As you’ll have seen in our recent rundown of spring essentials, you’ll definitely need a white shirt this season, and you can’t do much better than a classic button down oxford.
Like Arsene Wenger, Patrick Swayze’s performance in Point Break and a nice sit down, it probably doesn’t get the respect it deserves, but there are few more indispensable garments for the stylish man.
Worn alone, it’ll look great, but if you, like us, like to mix things up, here’s four failsafe looks to test out.
1 | The Ivy Leaguer
Channel Paul Newman (always a good idea) and tuck your shirt into a pair of slim cut beige chinos. Then sling a light knit over the top and finish it off with a varsity jacket and white tennis shoes. For the ultimate in laidback American style, Gant is the place to go, especially for their range of knitwear. The trick is to make sure the look isn’t too fitted, but not too baggy either. An air of moneyed entitlement wouldn’t go a miss either.
2 | The Master of the Universe
Not the usual accompaniment to a sharp suit, but a button-down can certainly hold its own beneath a finely cut lapel, such as the one on this Tommy Hilfiger jacket. There isn’t a suit that a white shirt won’t go with, but keep it simple with a grey or navy two-piece (a subtle check or stripe won’t hurt) and refine the look with a knitted tie. Be sure to press the collar of the shirt, or it’ll look a bit limp, and blunt your Wolf of Wall Street vibe.
3 | The Weekend Warrior
Just because it’s Saturday, doesn’t mean you should throw all sartorial sense out the window. You’ve no doubt got a good pair of slim, dark blue jeans, so wear your shirt (untucked) with those, or chinos if it’s a warm. White leather sneakers are good shoe options, and finish it all off with a sturdy cotton over shirt from Oliver Spencer – the king of super-casual style. Here’s your chance to inject a little colour, so something in maroon, olive green or mustard will do the trick.
4 | The Day to Day Dandy
If your office dress code is doesn’t call for a suit and tie every week, then a button down oxford shirt is your best friend, as is an unstructured blazer. A navy cotton version of the latter will go a long way, especially in the summer. Wear them both with contrast chinos and suede derbys. Socks are optional, but don’t flash too much ankle if you do decide to go foot commando.