Shirts Get Back To Business

Give your business attire a promotion with a recalibration of your shirting options for 2019.

You should have by now conceded to the lamentable fact that your New Year's resolutions are but a sprinkling of fairy dust upon the grim light of reality. No matter how good your intentions are or were, the inevitable march of quotidian stressors will soon blight your best efforts to upgrade your 2019 software, leading to the very predictable crash. Sorry to be the doom monger but you know we're right. Transformations don't happen on a whim - giving up smoking, losing weight, being a nicer person or whatever it is - they take seismic shifts in attitude and they don't happen overnight. But looking better? That's a cinch. As we all head back to work, a simple upgrade in your business wardrobe might not do any wonders for your waistline, but it will make you feel (and your colleagues think) that you're stepping into the new year full of gusto and good intentions, even if that may be a subtle inflation of the truth. The most effective way to do this is with your shirting. A simple change in shirt style, colour, or collar and cuff setup can give you all the confidence you need to strive for those ridiculous KPIs your CEO has just set you. Take inspiration from some of film and television's most iconic shirt wearers so that you can be the business throughout 2019.

Show your stripes
As an alternative to the classic plain shirt, stripes add an optical advantage by leading the viewer's gaze directly to your neatly framed face. There's also the added effect of stripes making you look slimmer, which may be just what is required post-Christmas. Stripes most certainly break up the monotony of uniform but don't go overboard. A simple striped shirt in pastel hues such as 'business blue', seen here on Robert Redford in All The President's Men, will work wonders for a charcoal or navy suit and can be clashed with just about any style of tie.

    Contrarian collars
    If changing up your shirt colour or injecting some stripes isn't for you, another effective way to make a stand against uniformity is to experiment with collar styles, of which there are plenty. Ditch the classic spread and try an ultra-wide spread collar, a la Peaky Blinders, which exposes more of your tie, or alternatively opt for a high narrow pointed style, replete with a small tie knot and collar bar.

      Pastel power
      If you're sick of the classic white shirt, or just want to inject a bit of colour into your suiting, pastel hues are a great way to do this. Blues and pinks are particularly easy to wangle into your work wardrobe as they are extremely versatile and can be complemented with tonal accessories but just as easily clashed with, say, a strong patterned tie in a contrast colour.

        Mighty white
        Yes, the white shirt is the most obvious choice for business suiting but that doesn't have to make it boring. In fact, the white shirt is precisely the crisp contrast that makes your suit sing. Quality is everything so don't cut corners. Play with collars styles and subtle weaves to keep your colleagues on their toes.

          Juxtaposition your way to the top
          The style made famous by Michael Douglas's character Gordon Gecko in Wall Street is an office power play as the crisp white contrast collar almost demands people to look you in the eye by drawing their gaze to your face. When you've got deals to seal or are in the mood to kick ass and take names, the contrast collar will always have your back.



            Ryan Thompson


            January 2019


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