This post is based on the video – 7 ESSENTIAL Shirt Styles Every Man Should Own
So, I want you to take a second and look around and take note of the shirts that most men are wearing.
Most men are going to be wearing t-shirts, maybe if they’re in an office environment they’re wearing dress shirts. But how do they fit, how do they look, and what other options could be out there?
Guys, most men do not wear shirts that flatter them or look great.
In today’s video, I’m going to lay out the seven different types of shirts that should be in every man’s wardrobe and the key to looking great in each of them.
A few quick points before I get into the seven types of shirts that every man should have in his wardrobe.
Number one, gentlemen, is know the style pyramid; fit, fabric, and function. Every shirt that I’m talking about you want to get adjusted to fit you, you’ve got to know the name of your tailor. The fabric, buy the best fabric you can afford.
Now, the difference — there’s a wide range of fabrics out there and that’s beyond this video for me to cover that. Go check out my website, Real Mean Real Style. We’ve got glossaries of fabrics, we’ve got infographics on fabrics, so that you can best understand that.
Finally, function. Make sure you’re wearing the right shirt to the right event. I can talk about t-shirts and how they can look great on certain men, but if you wear that to a business event, you’re wearing the wrong shirt to the wrong event.
Essential shirt number one, the undershirt. As the name implies, you wear this under other shirt. It is there for protection. It’s also there for a bit of modesty.
Let’s say you get a little bit of erect nipples where you don’t have to show the world. It’s also there if you have a lot of hair on your chest, you can wear a crew neck and they’ll keep it basically in place.
Now, when we look at the various styles of the undershirts out there, overall we’re going to see lighter materials and a bit of stretch is okay in an undershirt. This is made to fit closer to the body. Now, the different neck styles, we’re going to see a V, we’re going to see a crew, we’re also going to see a sleeveless type of undershirt.
Now, I’m not a big fan of the sleeveless. I don’t think it does really great for sweat protection which for me is the main job of an undershirt, but it does, you know, it provides a little bit of modesty protection and things like that if that’s what you’re looking for.
But, in general, guys, with the undershirt, remember, you wear this under shirt. It is not outerwear and that’s the best way to look good and undershirt is not to wear it out in public.
Essential shirt number two, gentlemen, the t-shirt. The difference between an undershirt and a t-shirt, a t-shirt is made to be worn as outerwear. Now, there are number of also specific differences in the t-shirt, it’s going to be made from a heavier weight fabric.
You’re going to see oftentimes just the crease of the crew neck or the V-neck. Overall, the fit of the t-shirt is going to be looser than an undershirt. It’s not necessarily made to be layered like an undershirt is and let me give you some examples.
So, this right here the classic white t-shirt made from a heavier weight fabric. Now, you want to also focus in on the fit, you don’t want to go for anything too loose anything too big on you.
So, there are some t-shirts like this one right here. This would be a closer fit than the other one I just showed. This one also has a V-neck if you can see that. Now, this one right here made from a lighter weight material, but it’s not transparent, so this is still a t-shirt, it also has the V-neck.
Now, the brighter color is going to make it, you know, it was a t-shirt, so it’s always going to be casual, but that makes it definitely super casual. Now, you’re going to start to see logos especially, you know, things like this. Anyone know that company? You’re also going to see ones that decide to go with sayings. People want to, you know, pass their messages on. Anyone recognize this YouTube channel?
In general, I really like a dark-colored solid t-shirt that has a great fit. I think it can be fine for outerwear, it definitely can be dressed up dressed down, but that’s for another video. But, understand, gentlemen, a t-shirt it’s key to get the fit right. You — it’s not worth getting them adjusted. So, find a brand find the right size for you and own it.
#3 Polo and the Henley Shirt
Essential shirt number three, the polo and the henley. Now, did you actually know that the henley is a polo without the collar. So, that’s why I have them together.
Now, the distinctive feature of a polo shirt is actually the buttons do not go all the way down. Oftentimes you’ll see three buttons, sometimes four buttons, sometimes only two. But, whatever it is, it’s never going to go all the way down.
In addition, it’s going to have oftentimes a very soft collar. So, this is different than any other dress shirt out there. It’s not a dress shirt because when you look at the overall build of the collar, this is one that is not made with much structure.
Now, also, the material the fabric used, you’re going to see a wide range some of them, but in general what we’re looking for is something that’s breathable, something that in some cases has a little bit almost like a gauze weave.
Other times you’re going to see a little bit of a napped very soft weave, but what we’re looking for is the polo and the henley in general, both of these have athletic origins, hence the name of the shirt the polo shirt.
Now, this is great shirt. I think it looks well on men that are in shape, the same with the t-shirt same with the polo. These shirts have no structure they can’t build up your shoulders. They are going to show your body as it is.
So, if you have a thin build, if you have an athletic build, if you have a muscular build, these shirts are great for you. But, if you don’t, if you have a little bit of, you know, weight around the mid-section, you’re going to love the shirts we’re about to get into.
#4 Casual Button Down
Essential shirt number four, the casual button down. Of all the shirts I’m going to talk about, gentlemen, I think this one should make up the majority of your shirt wardrobe. Why? Because it’s so versatile.
There are so many options so many ways you can take the shirt whether it’d be the color, whether it’d be patterns, whether it’d be the style details that you change up in this. You just have to get creative.
Look at safari shirts, look at all the details there from the double-breast pockets to the epaulettes on the shoulders. It could just simply you go with the heavier weight fabric. This one right here, classic Oxford pattern right in here, it’s got the blue with the white the thicker heavier fabric doesn’t have pockets on the chest, it doesn’t have epaulettes, nothing fancy on the sleeves.
In fact, if you look at this, you would may be think it’s a dress shirt, but it’s the fabric that betrays it that quickly tells me, no, this is a casual button down because the fabric is too heavy, it’s not made to necessarily be layered under a suit. But that’s the distinctive feature of the casual button down is it is actually made to be worn as outerwear. Dress shirts are actually made to be layered. So, that’s one of the key differences and hence where you see lighter weight fabrics there.
But, getting into the style details, another thing you’ll notice a lot of casual button downs, they’re going to be darker in color. This is because, again, they’re outerwear made to be perhaps worked in, made to be something that it can take a little bit of a stain and no one notice. This one’s got a pocket and you may have seen me wear this one in other videos. It’s got a pocket over on the left side not on the right side, so that small style detail is small, but it instantly gets it to stand out, it’s a flat pocket too by the way.
We’ve also got the contrasting buttons. Notice this, you’re not always going to see this dress shirts are going to try to stay away from this because it’s going to make the shirt less formal. Also, a lot of these casual button downs can be made to be worn untucked. Dress shirts in general need to be tucked in, but casual button downs you can wear untucked.
#5 Dress Shirt
Essential shirt number five, the dress shirt. So, the dress shirt is a shirt that we’re all familiar with, but many of us are actually confused as to actually how to define it, what makes a dress shirt and where the line is drawn between dress shirts, casual button downs, and other types of shirts out there.
So, in general a dress shirt is made to be worn with a jacket. So, a suit, a sports jacket, or a blazer, but it’s made to be layered on top of, thus the focus is in on the collar and on the cuffs. They need to be structured they need to be able to be ironed.
The fabrics in general are going to be able to – be able to take starch, are going to be able to form a rigid type of look, and this is all because that is that’s their goal is to basically frame the face, frame the hands and work well with a jacket.
White is where it started. The idea with white is that, okay, if you got this dirty, you had to get it washed. It was a class separation because those that simply worked in the field, they wore indigo, blue with their clothing because it hid stains, white does not hide stains. You’ve got to have money, you’ve got to have multiple sets of clothes and it’s kind of expanded out, but you can also bring in lighter color blues.
You can bring in a wide range of other pastel colors as well, but lighter color blue is probably one of the more acceptable ones. Then, you can start to bring in patterns.
Look at this right here. So, it has a wide base with a – it’s got a blue – dark blue with a lighter blue with a dark blue over it. It’s a little bit of a complicated, but a classic pattern. This right here you could still wear in a business environment. Wear it with a power tie, with a dark navy suit, it’s going to be a great look.
But instantly we’re starting to bring a little bit of pattern, it’s getting away from the white shirt origins. This one right here has a small repeating pattern, it is now a mid-level blue, not a dark blue not a light blue, but this right here definitely is something I could wear in a business environment, it would look fine. The formality is starting to go down as I’m moving.
Notice this one right here. This is actually a dress shirt. Now, it’s made in a fashion forward color. This was a custom-shirt I had made, the lavender color really sets it apart. I would need to wear this maybe with a charcoal gray suit, maybe a green tie or something like that and that would work.
But, right here we’re starting to get into the realm of, okay, are these really dress shirts? And that’s what interesting as you go into a store even a finer menswear store and you think you’re looking at a dress shirt, but then you start to question, well, look at, you know, it’s got this bold pattern or it’s got the buttons here on the collar. Guys, understand that you want to go for something simple and remember, how is it going to help frame the jacket. That’s the key job of a dress shirt.
Essential shirt number six to have in your wardrobe, gentlemen is the sweatshirt. So, a lot of people think that the sweatshirt falls under sweaters and therefore, it’s not in the shirt family. Not true. Actually, sweaters are in the shirt family, therefore so are sweatshirts. And when you look at the word sweatshirts, so it’s associated with athletic activity going out and working.
I’ve got about two sweatshirts that I wear almost all the time when I’m outdoor — when I’m out here working in Wisconsin during the cooler weather. An essential shirt, but one that definitely is in the casual sphere.
Essential shirt style number seven, the shirt jacket. So, the shirt jacket is kind of a hybrid. It’s really a shell that protects you from the wind, a little bit maybe from the rain, but it is a lightweight protection. It’s something that you’re made to be layered with so you can take some of the other shirts that we talked about maybe the t-shirt, maybe take a henley and wear them underneath this one right here.
But, what I love about this is it’s just functional especially if you are a guy that’s going to be working in and around your house. You want something that you can throw on, it’s not that cold for a jacket and you want – you basically want to give yourself a little bit more protection. The key characteristics of this are going to be the heavier weight yarn, thus the heavier weight overall fabric.
That right there, it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be usually made from cotton, so you can take this as a shell you want to be able to wash this. It’s not going to grab snags, so oftentimes I know I’m pulling the air conditioners out of my windows at my house. So, when I’m doing that, hey, you’ve got a lot of sharp things in and around here. This is the type of shirt that you want to be using.
All right, gentlemen. Now, it’s your turn. Let me know in the comments what did I miss, what should I have had. I know I didn’t talk about camp shirts, I didn’t talk about [Liebherrs], I didn’t talk about baseball shirts and tuxedo shirts. I probably could have add them, but I wanted to give you guys a little bit of room to be able to tell me, Antonio, I agree with this or I disagree.
Gentlemen, that’s it. I’ll see you in the next video. Take care.
This post is based on the video – 7 ESSENTIAL Shirt Styles Every Man Should Own