Let’s kick this off with a statistic – in 2006, Esquire magazine found that 22.6% of women said the average guy is instantly bed-worthy in an attractive dress shirt.
It goes beyond simple attraction. Dress shirts are a global staple for professionalism and elegance.
Today is all about levering the dress shirt to your advantage. Gentlemen, here are ten ways to look great in a dress shirt.
Today’s sponsor is Apposta – founded by fourth-generation shirtmaker Gianmarco Taccaliti. Apposta’s made to measure dress shirts are crafted in Italy using some of the world’s finest fabrics. Each shirt is made unique for each person and Apposta’s Perfect Fit Guarantee means your shirt will fit your body shape.
Express your personal style. Select a dress shirt from 3000 fabrics and choose your preferred features, cuts and collars. Click here to visit Apposta and use code RMRS20 for the best deal on the internet!
Click Here To Watch The Video – 10 Tips To Look Attractive In A Dress Shirt
Alright gentlemen, let’s get into ways you can upgrade your dress shirt game:
1. Find The Right Shirt Color For Your Skin Tone
In the mid-19th century, Austrian explorer Felix Von Luschan came up with 36 different skin tones with which to classify humans.
That’s pretty complicated!
Alan Flusser made it easy for all guys to get – it’s all about contrast.
What does this mean? For a lot of men, it’s about how your hair looks against your skin tone.
Click here to create your shirt with Apposta.
If you’re pale with dark hair, then you have a high contrast look, which means you’d benefit from richer and fuller colors.
Complementing the face with these will help illuminate it, rather than drowning it in a sea of pastels.
Men with medium contrast – such as tan men with dark hair – look better in medium colors such as olive greens and salmon reds.
These are still bold in their own right, but lessen the intensity a bit so as not to distract from the wearer’s face.
At the extreme we have low contrast men – these being men with light skin tones and light (red, blonde) hair.
In these cases, it’s important to hunt for muted colors such as pastels, beige, and off-white to complement the face.
Guys with dark skin and dark hair have an interesting predicament. They tend to be low contrast in appearance, but such colors don’t do them any favors.
Men with medium dark skin look best in medium-contrast. Darker men look best in high-contrast colors.
This infographic represents some of the best dress shirt color options for men, but don’t limit yourselves to these.
For instance – men with considerably dark faces will produce equally significant contrast when adorned with a bright white or blue shirt.
2. Start With The Most Versatile Shirt Colors
Your first two dress shirts should be white and light blue. These colors work with just about anything you decide to put on.
Use these tenets as a foundation to build upon. Perhaps after these, you’ll want to opt for a darker navy blue – still versatile, and so on.
A light blue shirt goes with anything you decide to throw on.
After you have a few flexible solid shirts, you may feel inclined to dip your toe in patterns such as subtle polka dots, gradually building toward more aggressive colors and patterns.
By knocking out those core colors though, you ensure that you can never go wrong.
3. Remember: More Texture = Less Formal
The texture in a fabric is intimately tied with its formality. To sum it up, the more texture on the fabric then the more casual it is.
Going back to the core wardrobe I recommend smooth broadcloth cotton for your first few shirts, regardless of color. This will be deemed appropriate for virtually all occasions – formal or not.
If your style is more laid back then there’s no harm in experimenting with shirts woven in chambray, mélange, or linen.
Apposta offers more texture options than we can count. Click here to see for yourself!
Just start off simple. It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
4. Know Your Dress Shirt Patterns
Textures and patterns fit into a similar plane when it comes to formal and casual wear – the more visible it is, the more casual the shirt.
Here are just some patterns that are dress shirt staples:
Bengal Stripes, also known as Regency or Tiger Stripes, had their origins in India during the British Empire’s regency era (1811-1820).
They’re more symmetrical than other stripe patterns – averaging about 1/4th of an inch in width between each stripe.
It comes in any combination of colors, which allows the wearer total freedom to see what works best.
There are so many stripes and checks out there, it can be easy to get lost. Click here to learn how to combine patterns effectively.
The wider Candy Stripes are a different story. They’re typically wider than Bengal Stripes at 1/8 of an inch between each. Interestingly enough, they started as womenswear in the form of nurse uniforms in 1944.
The term arose because the signature pattern – alternating white stripes – reminded its wearers of the candy store.
Finding colors that blend with the white (such as light pink or blue) might see you get away with this in some formal settings.
Finally, the most eccentric stripes are Track Stripes. This zany design sees the background color stay the same, but the stripes don’t.
They’re even accented with colored thread to make for a more tumultuous look – great for casual settings but unlikely to work in the office.
Moving away from stripes for a moment, I think it’s important to touch upon checked patterns.
This is a very common, and exclusively casual pattern that comes in various densities and colors. It’s great for a man looking to kick back for the weekend and look good doing it.
However it doesn’t work well for large men – the pattern accentuates width in the body.
Click here to visit Apposta and create your perfect shirt.
5. Pick The Right Shirt Collar For Your Style
Attractive dress shirts come with various collars, and like anything you need to get the ones that serve you best.
Do you often wear a tie? Try prioritizing a forward point collar (less than 35 degrees) to better complement the look.
If you prefer to undo a couple of buttons, then invest in a few spread collars (45-55 degree spread) that work for the style.
Be sure to avoid floppy collars – they should always be stiff. Higher-quality shirts will usually have plastic or brass collar tabs inside to help keep them that way.
The most practical casual collars are probably buttoned collars, the buttons holding them firmly in place.
6. Know Your Cuff Styles
The two most visible parts of an attractive dress shirt beneath a jacket are the collar and cuffs. As men we don’t think about them that often, but there’s evidence that others do.
That same Esquire survey found that 41.9% of women preferred men with French cuffs.
These are considered more formal but are nevertheless acceptable in more casual settings.
Even if French cuffs aren’t necessarily your thing, considering other cuffs is another way to emphasize your personal style.
You might just look better with a two-button rounded cuff, or a barrel cuff – which is simpler and less formal than a French cuff.
7. Check The Shirt Quality Before You Buy
As a man paying full price, you deserve full quality. If a shirt catches your eye – you love the color, texture, and fit of it – then look at the buttons.
Most shirts come with thin plastic buttons which are more likely to break, but mother of pearl – made of the shell surrounding pearls – is hardy and more expensive.
Don’t bother paying full price for a shirt with loose buttons.
Investigate for loose threads. Check inside for extra buttons in case the current ones get lost.
Are the buttons secure against the shirt? Is the stitching sufficiently dense? These are all factors to consider.
8. Keep Your Shirt Tucked In
You can often tell the difference between a casual shirt and an attractive dress shirt through their lengths. Dress shirts are significantly longer and designed to be tucked in.
If you break this rule, you may as well wear a dress.
This infographic shows how to execute the military tuck – good if you don’t have shirt stays on hand.
The standard tuck is one that we already know and isn’t very effective. As men stay active, a shirt will gradually be untucked and thus result in an unpleasant muffin top look.
The length of a casual shirt is 1.5 to 2.5 inches shorter than a traditional dress shirt.
Avoid this by either doing the military tuck by pushing the excess fabric into a fold with your thumbs, or better yet – use shirt stays.
These are used by servicemen who need to stay sharp and active all at once, and they’ll work for you.
9. Take Care Of Dress Shirts With These Useful Tips
While some attractive dress shirts are made from fabrics that don’t wrinkle, it’s not the case for most. Once a week, make a habit of ironing four shirts at a time.
Be mindful of the fabric as well. The foundational broadcloth won’t wrinkle too much, while linen will crease up if you look at it too hard.
Fun fact: washing your clothes in salt water helps them retain their colors better.
Ensure strong lines by ironing your collar and placket.
Get in the habit of using small amounts of bleach for your whiter dress shirts.
Don’t tumble-dry. Let your dress shirts air themselves out instead.
10. Make Sure Your Shirt Fits Properly
The most critical factor in dress shirts is fit. Without it, nothing else in this article will help you.
Ideally, a dress shirt should hug you enough to accentuate your most attractive features while also giving you enough room to move comfortably without losing oxygen.
It sounds tough to achieve, but it’s doable.
Most attractive dress shirts come in three sizes to fit the most men possible.
Click here to learn how a dress shirt should fit.
Slim fit is for, well, slim men. If you fall into this category then hunt down a shirt that adds 5cm to your chest, hip, and waist to achieve this zenith.
Do you work out a lot? Consider a regular fit, adding 8-10cm all around to be comfortable while showing off your physique.
Looser fitting shirts for larger men should allow for 12cm of leeway.
Don’t just mind the torso, but the sleeves as well. If you try on the shirt, then the seam of the shoulders should rest right on your own shoulders.
Any farther, and you’ll have some baggy sleeves. It’s much easier for a tailor to take in the waist than it is to adjust sleeves!
It all comes down to your measurements, gents – know them.
Gentlemen, hunting down attractive dress shirts can be a challenging task. By following these guidelines – it becomes a much simpler task.
Once you find those which hit all the marks, this simple garment will take your look to another level.
Today’s sponsor is Apposta – founded by fourth-generation shirtmaker Gianmarco Taccaliti. Apposta’s made to measure dress shirts are crafted in Italy using some of the world’s finest. Each shirt is made unique for each person and Apposta’s Perfect Fit Guarantee means your shirt will fit your body shape.
Express your personal style. Select a dress shirt from 3000 fabrics and choose your preferred features, cuts and collars. Click here to visit Apposta and use code RMRS20 to get the best deal on the internet!