In an earlier article we talked about the key parameters to take into account when shopping for the perfect dress shirt, integral point being, it needs to be a custom-fitted shirt to actually incorporate all of the seven points of – Fit, Fabric, Colour/Pattern, Collar, Cuffs, Buttons and Placket.
In this article let’s delve a little deeper in colours and prints for a ‘Perfect Custom Dress Shirt.
1. Colour – it’s a like a painter’s palette out there today with every possible colour you can think of, available to flirt with or flaunt. But a dress shirt warrants only the best and selected few due to its unique functionality. So, let’s understand the colours first.
- Forever Classic White – This is one shirt entrenched in history. Once upon a time white was the only colour choice for any gentleman with a standing in society or from a noble class. Coloured shirts at the time were synonymous with the working class. Till date it is the preferred choice, especially for the most formal occasions – from a white-tie event, black tie, weddings, galas to boardroom meetings.
- Royally Blue – When the snob value of white lessened a bit, Blue came on to the scene to be seen as yet another formal choice for dress shirts. Historically, the blue-collared man came from the colour choice of the dress shirts thereby distinguishing them from the rest. Blue, also has the attractive quality of highlighting complexions. Blue and White, both make for perfect business, office and formal wear events.
- Other Colours – More subtle shades of lavender, off-white, light pink, sky blue, olive, and mauve make for great colours for formal dress shirts. Subtle being the key word here.
2. Pattern – Patterns are usually seen synonymous with more casual environments. However, if the right ones selected they can work very well for a business environment as well. Now there are usually two kinds of patterns to stick to for formal dos – stripes and checks, steering clear of florals or anything else. However, solid colours come with patterns too depending on fabric, such as solid white twill fabric.
- Stripes – With the advent of pattern, men got the opportunity to display their version of style as well. And while you can’t go wrong with the classic striped shirt –white on blue or white on black…. you can try different colours that are still formal like a pink or red. Just remember the rules of stripes – keep formal shirts thin striped as thin as pencil, and avoid stripe on stripe outfits.
- Check – Said to be the most casual of the three, it has taken flight into many variants, a far cry from its historical counterpart, whose sole purpose was to identify where a person came from. However, given its very casual background, there are some formal checks one can turn to such as the black and white houndstooth, windowpane, seen worn by even stalwarts like Clark Gable and Duke of Windsor, gingham, shepherds check , graph check etc.
Then there are some patterns you can still play with depending on the occasions such as a polka dotted shirt, which can be go with a formal do, keeping in mind the occasion and colours.