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Advice requested, re: unusual / unique shirts?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by iMike, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. iMike

    iMike Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm new to the forum, and would like to say I've very much enjoyed reading the informative posts on it so far.

    On to my question(s)...

    The dress code for the office I work in is business casual - in our case this translates to slacks and shirt, no tie. I'm looking for a way to dress up a little / stand out a bit (but not too much) without adding a tie or suit jacket. I own a nice selection of shirts with french cuffs, have a Daks shirt with turnback / Bond style cuffs which I'm very fond of, and a light blue pinstripe shirt with white collars and cuffs (I think I get away with it!). Is there anything you could recommend, or advise I could do to look a bit dressier? Any unusual or unique shirt/cuff/collar styles (without being too outlandish)? I considered buying a shirt with a grandad collar, but I think it's a little too informal. I'm based in dublin, so I don't tend to have a huge choice. The only form of jewellery I wear is a discreet dress watch with an oxblood strap, and cufflinks. Any ideas / thoughts would be gratefully received!

    Mike
     


  2. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Distinguished Member

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    Well, you could add a pocket square, but other than that it's not going to get much more formal than French cuffs without adding a tie. What sort of trousers do you wear?

    ED: Somehow I got the impression that you were wearing a jacket. If not, obviously the PS thing doesn't apply.
     


  3. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    If no jacket or suit, IMO the only way to stand out as better dressed is by wearing better shoes than your colleagues. Shoes make the outfit so go for a beautiful pair of John Lobb or Green and you will certainly look dressier [​IMG]
     


  4. Doc Martin

    Doc Martin Well-Known Member

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  5. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Distinguished Member

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    Here are a few ideas, any of which can be made as an attached collar:

    [​IMG]

    and another meant strictly for wearing sans tie:


    [​IMG]
     


  6. tiger02

    tiger02 Militarist

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    Alex, I've always loved that no-tie Italian collar. Thanks for posting pics.

    Tom
     


  7. iMike

    iMike Member

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    Thanks so much for all the replies guys!

    Edward Appleby: All my pants are charcoal / dark grey / black, one or two pinstriped variants of the above, no pleats, no cuffs - and a couple of them are slightly bootcut. Oh and one pair of very light grey slacks with a very faint pale blue pinstripe. I'm thinking of going for a cream / beige pair, but we don't get a lot of weather that would suit the lighter coloured pants in this country!

    gdl203: I agree with you on the shoes, now all I have to do is locate somewhere in Dublin that sells John Lobb / Green. I think I'd like a pair of oxblood, but it seems nigh on impossible to get hold of an oxblood belt here.

    Doc Martin, I like that first collar very much, and the second one appeals to me a bit more every time I look at it.

    Alexander, that no tie shirt is fantastic - where would I get my grubby little hands on such a specimen? I suppose if I'm looking to get some of those more unusual collars made I'm looking at MTM / bespoke ? Budget constraints (currently in my first job) mean that's not really an option - If I was going MTM I'd prefer to get something a bit more conservative, that would last me longer.

    Also, what's the general consensus on wearing cufflinks without a tie? I've seen people say that it shouldn't be done, but I quite like the look myself. Having said that, looking back at how I dressed a year ago (and barely suppressing a shudder), I don't always trust my own opinion.
     


  8. tiger02

    tiger02 Militarist

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    If you're comfortable with links and no tie, then do it. If it's going to make you self-conscious; don't.

    Mr Kabbaz could connect you with a shirt like that for little more than a round trip flight to Dublin [​IMG]
     


  9. southbound35

    southbound35 Senior Member

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    I'm looking for a way to dress up a little / stand out a bit (but not too much) without adding a tie or suit jacket. I own a nice selection of shirts with french cuffs, have a Daks shirt with turnback / Bond style cuffs which I'm very fond of, and a light blue pinstripe shirt with white collars and cuffs (I think I get away with it!). Is there anything you could recommend, or advise I could do to look a bit dressier? Any unusual or unique shirt/cuff/collar styles (without being too outlandish)? I considered buying a shirt with a grandad collar, but I think it's a little too informal. I'm based in dublin, so I don't tend to have a huge choice.
    Instead of unusual/unique collars and french cuffs, you need to consider good-looking colors that suit your skin tone, patterns, textures, and good fit. You can stand out from the crowd without wearing "out there" collar styles and french cuffs (which, IMO, seem pretty affected without a suit).

    All my pants are charcoal / dark grey / black, one or two pinstriped variants of the above, no pleats, no cuffs - and a couple of them are slightly bootcut. Oh and one pair of very light grey slacks with a very faint pale blue pinstripe. I'm thinking of going for a cream / beige pair, but we don't get a lot of weather that would suit the lighter coloured pants in this country!
    There are tons of browns, blues, and greens that work well for pants and greatly enhance the versatility of your wardrobe. Black and various shades of grey aren't too exciting.

    As others have mentioned, nice shoes. You mentioned that Dublin doesn't have great selection. The Internet is your friend. You might have to pay a bit of a premium for shipping, but I think it would be worth it to have an outstanding wardrobe (which it seems is your goal).

    In summary -- Don't go for unusual to stand out. Go for better colors, patterns, style, and fit.
     


  10. JBZ

    JBZ Distinguished Member

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    Alex, I've always loved that no-tie Italian collar. Thanks for posting pics.

    Tom


    Agreed - the collar just "flows" very nicely, for lack of a better word. Paul Stuart does something similar on some of their RTW casual shirts. So does Ben Silver on their so-called "Charleston" linen shirts. Neither are cheap, but they're much less expensive than top line bespoke.
     


  11. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Distinguished Member

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    I'd recommend against metallic cufflins without a tie. Silk knots are best for that situation.
     


  12. josepidal

    josepidal Distinguished Member

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    Shirt and slacks, but no tie and no jacket?

    Nicer shoes are a nice touch (especially in less common colors like tan), but I don't think the collars or cuff links will really take you where you want to go.

    Just try some less common colors (pink, peach, rose, mint green, lavender, non-bright yellow) that don't look flashy, and get material with surface interest. The colors I describe are for a guy in a tropical country and with a light complexion, but I think you get the idea.
     


  13. pkincy

    pkincy Senior Member

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    Although I am not familiar with Dublin fashions....

    I would not wear dressier shirts or cufflinks for business casual since they are designed to wear with a tie.

    I would go for better shirts, better fabrics.

    I love the Neopolitan shirts from most of the standard manufacturers...Borrelli, Barba, Finnamore, etc. You can find them on Ebay for $100-$150 or lightly used for even less. I wore a Battistoni to dinner last evening that I picked up on Ebay for $15. Don't know a thing about the manufacturer except it is Italian, is in wonderful shape, not from Napoli (no chicken foot stitches), with beautiful fabric, and a great collar roll. At $15 you may be taking a bit of a chance but that is the fun of bottom fishing Ebay or the thrift shops.

    Perry
     


  14. tiger02

    tiger02 Militarist

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    Perry
    Battistoni is Milanese, and makes gorgeous shirts and suits. You got a fantastic deal there, well done. Many consider their shirts to be in a class of their own.
    Tom
     


  15. trogdor

    trogdor Senior Member

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    Welcome to the forum, Mike.

    The other thing you could do is add textures to the shirt fabrics; twills, herringbones and basket weaves would add a bit of interest that might make you stand out in a good way without being too loud.
     


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