How versatile is your shirt game?
I’m guessing you’re thinking “not very versatile” right? After all…a shirts a shirts a shirt right? Well, kinda. But if you’re smart about it, you can change your look just by wearing your favourite shirt in a different way.
We tend to split up the shirts in our closet “these are my formal shirts…and these are my casual shirts and never shall they traverse”. Sound familiar? If so, stop it, stop it right this moment. It’s time to hybridize that shirt collection, if you were gonna wear it to a braai (BBQ) then its time to take it to the boardroom…and possibly even the other way round. The shirt…not the braai, its never a good idea to take a braai into a boardroom.
So, I’ve taken a little journey with 4 shirts from Old khaki and tried to reinvent how we wear them so that you can shirt up with a difference. We’re gonna take it from casual to formal, but you already knew that didn’t you? Of course you did it’s in the subject line.
Firstly the mandarin collar. This shirt is maybe the most casual of them all, something you might wear on a Sunday to the beach right? Probably.
So we’re gonna start off slow, adding just a few details allowing you to shirt up to the next level. The easiest way to get the most out of this shirt is to make sure you do up that top button (boom!!! – amazing) just make sure it fit’s you properly around the neck and doesn’t hang loose. Pair this with a blazer and some denim joggers and you’re ready for a summers night out…anywhere really.
The short sleeved pattern printed shirt. Let’s be honest, you’ve never worn a short sleeve button up without shorts have you? You’re missing a trick you know. Pairing your short sleeve shirt with a lightweight cotton blazer lets you dress up for summer without getting hot and sweaty.
Perfect for lunch at , um, wherever is currently cool to go for lunch – I cant keep track. Pair this with your favourite pair of jeans an old pair of brogues and a popping pocket square to keep everyone from deciding if you came for a good time or a long time!
The linen shirt. Firstly, you wanna be care full with this guy, make sure your shirt has a decent mix of cotton and linen or it will crease just by looking at it. Linen shirts are synonymous with adventure travelers and, well, rich italians on tropical island getaways – you know the type. So i’ve decided to take this one in a whole new direction.
See almost every piece of menswear has its origins in the military, so let those khaki colours work for you and take a walk (or march as it were) on the formal side of life! Pair this shirt with a leather biker jacket, slim fit chinos and a textured tie for the perfect 2nd date outfit. (never wear a tie to your first date) Throw on a pair of sneakers for a contemporary edge and bonus points for a matching tie clip!
The plaid shirt. For those of you who don’t know what the heck plaid is read this. We generally refer to these as ‘check’ shirts – though we shouldn’t…because they aren’t (seriously, read the plaid article linked above) – and we all have a couple in our closet. They tend to be restricted to use with jeans for those Saturday nights or chinos for Sunday lunch with her folks.
Wearing a plaid shirt can really bring that contemporary edge to your formal game. But you gotta get it right. The pattern is busy enough so try and keep the rest of the outfit neutral while taking care to pick up on the colors in the plaid. I like to mix and match the blazer and trousers, borrowing different colors from the pattern to bring it all together. Picking out different colors helps to incorporate the pattern and make it feel considered. If you can find a way to incorporate the smallest details with the shirt pattern – tie clip and pocket square – you will have a winner on your hand.
And that’s it really. Now start wearing your shirts and stop letting them wear you!
Okay. Stay fancy.