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Allow us to state the obvious: even in our current casual times, guys still require tailored shirts. Whether attending a formal event, navigating a business casual workplace or simply hanging out, collared shirts are an essential building block of any guy’s wardrobe. The quantity you need, whether it’s 5 or 50, depends on your personality, aesthetic and lifestyle. Now’s as good a time as any to have a look in your closet and assess what might be lacking or in need of an upgrade.
We aim to help simplify. The following five styles of shirts are versatile, stylish, timeless and will cover you for any occasion that might pop up. They range from dressy to casual and provide a foundation to put together numerous outfits. Whether for a simple closet refresh or flexing tailored looks that push the boundaries of your comfort zone, these foundational shirts will prove especially valuable in 2024 and beyond.
A Classic White Dress Shirt
Besides a black or navy suit, a plain white cotton dress shirt is perhaps the most versatile and essential piece of tailoring in any guy’s wardrobe. It goes with anything: any style of suit, under a cardigan or sweater, or on its own. Look for 100% cotton, barrel cuffs and a structured, medium-spread collar. Tip: Avoid dry cleaning as it can degrade the fabric over time. Instead, opt for professional laundering without starch that ensures your dress shirts remain crisp, clean and ready to wear.
An Oxford Shirt
An Oxford shirt takes a step down from the formality of a structured dress shirt but still pairs well with any tailored or casual ensemble. What sets an Oxford shirt apart is its button-down collar and generally heavier, more durable weave. Despite being in many trend forecasts, it never actually goes out of style. A great Oxford shirt exudes a preppy, chic vibe that is both put together and laid back. While a classic white or light blue option is the standard, consider opting for any color or pattern that resonates with your personal style.
Elegant, Effortless, Murse-Forward: The Jacob Elordi Style BibleDisclaimer: this article will not make you 6’5″. Or give you a killer mullet.
A Chambray Shirt
A chambray shirt looks just as good with rolled cuffs and tucked into jeans as it does with a knit tie and tailoring. What sets a chambray shirt apart from a denim shirt is its construction; it employs a plain weave, incorporating single strands of colored and white threads woven together. This makes it a bit softer and easier-wearing. A simple but versatile choice, it softens a suit while elevating a casual outfit and can easily become the go-to collared shirt in your wardrobe.
A Flannel Shirt
Flannel shirts are very much in, but they never went out. While I love the heavyweight variety usually worn on its own, lightweight cotton flannels are a bit dressier and can easily pair with tailoring. They also look great tucked into wool flannel trousers or jeans. A high-quality, brushed-cotton flannel shirt should possess two key attributes: a pattern or colorway that reflects your personal style, and a soft, comfortable feel.
A Patterned Dress Shirt
A dress shirt with a tasteful pattern acts as a foil to the plain white or blue dress shirts you (hopefully) own, adding a bit of character. There are myriad options available, but for the dress variety, you generally cannot go wrong with checks, plaids, or faint stripes. The larger the plaid, the more casual; the thicker the stripe, the bolder. When in doubt, keep it simple on a foundational colorway.
We've put in the work researching, reviewing and rounding up all the shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories you'll need this season, whether it's for yourself or for gifting purposes. Sign up here for weekly style inspo direct to your inbox.