Dress Shirt Options
“As with anything else, in dressing well the most important awareness is timing. You get the term ‘trendy’ as something bad from people jumping into things too soon without letting a look evolve or grow for them. But if they wait too long, then they’re out of fashion. No changes in clothes or fashion should completely overthrow you as a person or the way you have been dressing.” — Don Sayres “Introducing softness into formal wear automatically helps to make it more casual and less authoritarian. By combining the more feminine elements of shape and texture with the rich historical trimmings of male formal wear, tuxedo dressing can take on a modern mien.” — Alan Flusser [caption id="attachment_332" align="alignleft" width="189"] Your tuxedo jacket isn't the only piece of formal wear making a statement.[/caption] While the dinner jacket certainly plays the leading role in your formal ensemble, the supporting cast—in particular, your dress shirt—can completely change the tone of your look overall. The traditional black-tie dress shirt, with its high-contrast white coloring, starched wing collar and shirtfront, etc., is as important as your tuxedo in developing a look that screams formality. With the same jacket and a different shirt, though, you can add softness and subtler contrast to your formal ensemble, creating a contemporary look that doesn’t sacrifice the essentials of classic style. When changing up your dress shirt, there are several components to consider: from tailoring options (including collar style, cuff style, closure, etc.), to fabric, to color (or even pattern). Remember that stiffness and sharpness of contrast increase formality, while softness in texture and contrast decrease formality. As you develop a personal formal style, play around with mixing different lines, textures, fabrics, and colors: individuality of style can reside in interesting yet subtle combinations of soft and hard rather than aggressively “different” or “trendy” components.