casual shirts - plaid, denim, & button downs:

lumping as many shirts as i intend to do right now into 'casual shirts' isn't totally correct, but close enough. the truth is that casual shirts make great dress shirts, and the premise that some shirts are inherently casual or dressy isn't completely true. i'll cover plaids, denims, and all button-down shirts here. next will be t-shirts, henley's, and anything else i think of.

generally: all shirts should fit well. the arms should be narrow, and arm holes high. the shirt should fit close to the body, and if left untucked, needs to be shorter in length. heavier materials are best for winter and fall.

plaid: a plaid shirt is and will probably always be my staple. from a rutty thick flannel tossed into my pack, to a crisper understated plaid shirt with a suit and tie. in the spring and summer, when you think plaid, think madras, or plaids with some brighter colors and lighter-weight fabrics. fall and winter are great for the earthier and darker colors in heavy flannels. wearing a plaid is not an excuse for a massive tent of a shirt that billows and inflates every time a breeze picks up. that look boxes out your frame, and makes you look sloppy, not casual.
a well fitting plaid and slimmed out chinos, perfect.
 this is a lighter weight, brighter plaid.

this is how that plaid should fit.

here's a vintage plaid my grandfather gave me a few years ago. he'd owned the thing for decades and it was in perfect condition - the shirt had only ever been professionally dry cleaned.

denim/chambray: denim shirts and chambrays are almost just as versatile as plaids, except that if worn with similar colored jeans, you're entering denim bodysuit territory. chambrays and work shirts are great year round, if you want to wear them with jeans, just off set the colors a bit and maybe try a t-shirt underneath.

denim and chinos. pay attention to the fit, trim like the pants.

when wearing a denim shirt with jeans, off set the two denims, and try an undershirt with a pattern.

chambray and linen jacket, for a dressier casual.

button down: everything else with a collar and a button-down front goes here.  the key is a shirt that fits close to the body, and has slimmer, higher cut arms. most dress shirts are cut long like a tunic - to be easily tucked in. so if you want to wear the shirt untucked, make sure it's cut short. my favorite button downs are oxfords and ginghams. oxfords look better and better as time goes on. they're meant to be a bit wrinkled and do great with washing machines. ginghams add a bit of interest and pattern; at night, just toss on a blazer and you're set.

note the fit. even riding a bike there's no massive billow, just a clean tailored shirt. looks nice.

j. crew gingham

gitman vintage oxford

any color of oxford works, as long as the color is faded.

remember the mighty sports jacket.

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