You're invited to a party this weekend.
Outdoors, casual dress code.
just food, drinks, and fun…
What should you wear?
Definitely not a suit!
This is the time you wear a casual SHIRT… and rock it!
Yet many guys don't know all the shirts that flatter them.
Those who understand them – stand out.
So here are 7 styles you should know about (and have in your closet)…
This is the shirt many take for granted. Undershirts are primarily for function – fitting tightly on the body. They absorb perspiration and minimize sweat stains on the outer layers.
Historically speaking, the very first undershirts were worn by soldiers of the ancient Roman and Chinese armies. They didn’t exactly resemble the undershirts we know of today. They were baggier but still protected the quality of expensive garments in and outside of war.
Eventually the U.S. Army would pick them up – and now it’s commonly used by the Coast Guard, Navy and other services. These undershirts give the men extra warmth and layering (especially in cold weather) while they meet the physical demands of their jobs.
Style-wise, undershirts are lightweight, slightly stretchable and easy to match with any clothing. But the catch? They’re never the “star” of your outfit. Undershirts go underneath – specifically underneath a dress shirt. They should be 100% hidden from view. Do NOT use them for outerwear.
If you’re not in the mood for collars and buttons after working a whole week in them, this is your go-to item.
A t-shirt is made of a heavier weight fabric than an undershirt. Its overall fit is also looser. T-shirts are meant to be outerwear. They’re not supposed to be layered.
There are tons of parties or outdoor events – especially in the summer – when t-shirts pop out everywhere (paired with jeans or shorts). Whenever you attend one of these, remember to choose a shirt with COLOR. Personally I like a solid dark-colored t-shirt that fits me nicely.
With t-shirts, you do have more freedom with your style. So avoid plain white since it looks too similar to an undershirt. Try not to choose black unless it’s part of the theme (like at a rock concert). If you’ve got a date coming up and want to really impress – dare to wear pink.
The 2 main t-shirt styles are V-necks and crew necks. V-necks give the illusion of more length and height (as the cut exposes the neck more), making them perfect for shorter guys or narrow faces.
Crew necks make a man’s shoulders look broader, so they balance out sloped shoulders and smaller chests. As for the material used, pure cotton is preferable – especially Pima or Egyptian cotton.
3. Polo Shirt
Who would’ve known that the very shirt Rene Lacoste had worn at the 1926 U.S. Open tournament – a custom made tennis outfit – would be as popular as it is today?
The polo shirt now goes far beyond the worlds of tennis and golf. And we have Ralph Lauren to thank for making it an American classic during the ‘70s.
People love the “middle ground” quality that polo shirts possess – a soft collar with a placket and buttons that don’t go all the way down.
These breathable shirts have a gauze or nap weave that makes your body shown as it is. They’re designed with short cuffed sleeves that stay firmly on each arm. All in all, the polo shirt is quite a versatile choice.
If you want to change up your style and wear a close relative of the t-shirt, go for a henley.
Henleys are basically the collarless version of the polo shirt. The placket is 2-3 inches long and it fastens with anywhere from 1-5 buttons.
Henleys can either be short-sleeved or long-sleeved (resembling a bit of the V-neck sweater with a line of buttons). Other than during the summer – where it might look awkward having your arms covered up – you're free to wear either type.
The great thing about wearing them is how you get the exact same benefits as you get from polo shirts – without the collar.
You never have to stop for a moment and check if the collar looks good. And of course, you're not going to see a lot of guys wearing it so you'll stand out more.
5. Casual Button-Down
It’s important to stress the distinction: casual button-down shirts are NOT dress shirts. The fact that they’re “casual” means there’s a lot more flexibility that comes with wearing them.
There are several reasons why this style should cover the majority of your shirt wardrobe. For one, it’s looser and has a more relaxed fit than dress shirts do. There's roughly an extra inch in both the chest and waist areas, and an extra half-inch in the shoulder area.
Casual button-downs are worn untucked – they’re not meant to be layered under a suit. The fabric is also lighter and more breathable. That's why you can wear them to the bar on weekends without that “uptight” appearance that dress shirts give off.
And let’s not forget that these button-downs come in various patterns, colors and styles – where parts like the breast pocket can be changed up. They function as the main exhibit of your outfit like t-shirts and polo shirts do.
Learn how to get the most awesome summer button-down shirts around – and be creative with your style! Just remember to avoid any button-downs with “hot spots” or areas that may get irritated or sweaty.
6. Dress Shirt
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the good old dress shirt. It's all pretty clear: the layering with a suit or jacket, the importance of cuffs and the collar, and white being the staple color (a sign of wealth).
Every good dress shirt needs to be structured and ironed well. Although white is the most iconic color, you can also try out light-colored blues or pastels.
Even a shirt with a classic pattern of stripes is fine (like blue stripes on a white shirt). The real challenge about dress shirts – more so than other shirts – is getting one with the right fit.
Fit is king. The perfect dress shirt provides total comfort and freedom of movement – while your body looks fantastic.
To find that shirt – you first have to figure out the hip, waist and chest measurements and determine the category: slim fit, normal fit or loose fit. Then it’s about shopping and maybe hiring a tailor.
7. Shirt Jacket
A shirt jacket offers lightweight protection from rain and wind. It’s a hybrid piece of clothing – acting as both an outer shirt (a henley or t-shirt can be worn underneath) and a shell for your body. The material is made of a heavier weight yarn.
I like this style when it’s slightly cold outside and I’m working around the house. It feels like a real man's early winter wardrobe. Imagine a guy in a shirt jacket who’s carrying heavy stuff to and from the garage. Or better yet – how about that same guy chopping wood?
A shirt jacket captures that outdoorsy, hardworking, manly image better than a t-shirt or dress shirt can. So the style is definitely NOT outdated.
You can even say shirt jacket is the most rugged-looking kind of the whole bunch… and rugged is sexy.