The Shirt behind the professional

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For the past one hundred years, the dress shirt has been an easy identifier of the working man. With the proliferation of young Silicone Valley millionaires who prefer jeans, sneakers, and t-shirts, things have become good deal more blurred. Most likely however, you are still wearing a dress shirt to the office daily and see no end in sight. A dress shirt is one of the best ways through which to show your personality. Besides the basics, there are a few other shirts that you should look into adding to your wardrobe.

A solid white shirt is the quintessential and absolute basic in any mans wardrobe. It was probably the first dress shirt you ever owned and will likely be the last one you ever wear. Not surprisingly, the white shirt comes in more variations than a cup of coffee from Starbucks. A white shirt worn to work is likely not the same one you would wear for a casual Sunday brunch. The white work shirt should be fitted, no breast pocket, and obviously not wrinkled. Since you will almost certainly have (or should have) quite a few in your wardrobe, there is no need to spend frivolously for each one. A moderately priced shirt can be had from Banana Republic, where they have sizes to fit just about any extreme and also now make most of their shirts fitted.

This particular shirt is a good find not only because it is affordable, but also has a close to body fit and French cuffs normally associated with shirts at least double the price. It definitely falls into the dressier category but is great from the office to dinner downtown.

Shirt Pictured: Banana Republic, $55

One increasingly noticeable trend has been the popularity of subtly striped and gingham shirts, both of which provide an opportunity for more creativity when dressing for work. Brooks Brothers carries an ample supply of slim fit options. This particular shirt is more traditional but gives a self-assured appearance, making it the perfect shirt for work.

Shirt pictured: Brooks Brothers, $79.50

This is one of my favorite shirts. If you wear this into a board meeting, it sends one very clear message: Im the boss or should be. In general, white contrast collar shirts are enjoying a remarkable resurgence, with companies from Gap to Gucci creating their own version. They are always best paired with French cuffs, which add to their refined and sophisticated appearance.
Shirt pictured: Etro, $178
For a less expensive version: Banana Republic, $67


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