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The case for black dress shirts?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by moseymosey, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Senior member

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    It's not a "no-no." I don't think that you need 4 of them, but you can wear them in less strict dress environments. I don't own one.

    Grey suit
    Black shirt
    Burgundy tie

    FOR THE WIN!
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  2. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    If it's always second best and has limited use, why own one? This seems like a perfectly logical argument / critique to me. I own various patterns and solids in white, light blue, pink, and lilac. I can't picture any time where I would actually think, "Gee, I wish I had a black dress shirt." It has never happened. I currently own about 30 dress shirts (I am sure not even close to the most impressive collection on this forum) and just see nothing that a black "dress shirt" adds. YMMV, but if a person can't think of a single instance where a black "dress shirt" would not at best be second choice (for me way below that, perhaps second choice if I (1) actually owned a black "dress shirt" and had all but two shirts at the cleaners, but if I had anything else in my closet would go right to the bottom).

    If you like the look, you like the look. I happen to not like it at all, but my tastes are not shared by everyone. In the case where you like the look, we're not dealing with the argument you bring up. If we are dealing with a variant of the argument you cite, then we're talking about buying something that will always be a distant backup choice. I prefer to buy clothes that I actually want to wear.
     
  3. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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  4. joshuadowen

    joshuadowen Senior member

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    Purge them all. There's literally no outfit imaginable where a black shirt will look better than a white one.

    The idea that a black shirt looks good for evening "going out" is only tenable if the wearer isn't wearing a jacket/suit. As a very casual outfit.... fine. But anytime you've got a jacket on, a lighter shirt will always look better under it. This doesn't just go for black, it goes for any dark shirts.
     
  5. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

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    Since we're on the topic, if you were in your 20s and was going out to a nightclub, what color shirt would you wear?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  6. Redbird13

    Redbird13 Active Member

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    I have a navy dress shirt that I sometimes wear going out. Looks much better than black
     
  7. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    I suppose you could wear black, but chances are, you would be wearing something that isn't a straight-up dress shirt.
    Back in my clubbing days I typically wore black pants and a lighter shirt
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  8. moseymosey

    moseymosey Member

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    Thanks for everyone's input. There are some glorious responses in this thread. I shall purge.
     
  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I should maybe caveat with this:

    On MC/CW we get caught up in whether something "looks good" or not. But that's not the only way to think about whether an outfit is successful of not. Another framework is just to consider what effect it has on the viewer, and what image it projects from the wearer. Here we universally strive for something in the neighborhood of gentlemanly/elegant/refined/respected, with occasional forays into sharp or exuberant. Black shirts at night can portray edginess, criminality, risk-seeking, disreputable but either smooth-talking or ruthless. There are people who are going for one of these effects. Black shirts worn during the day portray someone who saw a movie in which one of these edgy criminal characters was wearing a black shirt and thought it would look just a good on him while working his IT job. Maybe somebody is going for that too. Anyway there is more to clothing and style than "looks good" or "looks ugly".
     
  10. Percy Trimmer

    Percy Trimmer Senior member

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    Except on a priest.
     
  11. PaisleySnail

    PaisleySnail Well-Known Member

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    The first picture isn't bad, but I still don't care for the black dress shirt.
     
  12. joshuadowen

    joshuadowen Senior member

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    And even they have the good sense to wear a white collar.
     
  13. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    They are perfectly fine, just like any other garment, think where you wear one.
     
  14. Fraiche

    Fraiche Senior member

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    Everyone should have one black dress shirt but no more.

    I have one. Need it for funerals.
     
  15. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    No, you do not. White or grey shirts perfectly fine for funerals.
     
  16. nickrut

    nickrut Senior member

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    I wear black button downs with jeans sometimes. It's a decent look TBH.
     
  17. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    No you don't. Much better options. In fact, Id say it's straight up disrespectful to dress like you are going clubbing at a funeral.



    No it's not, unless, like Unbel said, you are trying to look like you are going clubbing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  18. Fraiche

    Fraiche Senior member

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    Thanks for the perspective. I usually go black on black with no tie. Did not know it was considered a faux pas for funerals.
     
  19. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    The idea with funerals is conservative and formal. Dark suit, ideally black, but not necessary, white shirt (conservative!) and dark, serious tie. Black works there too.

    You're going fairly informal and not really conservative at all.
     
  20. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    eh I'm ignoring classic theory as well as SF conformity but I think black 'dress' shirts have their place. I wouldn't encourage anyone to go out and buy them per se, but as someone who owns a couple from pre SF days and am required to wear black/white for service industry work, I do find ways to use them. If you're young and going out to a bar or club, it looks fine with jeans. If you want a nightclub/bar dressy look, I think a charcoal suit with black shirt looks good, and I've seen once a black shirt with navy suit look good but I think that one's harder to pull off. It's tough to do well with something like beige or a lighter grey, but I think it's doable. Some examples below...

    beige
    [​IMG]

    charcoal
    [​IMG]

    light grey
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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