Over the last twenty years there have been vast changes in the way in which people wear shirts and in what setting. When we first started making shirts there was a very fine delineation between formal and casual shirts, formal shirts were primarily white or blue with a classic collar to be worn with a suit or blazer; the occasional Bengal stripe and perhaps a gingham check. A good quality UK or European made Jermyn street style shirt would be available then for £50 -£60 with the high street retailers all making a good offer for business shirts for £10 - £20. Casual shirts were primarily short sleeved for leisurewear, high days and holidays, with long sleeves being mainly lumberjack checks or maybe a daring faded denim or a plain coloured twill. Tattersall shirts, ever the choice of the countryman were formal in construction but regarded as a casual shirt because of their designs and fabrics but I believe they are the ultimate crossover shirt as they can be worn with or without a tie and can look as smart as a formal shirt and equally good as a casual shirt when paired with Chinos or Jeans.
Today you only have to walk into a Pub or Coffee shop to realise to that a revolution has occurred in the world of men’s shirts, regardless of age or occupation men are now wearing many and various types and designs, and it would be very unusual to find two men together wearing the same shirt, so although every man now has the ability to wear something that marks them out as an individual it can prove difficult to choose what to wear and when so here we offer a little advice gained form years of experience in all things shirts.
If there’s one shirt every man should have in his wardrobe it is the classic white shirt. A classic cut has the chest measurement about two cm more fabric in the chest to the waist and basically be a straight cut without tapering as can be found in tailored or slim fit shirts. Our own brand shirts over 18’’ collar have a little extra fabric in the waist and hip area to accommodate for more comfort particularly when seated. For a shirt to fit well it is important that both the front and back remain safely where they should be – tucked securely into your trousers! Our classic shirts have generous tail and fronts to this end. A classic Jermyn street shirt – would have French cuffs, or double cuffs which fold back upon themselves to allow for fixing with cuff links, or a barrel cuffs which are fixed with buttons and can be easily rolled back if required. A classic City shirt would never have featured as breast pocket as it was considered that using such pockets would spoil the lines of a suit when a jacket was worn, and no city man would be seen without his Jacket in the office. The proliferation of efficient central heating in offices and the need to have somewhere to store smart phones has meant that breast pockets have become popular , we still include these as standard – many other shirt makers offer them at a significant additional cost. A smart white shirt will fit any occasion and can be paired with any other fabrics; they look great with a black, navy or grey suit and of course have the advantage that they can be worn with any design or colour of tie.
A classic Bengal stripe or Gingham check is an excellent choice if a little colour is required , these can be paired with a plain or Polka dot Tie , and Navy or Grey suit , we wouldn’t recommend mixing Checks with Stripes and a contrasting plain tie can work well , especially if paired with a matching pocket square.
Short sleeved shirts are a great addition to the man’s wardrobe in those sultry hot days of summer or in foreign climes, they allow for ventilation and ease of wear when it’s just too hot to want to wear anything else. Long sleeved casual shirts can be equally cooling particularly if you want to keep the sun off your arms , and you’ve always got the option to fold the cuffs back if a little more air is required and should the occasion permit! Linen is the ultimate fabric for cooling effect, being very cooling and breathable, they can look very elegant when paired with some lightweight Chinos or even a pair of jeans, part of their charm is their proclivity to creasing in wear, but this can add to the authenticity of the look, but you can always opt for a linen blend shirt to combine the linen look with easier to iron practicality.
Country shirts have always been the choice of the true countryman and they have become increasingly as casual shirts in an urban environment , We’ve always regarded them as a truly all-purpose shirt – being of formal construction but of more casual usually brushed cotton fabrics , the result though is a great looking shirt that is equally at home in the City or the Country – our own brand of Country shirts constitute great value for money and feature all the features you’d expect of a quality shirt – I’ve been wearing them myself through the cold weather and I have to say they are amongst the best shirts I think we’ve ever made, comfortable , warm soft and smart – what more could a man want. For extra luxury and warmth go for a Viyella cotton and wool shirt , all the comfort of cotton and the warmth of wool combined with classic British Design.
The classic dress shirt is traditionally made with a stiff Marcella front or pleated panel and features with a classic collar or wing collar, black tie code is traditionally worn with a bow tie and classic collar although a wing collar can be worn, and is usually worn in combination with a dinner suit. The more traditional white tie is always a wing collar, with white Marcella bow and waistcoat and worn in combination with a tail coat. Plain white shirts with wing or standard collar have become increasingly popular with prom goers and look great when paired with colourful bows and waistcoats.