A white shirt for men will always work! It is certainly perfect for the classic look, but you will definitely not win the big fashion award. 😊 I have to admit that it’s not the easiest thing to find a perfect business shirt. After all, they don’t only differ in terms of cut and manufacturer, but there is so much variety concerning collars, buttons and lots of different colors, patterns and materials. If you follow a few golden rules when buying a shirt, you can easily dress perfectly. And best of all: With a wider range of shirts in your wardrobe, you will be able to enhance the look of your suits!

What is a well-fitting shirt?

The good news is that most men know right away whether they feel comfortable in a shirt or if it simply doesn’t fit. The first gut feeling, however, can deceive, so you should not solely rely on it. First of all, it is important to check the cut of the shirt. The best way to check out on this is with a fitting, in which the entire shirt is buttoned. Now, you should still be able to put a finger between the collar and your neck. If this is not the case, then the collar is either too tight or otherwise too large.

In the second step, you should put the shirt in your pants. To find out if the shirt is too short, you can stretch both arms up over your head. What happened to the shirt in this case? It definitely should not have completely slipped out of the trousers. A well-fitting shirt must be relatively close to your body without too much tension. In the last step, the sleeves and the shoulders should be checked. The length of the sleeves is fine when the “cuffs” cover your wrist.

In general, it is quite difficult to just buy a nicely fitting ready-to-wear shirt in the standard sizes M, L or XL. Only in the rarest cases such unit sizes will perfectly fit your body shape. You should rather have a closer look at the available different cuts.

From Super Slim to Regular

Basically, there is a distinction being made between Super Slim Fit, Slim Fit, Modern Fit and Regular Fit. As the name suggests, slim fit variants are generally intended for rather slender men, who can allow themselves to wear tightly fitting shirts around their waist. In this case, such shirts are narrower at the waist and emphasize their slim figure. Incidentally, the suit should be cut narrower at this point.

Modern Fit shirts for men have a fairly straight cut, are elegant and rather classic. Here, the waist is emphasized only discreetly. Thus, such a shirt can also be perfectly worn by slim fit gents, who do not really like the tight fit of the slim fit shirts. It’s therefore a pretty good alternative for slim shirts.

Regular Fit are those shirts that leave a bit more room in the waist area and tend to mask problem areas. For the back part there is also a little bit more fabric being used.

Recognizing the right shirt by the sleeves

If you’re wearing the shirt with a jacket, then it’s best to figure out the right fit in combination with the suit. The proper length of the sleeves is when around one centimeter of the cuffs is visible and sticking out beneath the sleeves of the jacket. I would advise you to refrain from shirts with short sleeves. Those are absolutely not suitable for wearing under a suit, even in the summer with warm temperatures.

Questions concerning the collar?

When it comes to business shirts, there is a wide selection of collars:

  • Button-down collar
  • Tab collar
  • Cutaway collar
  • Kent collar
  • Wing collar

In a button-down collar shirt, you can attach the tips of the collar to the shirt with two small buttons. This originates from the polo game and was invented to keep the collar in place. In general, this collar gives you a dapper look and doesn’t necessarily need a tie as men rather wear for more casual occasions. On the contrary, a necktie is a must for tab collars. You can combine this collar type with basically anything and it is perfect for suits. The collar tips have a small angle here and are closed with a snap or button tab behind the tie knot. It gives the tie knot kind of a frame and lifts it a bit in this case.

The cutaway collar is a rather fashionable collar and you need some confidence to wear it.  As the name suggests, it looks like part of the collar was missing, as if it was simply “cut away”. The collar spread is wide, and it’s suitable for both business or elegant occasions such as weddings or corporate events. The points of the Kent collar are less widely spread apart compared to the cutaway collar and you should always combine it with a necktie. A Kent collar (also Windsor collar) is a good compromise to the cutaway collar, if you do not like such a wide angle between the points. The points of the wing collar are standing and resemble wings. This type of collar is suitable for a man’s evening attire and complements a tailcoat or a tuxedo. In this case, you do not wear a tie but a bow tie.

What’s wrong with a white shirt?

Nothing at all! A white shirt is a classic and can be paired with any suit, especially the darker ones. Nevertheless, you can try a little more and elevate your suit in new ways. Today, the style-conscious man also wears shirts in light pink, blue or light gray. Even simple check patterns or stripes are absolutely fine, as long as the rest of the suit is well combined. Though you should always keep in mind: Less is more. 😊

Which fabrics are appropriate for men’s shirts?

Again, there is a wide range of fabrics and you can choose amongst those which are more suitable for the summer and for the winter. Cotton or a mixture thereof with other fabrics is especially popular. Cotton is particularly breathable and comfortable to wear. If you prefer finer and lighter materials, then you should go for cotton batiste shirts. The Egyptian cotton is perfect for rather fancy and noble occasions and will make the shirt look absolutely high quality. Flannel is also a popular combo for cotton as it gives the surface of the shirt a wonderful softness. In this case, most often plain colors are being used, but checks or Scottish tartans are also famous. Especially for the winter, this fabric is the perfect choice.

In addition to the special fabrics for shirts, you can also find the comfortable and easy-to-wear linen shirts. They are mostly worn in the summer, are lint-free, smooth and antistatic. Due to its high air permeability, wearing it in warm temperatures is very pleasant. In addition to linen, silk shirts or wool fabrics are also popular though high-quality silk is pretty expensive and delicate. However, such shirts are truly elegant! You will also find mixtures of wool and silk on the market, which make the shirts really warm.

High-quality fabrics are way better than any synthetic fibers, especially in the summer. Please make sure to choose shirts with the lowest possible proportion of synthetic fibers. Though you should totally refrain from artificial materials, if possible. High-quality shirts last much longer, do not lose their shape even after multiple washes and look way more elegant.