It’s officially polo shirt weather but you’re probably still needing a layer here and there. In this week’s edition of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re going over a few rules when it comes to layering a sweater with a polo shirt. Here’s how to do it right.
- Skip the polo under a sweater
Wear a button up dress shirt or an oxford underneath a sweater, a polo shirt shouldn’t be worn over a sweater as the collar of the shirt doesn’t have enough structure. This goes for all types of sweaters – crewneck, v-neck, and shawl collar sweaters.
- Wear a blazer, bomber, or Harrington instead
If you do want to add a layer over a polo shirt, try a bomber jacket or Harrington jacket instead, they are better suited to the style of a polo shirt. A blazer can be worn over a polo but we recommend sticking to a polo that has a neat, structured collar and stays put underneath your jacket.
Building a stylish, versatile wardrobe starts with a solid foundation, and with shirts, you want to find simple, versatile options that are timeless and go with everything. Don’t be afraid to buy multiple colors of the same shirt to take out over-thinking about wardrobe. These are the five essentials shirts that every man should own!
Don’t forget to check out our shirt Fit Guides for more info.
1. White dress shirt
3. Black T-shirt
4. Chambray shirt
5. Solid colored polos
Make sure you have a good rotation of solid-colored polos in basic colors like black, grey, navy, and white.
A henley shirt is only recommended if you have a trim to medium build. If you’re a bigger or athletic guy it’s not the right shirt for you.
White Dress Shirts:
We’ve talked about polo shirts in the past, and for good reason, they’re one of my favorite elevated casual items, especially for the Spring and Summer months. Here are our style tips and picks for the best men’s polos for 2018! Don’t forget to check out my picks below and for more info on fit, read our polo shirt fit guide.
First, a quick word on formality. While it’s not a hard and fast rule, in a basic sense, the bigger or bolder the pattern, the less formal the shirt is. For most of you dressing casually or in business casual, you’re home free, most patterns will definitely work. But, for some of you guys that work in more formal office environments or if you’re dressing up for a fancy wedding or evening event, keep in mind that the more subtle patterns will be much more appropriate. So now that we’ve got that established, let’s get some patterns in your life.
Stripes can come in all manner of widths, from wide (sometimes known as Bengal stripes), to medium (pencil stripe), to thin (pinstripes) and since they tend to lean a bit more conservative, they’re also an easy place to start if you’re new to the game.
How Best To Wear Striped Shirts
As a general rule, the wider the stripe, the bolder the statement, and just like matching colors, the bolder the choice, the more simply you should approach the rest of your look. For casual and business casual looks, a simple pair of chinos or dark denim is a great option. I also like stripes when worn with solid-colored or textured suiting and under a solid v-neck sweater with dress pants, denim, or chinos.
The world of checks is a wide one, but there’s no better way to add some instant personality to your shirt arsenal than with a few carefully chosen checked shirts. There are many different options available, but, in my opinion, the three with the most versatility and style are windowpane, tattersall, and gingham. Both windowpane and tattersall feature types of graph patterns that can range in size and thickness and gingham goes one step further with a bolder, thicker check pattern that often combines a base color like white and one other color.
How Best To Wear Checked Shirts
As with stripes, the level of statement can vary, but my go-to rule remains, keep the rest of your look simple. Dark-colored denim, chinos, and dress pants are the ticket, and if you’re going to dress them up, I recommend solid-colored suits and solid or subtle ties. On the tie front, I think geometrically patterned ties can look a bit too matchy-matchy with checked shirts, so be wary. Protip: for a less formal tie option, try a knit tie in a solid, complementing color. The texture and slightly less formal nature of a knit tie work really well with blazers, chinos, and denim for a dressy hybrid that’s great for business casual or a dressed-down Friday.
Geometric and Floral Prints
Now more popular than ever, print shirts are a great way to add a cool, modern edge to your casual looks and even suiting and dress clothes. Small-scale geometric prints are a great place to start if you want to keep it subtle but, I definitely recommend trying a bolder floral print too, it’s an easy, fun way to add a bit of stylish personality to your vibe.
How Best To Wear Geometric and Floral Prints
The printed shirt is all about letting the shirt do the talking, so I highly recommend denim or dark chinos in navy, tan or gray, especially if you’re going with a floral print, and finish with sneakers or loafers (I like driving mocs). Don’t be afraid to dress up a printed shirt too, pair it with a slim dark suit and some penny loafers or dressy leather sneakers for formal-but-not-stuffy settings like a cocktail party, fun summer wedding or night out. For a black belt-level move, try rocking the air tie (top button buttoned, no tie).
When you’re talking plaid shirts, usually the pattern involves multiple colors and lines/boxes and the more things happening with the pattern (color, width, etc) the better suited the plaid will be to casual dressing. Be warned, though, it’s a slippery slope to full lumberjack hipster, so chop firewood at your own risk!
How Best To Wear Plaids
Ultimately these patterns are busy, and I recommend keeping plaids casual and subtle, so try them with denim, chinos, and shorts in solid colors, and finish them with shoes like sneakers or chukka boots. You can always “turn down the volume” of a plaid by layering it under a solid-colored sweater, lightweight jacket or pairing it with a dark-colored blazer in dressier situations.
Now that you’ve got some know-how and a few tips in your pocket, have confidence and make these patterns work for you! Your shirt rotation (and your wardrobe in general) are about to get an upgrade.
why I’m a fan
- Two different fits are offered: Trim or Classic. Dorian tried the Trim fit (he has a lean build) which was the best fit I’ve ever seen in a budget-friendly brand. The sleeves and body of the shirt lightly hugged his body – it was as if the shirt was custom made for him. If you’re in larger man, whether from fat or muscle, then go with the Classic fit.
- Two different collars: Semi-Spread and Point. I always recommend semi-spread for all body types.
- The 100% cotton fabric is soft, but has just the right amount of thickness so it wasn’t see-through – which plagues a lot of cheap shirts (especially noticeable with white shirts!).
- The price: $55. All I have to say is: This is a steal!
- Sizing Tip: I did notice the sizing for the neck ran a little big, so go down 0.5″ of your regular neck size.
Why I love them
- Their linen shirts are super breathable, well-constructed, have a good, slim fit without being too slim, and they’re budget-friendly. What’s not to love? Be sure they fit according to these fit rules, though.
- You can pair the shirts with chinos or shorts, either tucked or untucked and throw on some white sneakers, penny loafers, suede driving mocs with a casual belt and you’re good to go for casual or more dressy casual outfits.
- The chinos have a fantastic slim fit (one of the best I’ve seen, actually) and I love that Uniqlo will hem them for free right after purchasing them in-store. There’s no other budget-friendly brand, that I know of, who does this. Be sure your chino pants are fitting properly before buying, though!