Nothing new to men's shirts, this words is around us for many years, but whether you’re walking into a department store, ordering online, or looking through a catalog, it can be confusing to figure out exactly what you need or why you need it. There are many occasions and settings, which often call for a specific dress code. So I thought of sharing with some of you a quick guide on various occasions and appropriate shirt and style options available, from men’s t-shirts to men’s dress shirts, and everything in between.
• Men's Casual – An everyday look, the emphasis is style and comfort. Casual men’s t-shirts can be as simple as a plain white or boldly colored t-shirt or they can be a statement piece, with logos and embellishments, which can be paired with blazers and jean jackets and worn to night clubs and trendy parties. This style gives the most options as men’s t-shirts can worn, which includes polo shirts, golf shirts, fitted t-shirts, or more ornate or fashionable button-down shirts. Either a casual cotton t-shirt can be worn or a men’s dress shirt can be worn in a more casual manner, such as rolling the sleeves or pushing them up to the ¾ length. There are a variety of colors, logos, styles and fabrics for this dress code and offers the most liberty at creating your own personal style and allows the most self-expression. Prices can be as diverse as style, with a plain men’s t-shirt starting under $2 and designer 28t-shirts that cost between $122.00-$790.00.
• Men's Dressy Casual - Men’s t-shirts should be avoided. The best shirt for this dress code can be a button-down men’s shirt, either long or short-sleeve and paired with a sports coat or blazer. Though it doesn’t offer much variety, you have more freedom with color choice, fabrics and an open-collared shirt is appropriate. Also, this means no tie should be worn, as it would be formal. Prices can be as low as $7.95 and upwards of $700.00 and the same price range for dressy casual men’s dress shirts goes for informal, business casual and traditional business men’s shirts.
• Informal/Semi-Formal/Cocktail - The dress code is less formal and calls for a dark suit, and a tie is not required. The men’s shirts best suited to this dress code are crisp, dress shirts that are long or short-sleeve. Since a tie is not needed, if one is worn it can be more bold than with a business attire. This kind of attire is perfect for cocktail parties, evening weddings or weddings that don’t state otherwise, or special events. It also lends itself well to museum openings and art galleries, or first dates and holiday parties.
• Men's Business Casual - This style is the most lax of all business attire and can include a range of shirts from knitted golf shirts and polo shirts to men’s dress shirts. The shirt should be tucked in and worn with a simple leather belt. Since the attire is still business, leather shoes should be worn, though you’re not limited to lace-up shoes or simply black or brown. The color palette is more varied and vibrant. This offers more choices of what can be paired with the men’s shirt, such as cardigans, sports coats or knit sweaters. Dressy men’s long-sleeve button down shirts can also be included in this style. Polo shirts can cost $49.99-$128.00 for designer labels or department store brands. Cheaper brands cost $10-$15.
• Business Formal-The appropriate men’s shirt is a white shirt in the French-cuff style, and the shirt should be fastened with cuff links. The suit is dark and tailored, with a silk napkin square and a simple silk tie with no ornamentation or busy patterns. Prices start at $14.99, with designer mens shirts could ranging from $217.00-$700.00.
• Formal - This can be the same attire as Black Tie, with a white men’s dress shirt, or dress code can be more lenient, with suits worn without ties or worn with black dress shirts; it all depends on the city and the formality of the event. The price ranges from $29.75-$165.00.
• Black Tie - Tuxedos are worn at these events, so the perfect men’s shirt would be a tuxedo shirt. Choose either stiff cotton or linen in white or off-white. The shirt can have a stiff front or more traditionally, Marcella, plain or pleated. Tuxedo shirts can have mother-of-pearl buttons or be fastened with cuff links and shirt studs. The collar can come in Lay-down, Wing or Wingtip, or Mandarin. Prices range from $7.95-$225.