"Tailored dress shirts are the foundation of any great suiting look, but their versatility extends far beyond formalwear"
Tailored dress shirts are the foundation of any great suiting look, but their versatility extends far beyond formalwear. Not all tailored shirts work seamlessly into casual looks, though, with a few adjustments and some attention to detail these shirts can work just as well in casual settings. And you might already have what you need.
The right tools
Before you can assemble a strong off-duty look, there are a few prerequisites to assess. First and foremost, fabrication is key. Shirt fabrics with fine weaves work best in more relaxed scenarios. For best results, stick to options like poplin, broadcloth, twill or oxford.
Pattern is also crucial. Casual looks often call for more personality where formal looks are strongest with subtle patterns, solids and neutrals. As a general rule, consider shirts with larger patterns more suitable for casual wear. Patterns like gingham, plaid and stripes can be distracting with a suit, but reach their full style potential when untucked and worn with jeans or casual trousers.
Regarding shirt collars, there’s a little less flexibility. Typically, if your shirt has a contrasting white collar, a wide spread or a stacked height, it’s intended for formal or business looks. Tailored sports shirts with narrow spreads and button-down collars are best for a relaxed look. The same applies to shirt cuffs: French cuffs indicate formality, and without a blazer can leave your overall look incomplete.
Finally, shirt length is make-or-break when it comes to wearing tailored shirts casually. Ideally your shirt should sit just below the beltline when untucked. If it falls closer to mid-thigh, it’s meant solely for tucking in and should be reserved for more sophisticated occasions. Also, pay close attention to the hem: rounded is best and shouldn’t be squared off like a polo or a T-shirt.
How to wear tailored shirts casually
With the right look, an untucked tailored shirt can enhance your aesthetic; with the wrong one, your style can suffer. For events that aren’t quite as formal yet require a touch of sophistication, pair your tailored shirt with an unstructured blazer. The look lands you in smart-casual territory and helps you look equal parts dapper and comfortable. You can maintain the clean silhouette of a suit without all the fuss.
It’s best to pair your tailored shirt with some dark jeans in shades like black or indigo. Avoid light blue jeans or pairs that are trend-heavy (excessive rips and washes) and add some personality to the jeans by cuffing them and pairing them with casual low-top sneakers.
If you plan on tucking in your shirt, make sure the shirt is either slim or fitted. Larger shirt cuts tend to have excess fabric around the torso which leads to billowing fabric around your waist. It must look snug and clean.
Overall, tailored shirts aren’t just reserved for the office or special events. They can also serve as the perfect addition to your casual weekend wardrobe and off-duty outfits. Talk to your Oscar Hunt tailor about your new elegant weekend vibe.