How to wear a white shirt

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

  1. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    :laugh: not sure its working for him either.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Doc: I knew you wouldn’t like this one.

    Adareal: would need to see the coats but as a general rule a small pattern shirt works with a large patterned jacket, especially if you wear a solid tie. Small pattern shirt with a small texture coat does not sound so horrible, but why not try a large patterned shirt? As ever, wherever white doesn’t work, solid blue almost certainly does, and sometimes pink is even better than blue. I think the best shirt with a cream jacket is blue, pink is also great. White is not terrible necessarily but the tie HAS to be dark.

    Dieworkwear: most of those pics are good. Remember, my OP was the baseline, I didn’t go into the “advance” exceptions. I would point out a few things, though. Contrast the second vox pic with the will pic. Will looks better, IMO, not just because Vox’s tie and coat are a bit matchy but because Will sensibly wears a dark tie with all that lightness elsewhere. Also, do please note the colors will is using are precisely the colors that I said always work with white. The pic after that is “correct” but banal, IMO. It’s basically all suiting tones done in an odd jacket ensemble. I typically don’t like that. I dress for business, or for something else, not businesslike with casual garments. Next one is fine, not my thing.; The one after that, the gun club coat, would really be better off with a non-white shirt. Next one looks like a blue shirt. On after that, bearded chap, again fine but note again that it fits to a “T” what I described in my OP. The gun club after that, no, would be better with something else, and the one after that (same coat), the shirt doesn’t look white—and WHY IS HE WEARING CLIP ON SUSPENDERS??? I love that Fellows drawing and have copied it many times.

    Man of Lint. I don’t think you quite get what I was saying. I don’t dispute for a moment that Doc is right about the historical correctness. One the knocks on me when I used to post more (that is, as much as I am posting now) was that all I did was look at old sources, treat them like the Decalogue, and declaim “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not.” So I find it amusing that now I am being criticized for not being historically literal enough. Also, I specifically state that white was always best for formal day wear.

    Jackie Treehorn: what I am trying to do here is not merely communicate the old rules (I have done that, at great length) but to add a layer of normative discussion. As in, I think this looks good and this looks bad no matter what the historical rule was. I am careful to state the difference between a “discovered” rule and my “revealed’ opinion. Just read carefully, you will see that the distinction is always made, and if you don’t find it, ask and I will clarify.

    Afreegeek, to your charge that I never post pics: just go away.

    Blahman: Radcliff looks awful.
     
  3. RDiaz

    RDiaz Senior member

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    This thread needs pictures of dos and don'ts...
     
  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    trump = don't
     
  5. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    City/Country styling/context aside, above it seems that you do recognize that white is a "cool" colors (goes well with navy, black, white, silver; terrible with yellow, orange, rust, etc.).

    What puzzles is the immense efforts at describing what white might look good with in details, but missing the fundamental of how it might look good on any one man (their natural colorings).

    BTW, white is your color.

    - M
     
  6. LeviMay

    LeviMay Senior member

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    I've always been of the mind that the appropriateness of a white shirt is directly proportionate to the ensemble's proximity to black tie. The further away on the formality scale, the worse a white shirt fits.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    not a bad way of looking at it
     
  8. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Bah! That's all I get??

    Here's the thing: Secretly I agree with you, for the most part. I find white so interesting in that it's great for beginners, in that it rarely looks bad, but it's challenging to do really, really well. It's both the easiest shirt color to wear and the hardest. When I reach for a white shirt, it often involves an almost Foo-like consideration of color, contrast, saturation, etc. It's work, man. But done right, the white shirt looks effortless, whether by true indifference or by calculated design. Nothing better.
     
  9. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    No, that's a terrible way of looking at it. Maybe "the closer to black tie, the more critical the white shirt becomes."
     
  10. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Kind of yin-yang, flipsides of the same point, but different ...
     
  11. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yea, only my way doesn't suggest white becomes inappropriate, which it doesn't. That's silly.
     
  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't think it becomes inappropriate. Just harder to do. As for the tweed thing. I had a black and white tweed herringbone suit that just screamed out for a white shirt. I always wore it that way with a black tie. Some might say that black and white tweed really comes across as basically gray and a light blue shirt would work, but I didn't like it.
     
  13. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    Comments in the quoted pics above, I merely went for the ones you said were good (first block).
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  14. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    For a month or so early this year, I attended a discussion group on Heidegger's Being and Time in the living room of German philosophy professor born in 1928. It wasn't so much that was into Heidegger, but I was invited by someone I respected and I knew that there are very few men like this still walking the earth and I would benefit from his presence. It ended when his health failed-one night we showed up and the doorman said the Professor isn't feeling well and can't see you. We sent up two emissaries to wish him well and the class was cancelled.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  15. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    Except it is not a cool colour. Pure white is neutral. If anything whites would be considered slightly warm from being slightly off/yellow :p


    Whether he looks a bit of a cock should not be a distraction from the fact that there's nothing inherently wrong with the yellow tie against the white shirt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

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