable, look for cotton fabric with wrinkle and stain resistant qualities. There are many cotton and polyester blends that stay fresh looking and wrinkle free throughout the day and are an affordable option. Fine quality silks and linens are a dressier choice to wear with fine suits and on formal occasions.

The Final Word

When building a dress shirt collection we should look for shirts that can be worn with any suit we own. Keeping in mind whether we are dressing for the office, leisure or a formal occasion can help us select the style color, fabric and pattern. We should start out with the basics and then expand seeking versatility with different collar and cuff styles, colors, patterns and fabric types.