5 Work Shirts Every Man Should Own

By Belinda Claxton (July 21, 2017)

Plus some rules on the ties you should wear with them.

The White Shirt – When it comes to professional wear, this is the ultimate blank canvas, allowing you greater freedom with colour when it comes to ties.  Plus you can wear a white shirt with any suit colour – black, charcoal, navy and even tan.  Make sure your shirt is well fitted and of a decent quality cotton.

The Blue Shirt – Also essential in a working man’s wardrobe, the blue shirt is almost as versatile as the white.   You can make both complementary and contrasting tie colours look very powerful.  You need to consider the hue of blue – lighter is more versatile and will work with more suit and tie colours than darker blues.  If your white shirt is plain cotton, consider a  more textured option with your blue shirt – an oxford cotton shirt with a dense pique weave.

The Striped Shirt – Every man needs a striped shirt in their wardrobe.  The stripes in your shirt and the stripes in your tie should not be the same width when it comes to stripe-on-stripe.  It’s contrast that works e.g. a thick-striped tie against a thinner striped shirt.  A colour blocked tie will always work but don’t  be afraid of  pattern.  If you’re wearing a fairly bold butcher striped shirt, a tie with smaller, subtle patterning like a polka dot or repeating motif can work beautifully.

The Checked Shirt – There are many check size options available – small gingham check, large windowpane, pin check, houndstooth.  Whichever you choose, with a checked shirt the emphasis falls on your tie choice…it allows you to be bolder with tie print and pattern, but ensure the tie is darker and stands out more than your shirt to set the check off to best effect.

The Pink Shirt – Many men may not regard a pale pink shirt as part of their working wardrobe but that’s a mistake.  Like white and blue, pink is endlessly versatile and works beautifully against a suit of navy, grey and tan or even black depending on the tie.  Though pink does restrict your range of tie choices – you need to stick to something complementary like purple or violet, or go for a contrasting colour that traditionally goes well with pink, like navy.