A Guide to Dress Shirts
Picking a selection of dress shirts for work or leisure might not seem as fun as choosing a new jacket or pair of sneakers. After all, smart shirts are all the same, right?
Think again. In a modern man’s wardrobe, dress shirts can include anything from ultra-sharp work attire to fashion-forward holiday wear, and there are countless ways to wear them beyond sticking them under a suit. This introductory dress shirt guide looks at common (and less common) ways to wear a dress shirt.
And not to brag, but we know a thing or two about dress shirts (we invented our own, after all).
Styling Dress Shirts
One of the best things about dress shirts is their suitability for work and play. Let’s start with the serious side of the dress shirt. Paired with a suit and tie, the dress shirt functions as a core element of men’s business attire. Of course, a plain white dress shirt is the classic option for the office, but lots of pale colors and subtle patterns work just as well. You’ll generally see suits worn with shirts that have a classic point or spread collar (as opposed to a button-down) because they look good with or without a tie.
Now let’s take that dress shirt away from the water cooler and drop it into a cocktail bar, a wedding reception, or even a day at the races. Here, we can get more creative. Paired with flat-front pants and a sport coat or blazer, the dress shirt makes the seamless transitionfrom corporate to cool. Outside the office, dress shirts can have a slightly wider range of colors and patterns, and you’ve also got the option of a button-down collar.
Get Out of Your Box
Dress shirts aren’t exclusively worn at work and on special occasions, and they certainly don’t have to be paired with pleated pants and a smart jacket. Because if you’ve found a comfortable shirt that also makes you look great, why not wear it whenever you want?
A laid-back and modern way to wear a dress shirt is to keep it untucked over bottoms such as slacks, jeans, or shorts. When done properly, this combination injects some classy elements into the casual overall look. A word of warning, however: you don’t want the tail of the shirt hanging super low over your backside, as it will end up looking more “dress” than “dress shirt.” A dedicated no-tuck shirt that is hemmed slightly shorter will prevent this issue.
And yes, we really did mention shorts in the previous paragraph. You don’t have to pair summer bottoms with tees and polos; rocking a dress shirt — , with a few buttons undone and sleeves rolled up to show off your tan and timepiece — will make you look as hot as the weather feels.
At Mizzen+Main, we’ve got a dress shirt for every occasion, from classic white formalwear to more playful options. Our range includes solid colors, tasteful checks and ginghams, and other subtle patterns that will impress without imposing.
Over the years, our most popular model has been the OG Leeward shirt, with its performance fabric, four-way stretch, and faithful resistance to wrinkles. The Leeward has a few variants, too: you’ve got the standard version, the tall version and the shorter no-tuck version, as well as a classic fit and a trim fit, all of which have hidden buttons under the collar that keep the points neat and symmetrical without a tie. Finally, the smartest version of this dress shirt is the sophisticated formal Leeward, which has a longer collar point and can be worn with cufflinks.
Another Mizzen wardrobe staple is the Monaco shirt. Think the Leeward, but a little more French Riviera: it’s lighter, softer, and perfect for warmer days in the office, at the beach, or ordering martinis at the casino. As with the Leeward, it comes in a classic or trim fit, and you can opt for the standard hem or the shorter version for no-tuck looks.
Dress to the Nines
Every man should own a handful of dress shirts for work and play. You can dress them up or down, pair them with a suit or casual pants, keep them untucked or roll up the sleeves… the choice is yours. Just make sure you have at least one classic white or pale-colored shirt for the most formal occasions and a more casual alternative for the weekend. Browse our complete dress shirt collection to find your next look. If you need to get a new dress shirt, you deserve to get the best. And well, that’s us.