dress shirts:

this is going to come up a lot: most guys have their priorities mixed up. when it's time to buy a dress shirt, they start with a color or fabric pattern they want - say, a red striped shirt - then, they look for a detail - say, french cuffs - and lastly, they'll make sure it's the same size as the shirt they bought last time - say a large. so they say, i want a red striped shirt, preferably with french cuffs, and i'm a large.

perfectly backwards gents. perfectly.

instead start with the fit; every single time start with the fit. nothing's worse than a massive billowing shirt that takes sail every time a breeze kicks up. take it from ryan, a tech analyst who got jumped by gq for a bit of a style upgrade

before: "i generally tuck my shirts in and then pull them out a bit."

after: note the trim and tailored shirt. start off buying the right size (don't go by the letter S, M, L, go by the fit): the neck shouldn't be loose when buttoned, the sleeves should hit right at the bend in the wrist, not on the thumb, and the shoulder seem needs to fall on the curve of the shoulder, not hanging over. oftentimes just buying a shirt with the label 'slim fit' or 'tailored fit' isn't enough, man up and spend a few bucks at the tailor to trim the waist and the sleeves. yes, sleeves can be tailored. trust me, pay a little extra for one or two shirts and they'll be your go to shirts - worth more than every other tent-like fitting one in your closet. try it and see if you go back.

next, details: max, a student that also participated in gq's project upgrade shows how important shirt details can be.

before: “I usually wear jeans and an untucked button-front shirt.”

after: by details, i mean the features of a shirt - things like collar style, proportions, and cut. spread, button-down, or pinpoint are all great, just make sure that if you're wearing a tie, the points of the collar touch the shirt, and if you're wanting to wear a bow tie, never wear it with a spread collar. keep things congruent. the breadth of your collar should match the breadth of your tie, which shouldn't be very wide. finally, make sure to match the occasion. if you want to untuck your shirt like max, that's great, but make sure its a shorter cut shirt (like the one above). most dress shirts are tunic shirts and hang very low, like in max's before picture. a more casual shirt should be cut shorter

finally, lets talk colors and patterns. simply put, do whatever you want. my only non-negotiable rule is to ditch the black shirt with a black (or satin white) tie combo - looks too vegas night club. but dont be nervous to try mixing patterns and colors you normally wouldn't. just make sure it all goes well together and keep it understated like the pictures below. my favorite example is the denim shirt below - perfect fit, with a great overall look, even if it is a denim shirt, jeans, and black tie with a tie bar. well played good sir. well played.

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