How to Look Good in Our Dress Shirts

If our outfits were a sentence, our shirts would be the subject. Our shirt can dictate the rest of our outfit based on its color and cut. Shirts also frame our face and define our silhouette, so it’s critical that they fit properly. A shirt that doesn’t fit properly will make us look larger than we are. If it’s too big it will create a “muffin top” around our waist and make our sleeves billow like a pirate’s. If it’s too small it will highlight every bulge and curve on our bodies and restrict our arm movement. And keep in mind, very few store-bought shirts will fit us perfectly. Mass-produced shirts are made to mostly fit most people and a perfect fit likely won’t be found without the help of a tailor.


With the collar buttoned, our shirts should afford us enough room to breathe without making us look like we’re wearing our father’s shirt. We should be able to fit a finger or two between our neck and the collar of the shirt. The collar is one of the basic measurements of men’s dress shirts (the other being sleeve length). When we find a shirt that fits us well around the neck, we should remember the measurement for future purchases.

collar shirtsmyway-com

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Style Safari: Shoes

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about shoes this month. I’ve also spent a lot of time writing about shoes this month. One of the most important things I learned is that nice shoes are more expensive than the sneakers we buy at a box store. But, when buying shoes, the price does not reflect the value of the shoe. The true value of the shoe is in how long it will last relative to the price. The H&M brogues I bought for around $100 were a good buy because if I take care of them, they will continue to make me look good for the next 10 years or more. I’ve never said that about a pair of cheap sneakers.

The next bit is a tad nuanced. First of all, wear what we like. Wear what makes us happy. But never forget that the world (our friends, our family, that pretty girl on the bus) sees us differently than we view ourselves. It’s not easy walking that thin line between the subjective and the objective, the personal and the public, but it’s possible. And this cuts to the very core of style and fashion: at the same time it is a statement of individuality, and a statement of collective identity.

I hope to explore these ideas more throughout the year. Until then, here’s what I shot on this safari.

Belk $165
Oxford Wingtips. Belk. $165

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Colors and Combining Them

When I began looking in my closet to think about which clothes would come together well to make a good outfit, I thought about the criterion I had set up for the selection: “what I think looks good.” And one of the things I think of when I get dressed is “does this match?”

Actually, that’s what I’d like to be thinking. Right now I think “does this clash?” because I can recognize what looks awful, but what I need to know is how to put colors together. I found lots of opinions and a dose of science, but central to all of it is the color wheel.

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Task 3 – Make an Outfit: Closet

Make an Outfit is a regular feature that is exactly what it sounds like. This week I’ll be digging through my (as yet uncurated) closet to put together at least one outfit. I’m not going to follow any hard rules for this task. Instead I’m going to focus on what I think looks good. I’ve also got some newer clothes I’ve bought since starting this … Continue reading Task 3 – Make an Outfit: Closet