With all of its different variations, the men’s shirt is without a doubt the most versatile article of dress there is. You can easily look good in the morning by simply throwing on a shirt. With so many shirt brands available, what types of shirts do you need to stock up your wardrobe in order to cover all bases? It’s just as important to have the right shirts as it is to own them. A Hawaiian shirt has no place in the office, and that’s a hot take we’ll stand by.
From the classic office button-up shirt, to the casual weekend tee, these are the 15 essential types of shirts for men that you’ll want to have on hand.
Sharing its name with the Oxford cloth from which it’s cut, the Oxford shirt is a menswear classic that’s been serving as the bedrock of many stylish outfits for well over 120 years. The fabric used is thicker compared to other shirting materials, giving the Oxford shirt a casual edge. The top has a common design feature: a buttoned-down collar. It also features yoke hanger loops on the back.
Oxford button down shirts are the most essential shirt type for men. This timeless piece is one of the most useful pieces of clothing in a wardrobe. It can be used for many different dress codes. To add some modern flair to your wardrobe (and for convenience), choose a non-iron dress shirts.
“I like a button-down worn open collar with jeans, corduroys, or chinos but not with a suit, as I think the casual style clashes with the formality of the tailoring,” says master shirtmaker Emma Willis. This type of shirt can be worn to any occasion, such as a wedding. These shirts are available in many colors to match any outfit.
Whether you’re a fan of getting suited and booted or not, society dictates that you’re probably going to have to shoehorn yourself into a tuxedo at least a handful of times over the course of your existence. If you didn’t already know, black-tie requires a tuxedo shirt, so it’s best to have one handy for your next formal event.
The fabric used for a classic evening shirt or dress shirt is usually pique fabric (also known as Marcella), which was chosen because of its ability to retain starch, and maintain the fabric stiff and crisp. A bib is usually present, with the fabric reinforced. There are also wing, cutaway, pointed or pointed collars and double cuffs that require cufflinks. There are several options for performance dress shirts for those who are always on the go.
Willis recommends a low-key look with the dress shirt. “I prefer simplicity for the evening,” she says. “A marcella bib front evening shirt with stud front and tiny jet or pearl studs and cufflinks, a cutaway collar – wing is only for white tie – and a black silk barathea bow tie.” Remember to keep you dress shirt tucked in, preferably with a pair of shirt stays.
Cuban Collar Shirt
This breezy summer staple has always looked good, and thanks to the current fifties-fashion revival, it’s right on trend at the moment too. The ‘Cuban’ part refers to the shirt’s open collar, which makes it ideal for putting some air on your chest like your inner hairy-chested Colombian drug lord. The typical cuban shirt has a boxy fit with a straight hem and buttoned front.
This is one of those casual shirts for men that’s a must-have, but there are a few considerations to be made. “Approach with caution,” warns personal stylist Daniel Johnson. “This style is not for the thicker necked bloke. The golden rule, as ever with short sleeves is to make them fit to the arm – baggy sleeves make arms look skinnier and skinny arms make a chest look smaller – not great.”
You’ll be able to find these summer shirts in a huge range of colors and patterns. Don’t be afraid to be bold with your cuban collar shirt choice, but stay away from anything that looks like something your uncle would wear to the casino. Best for laid-back events, pair this type of shirt with a pair of well-tailored chinos for a dressed up look, or go with shorts or jeans if you’re keeping it casual.
It’s too warm to wear a jacket, but it’s also too cold to wear a T shirt. The transitional period that occurs between two extremes of weather is notoriously difficult when it comes to dressing.
Overshirts are a great solution. The overshirt’s beauty lies in its versatility. When the weather is warm, it makes a great light jacket. On colder days, you can wear layers and in winter, a coat on top. Overshirts can be dressed up and down. Darker shades of overshirts are suitable for more formal occasions or more professional settings. Lighter shades tend to be more casual. Hint, they’re also ideal for covering up tattoos for men who are hoping to be more discreet.
Simplicity is key when it comes to styling this shirt. “A dark blue overshirt with a white T-shirt works great,” adds Johnson. “But a shabby overshirt and a detailed tee looks like a sloppy teenager’s get-up.” Team it up with some raw denim and a pair of lace-up work boots and you’re good to go.
Whether you’re chopping logs in rural Canadian woodland, or simply nipping out for a latte in mid-December, the humble flannel shirt is an absolute must in a wardrobe full of different shirt types. This thick, soft flannel fabric is essential when the mercury drops and it’s versatile too, whether you opt for a plaid or plain version.
“A mid-weight or heavy flannel shirt is an absolute must for when the weather turns cooler,” says Alex Field, head of menswear at Reiss. “This classic piece is great for layering and can be worn open over a T-shirt or buttoned up so it mimics a light outerwear piece in the summer, or even in the winter under a parka when the cold needs to be kept at bay. Top it off with some dark denim jeans and a pair of sturdy boots and you’re all set to brave the elements in style.”
It’s a horrible term, but the advent of business casual dress codes has meant that you can probably clock into your workplace in a much broader range of clothing than your father ever dared to. We think that’s a good thing, but there’s still room for wardrobe workhorses like the classic work shirt, especially if your boss still expects you to wear a tie. Out of all the different types of shirts for men, the work shirt is one you’ll likely get the most wear out of.
“There is nothing like the smooth, formal appearance of good quality two-fold poplin cotton for an everyday work shirt,” says Willis. “Textures such as twills, oxfords, and herringbones are perfect for a more casual shirt giving interest without a tie, but for that immaculate, clean, no-nonsense business look, a plain white or palest blue gleaming-with-quality poplin shirt and tie cannot be beaten.”
Choose a poplin weave that breathes for those hot days when you’re glued to your email. You can also choose a cutaway or pointed collar depending on whether you want your tie to be noticed. Many retailers offer fabrics that are stretchy or wrinkle-resistant. The light blues and the pinks make great team colors, but a white shirt with a button-up collar is a versatile option that will win you the award for employee of the Month.
No, it’s not denim. Chambray has a plain weave, which makes it lighter than jean fabric. Chambray shirts are a great choice if you love the look of jeans but don’t like how heavy they can be. The chambray shirt is a great option for anyone who loves denim but finds it too much. Chambray can be dressed down or up, worn for date night, a business casual office or to the pub on a night out.
Because of this versatility, the chambray men’s shirt couldn’t be easier to style. One of the main considerations is to ensure it doesn’t match too closely with your jeans. “Just vary the shade a bit,” says Sarah Gilfillan, founder of men’s personal styling service SartoriaLab. “Otherwise, wear it with chinos. Or you could put one with a light suit to make it look a bit more casual.”
Classic T-Shirt with Short Sleeves
It wasn’t so long ago that the the short sleeve shirt was a style crime reserved for delivery drivers, bible salesmen, and scary men in nightclubs with pupils the size of coffee cups. Designers have taken back the classic t-shirt for its versatility, and it’s practicality in warm weather.
The perfect tee shirt has been a popular summer trend in recent years. It can be found in tropical prints, geometric patterns, pastel colors, and vertical stripes. What ever your style, a basic T-shirt will go with almost any summer bottoms from shorts and denim to linen or lighter denim.
Wear it casually without tucking in. The perfect tee shirt will have sleeves that end at mid-bicep. It should never be worn with a suit.
Solid-color polo shirts, a step above the basic tee shirt, are essential for both casual and dressier occasions. Who knew that a simple collar can make all the difference?
With dozens of well revered names to choose from, the polo shirt has been perfected over decades by the likes of Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and other classic players in the men’s fashion game.
Polos are flattering on many body shapes, and they come in an array of colors. As far as men’s casual shirts go, this is one you don’t want to skip out on.
Don’t be too quick to write the denim shirt off as a fashion faux pas. Worn right, this classic workwear item can give your outfit an added dose of masculinity and lend a casual edge when worn with an unstructured blazer, or even a full suit if you’re feeling brave.
Men may be put off by double denim shirts because the fashion police are always on their tail. However, if you’re clever about it, embracing the Canadian tuxedo can offer a way to inject some texture into your wardrobe.
“Never be scared of doubling up quality denim,” advises Danny Hodgson, owner of London-based premium denim shop Rivet and Hide. “It’s when the denim is of poor quality that you can make a bad situation worse. “Styling-wise, it’s good to wear a crispy new raw denim shirt with broken in and faded raw denim jeans, or vice versa.” The key lies in the contrast.
Is there anything worse than being crammed into a train carriage on a summer commute with some bloke’s soaking wet armpit so close to your face that you can almost taste the salt? Most likely not. Don’t be that guy and swap out your Oxfords for linens when the mercury begins to rise.
Linen is a breezy solution to your summer shirt woes. It’s light, it’s airy and it gives you the chance to experiment with some pastel shades that you may not ordinarily go for.
“Nothing says summer like a linen shirt,” says Gilfillan. “Airy and breathable, I love a linen shirt with jeans or chinos, or you can roll up the sleeves and wear casually with shorts. I feel like you can be braver with color in a linen shirt too, though a white or pale blue is always a classic to have in your wardrobe.”
Mandarin Collar/Band Collar T-Shirt
The mandarin collar shirt is an elegant option to wear for formal occasions when you don’t want to wear a collared shirts and ties. It’s a modern style of men’s shirt that will keep you free of frills and bow ties, but you’ll still look great.
A versatile shirt option for any guy’s wardrobe, wear your band collar shirt with chinos or fitted black jeans for a more dressed-up version, or pair it with your favorite blue jeans for a more dressed-down vibe. Dress up your shirt with a pair dress shoes and you’ll look like an Alpha at any social gathering. Roll your sleeves up to add a touch of swagger.
The henley shirt is a casual shirt that’s a step above a plain tee, below a polo, but smarter than a crewneck sweatshirt. It’s the menswear equivalent of Goldilocks – this one fits just right. Whether you’re chilling at home watching Netflix all day, or grabbing a casual drink with friends, the henley tee is an irresistible addition to any dude’s closet.
This is one of those tops that can be worn with anything, whether it’s jeans, joggers or chinos. It’s hard to make a henley very dressy, but it’ll work for all casual occasions and any event where there will be guys wearing shorts. Usually in a thicker knit, henleys are a great transition piece from summer to winter, and we’re willing to bet you’ll reach for yours again and again.
What are the different types of shirts available for menswear?
Men’s shirts come in many different varieties. Men’s shirts can be categorized according to the occasion. They could include an Oxford shirt, a dress flannel shirt, a Henley, or a Polo.
What kind of shirt looks best on men?
The answer lies in knowing your body type. The truth is there’s no one type of men’s shirt that looks best on all guys. Make sure to try out different styles and sizes. Slim fit clothing is generally the most flattering. You don’t want the shirt to be too tight around the chest and arms where it restricts your movement. Look your best by choosing something smart and tailored.
What are different shirt types?
There are dozens of different types of shirts for men, but some of the best men’s shirts include the smart Oxford collar shirt, the casual Cuban-collar shirt, the laid-back Mandarin collar shirt, the casual flannel shirt or chambray shirt, the uber-casual polo, tee-shirt or henley shirt, or the smart-casual linen shirt. No matter which style you select, a collarstay will make sure your shirt looks sharp.