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How to wear a white shirt

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    Also: given my affinity for brown jackets (and having so many) it was a hard pill to swallow and why I wanted to test that out at last, for the final breaking point.
     
  2. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    I'd still love to hear @DocHolliday 's take on this further, as I think as I recall he still sticks to his guns and wears 'em with SCs. And because Doc is awesome.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  3. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    Another thought: it was mentioned by TM here and and Vox's coherence thread that city features and stylings can work well with the 'first type' of casual suits, i.e., those without patch pockets etc, and in fabrics like flannels, frescos, and worsteds with urbanized country patterns (like the small scale houndstooth in my previous two posted fits). His categorical criteria seems to make the white shirt a given for these kinds of suits, but he did not mention them specifically.

    What say the rest of SF on that subject in contrast to the recent discussion on city/country blend with SC/trou? I don't recall this being discussed in any great measure in the rest of this thread.
     
  4. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    Shitty pics, but:

    Blue linen SC, white OCBD (an old BB's one, not one of my softer rolled customs that I'd need to order in white), slate blue grenadine. Ignore the grenadine/linen issue (need moar cotton ties) half-windsor, tie clip and dirty mirror.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    At least somewhat acceptable? I'd have some soft unfused BD's made up in cotton/linen blend for S/S along with OC for F/W. It's been established that BD collar white is okay with SC, if 'rarely optimal'. I'm okay with that, I think. Sometimes you need to compromise.

    EDIT: I'm aware as has been established that this could be more coherent. Again, I'm trying to find the line where it's least incoherent, though it will never be free of the issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  5. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

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    I dunno man, the thing is, when you're trying your hardest to pull off an inbetween look, its those details that make the difference. If I ignore the actual clothes you're wearing, then yes conceptually this is somewhat acceptable.

    Also, does this go without saying?:: You are putting in more effort than 90% of the population. Your clothes fit and you are thinking about how to look good.

    You'd be better off if you weren't trying to mix these looks. I'm not sure what line you are looking for? I think perhaps the line you are looking for is to have just one element be mixed from that "country" side.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    The grenadine would be replaced by cotton for next season (it's about time to switch to cashmeres and wools now). I know, I know about the FIH and no clip seeming to be the linchpin of making this work better, but I just can't go there.

    The line I'm looking for is using a sport coat from the 'city/formal' spectrum (as per Vox's thread) with a white shirt (and, complicating matters for most, a half-windsor and clip). I think the BD collar is as close as I'm going to get to that line.

    I appreciate you saying that I'm putting in effort. And the truth of the matter is that IRL, this stuff is absolutely fine - hardly anyone gets it. But even to the untrained eye, something can seem 'off' to them without them knowing exactly what it is. Trying to minimize that. Also, the line I'm after has to do with my social/work context as well.
     
  7. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

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    You're just doing your best to make this really hard for yourself. I tried to type something helpful for you but I got nothing.
     
  8. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    Au contraire, you got a 'this post is helpful' thumbs up from me.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    Ok: I know I'm kind of beating a dead thread here, but another point to consider. It seems to me that all of the issues inherent in the white shirt w/ SC rig are, insofar as I can tell, drastically changed when you remove the tie from the fit. There's still the white color aesthetic issue, but assuming you're avoiding earth tones, I can't see a situation where a button down collar white shirt (with some texture, though not necessarily OCBD) doesn't work. I'm thinking a surrender to the blue shirt in the context I've discussed for tie-wear is, at this point, in order, but an observation of my closet of just about everything with one open collar still seems a valid option.

    Am I alone in this, or on point? I know this thread was dedicated to the jacket + tie context, but it seems to remain the best place to foster discussion on the Great White Shirt.
     
  10. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    ^ Beating a dead horse too... :)

    If you remove the tie from the equation, aesthetic issues relating to shirt and tie combinations go away but nothing else. I'm still not sure how many times a white shirt is going to be inherently better with an odd jacket sans tie than a shirt of another color. In fact, in a meaningful majority of scenarios, it will be sub-optimal. Also keep in mind that this thread is basically talking about white spread collar dress shirts for the most part (which IMO should just not be worn without ties). A white OCBD is not going to be subject to exactly the same rules. If you also remove the jacket, you are now completely beyond the scope of the thread and, for that matter, the realm of classic menswear.

    It's fine to like white shirts and wear them often, but it's also important to understand their limitations when it comes to building a shirt wardrobe. If your goal is to wear white shirts all the time (or most of the time), you will not be as well dressed as someone who has a variety of shirt colors to choose from. If your goal is to be well dressed, you need to build a shirt wardrobe that recognizes the limitations of different shirt colors. You can probably wear all white shirts and be better dressed than most, but you still will be giving up opportunities to really take your look to the next level.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  11. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Or, if you like white shirts, wear them in good health.

    A Ryan, you've heard the arguments both sides. There is no "right" answer. At some point, you gotta do you.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Thanks to everyone for the enlightening and enjoyable discussion.
     
  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Ryan, it seems to me that you have deeper problems with your look than wearing a white shirt with everything.
     
  14. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    PB, if you weren't a member I highly respected - which you are - I'd ignore that or tell you to fuck yourself. But since that isn't the case, I'm quite intrigued as to what you have to say. EDUCATE ME
     
  15. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    FWIW, today at work I'm wearing a pale blue and navy tattersall with soft unfused button down collar, slate blue grenadine and tan linen SC. Still with the much hated half-windsor and clip, though.
     
  16. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    By all means tell me to go fuck myself. I wouldn't say I am highly respected, just rather, well known.

    I just think your outfits have some gimmicks that are more distracting than the shirt. If you like the tie clip wear it down lower. I already mentioned the big knot. Also, the grenadine, imo, is too formal for the casualness of that jacket you are wearing in the above picture, also it is too close in color, which looks like you tend to do this. Your tie should have more variation in color from the jacket. I like that collar, however.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    I've tried using a slide clasp on the narrow end of the tie to keep my tie in place; the main issue is I can't stand in swinging around much. OCD kinda thing. I could try that again I suppose.

    I do wear too many grenadines, and have switched over to wool and cashmere for the fall/winter; however, I've yet to build a collection of cotton or linen ties for spring/summer wear. Going to work on that next season.

    The monochrome jacket and (solid) tie look is something I love. Not sure why. I do wear them darker than the jacket on occasion, but always struggle mentally with the tie being lighter than the jacket. Appreciate the feedback.
     
  18. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I am certainly Mr. Monochrome. I just think a bit more color variation is necessary. If you like a tie darker, go a couple more shades darker than the jacket.
     
    2 people like this.
  19. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    +1,000,000 that tie clip sucks.
     
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  20. Andrew Ryan

    Andrew Ryan Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     

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