Make your shirts count

Rules For The Modern Man - - Rules For The Modern Man -

In one episode of Frasier, Kelsey Gram­mer, act­ing as a style guru in that sea­son, protests over the phone, “No, never a but­ton-down col­lar with French cuffs!” His in­dig­nance un­der­scores that there are stan­dards in menswear that just do not cross.

Shirts are the most es­sen­tial item in your wardrobe, for work or leisure. The right shirt can im­prove your sil­hou­ette and en­hance your look. The art of shirt­ing be­came a sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness in the 18th and 19th cen­turies and Lon­donʼs Jermyn Street be­came a cen­tral spot for be­spoke and off-the-rack shirt­mak­ers who spe­cialised in the craft. There are a num­ber of op­tions in shirt­ing that you should ap­pre­ci­ate be­fore you get mea­sured up for the next one.

CUF IT UP

For reg­u­lar Joes, but­ton cuffs are the stan­dard, but even so, some pre­fer two- or three-but­ton al­ter­na­tives to the stan­dard. Oneʼs fine, two ʼs com­pany but three is a crowd. The dou­ble cuff, bet­ter known as the French cuff, is more for­mal. It has a reg­u­lar, un­folded link cuff that strad­dles the mid­dle.

CO­LARS

But­ton-downs, most fre­quently found on stan­dard ox­ford shirts, go with but­ton cuffs. You can also opt for the straight col­lar in such cases. What de­fines the col­lar is the spread, the dis­tance be­tween the two points, which varies from the widest Wind­sor or full spread to the medium spread and the straight or nar­row col­lar. In more for­mal oc­ca­sions, the wing col­lar is ap­pro­pri­ate for ac­com­mo­dat­ing a bow tie. Col­lars may be fas­tened with but­tons or pinned col­lar bars.

WEAVE

There are four main weaves used in shirt­ing, which are dif­fer­ent from suit­ing material. The most com­mon is the plain weave, where the threads criss-cross un­der and over. Some ex­am­ples are poplin, the finer ver­sion of plain weave, or cham­bray, broad­cloth and end-on-end, which are more ca­sual. The ox­ford weave uses a basket weave tech­nique and comes in var­i­ous lev­els of fine­ness, depend­ing on whether itʼs meant for ca­sual or for­mal wear. Satin and twill are also used, but the for­mer is more showy while the lat­ter is more of­ten found in trousers.

WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE

Whatʼs es­sen­tial in a manʼs wardrobe is the fol­low­ing: A white, French cuffed, medium or full spread col­lar in poplin or Royal Ox­ford material; the poplin cloth white work shirt with but­ton cuffs and a straight col­lar. A Winchester shirt, which has white col­lar and French cuffs that con­trast with the shirt body, is also a good op­tion for the cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment. A cham­bray shirt is ideal as it adds tex­ture and colour to the range. But­ton-down col­lars can have pleats on the shirt but­tons, but dress shirts should be pleat-free for a crisp look.

Af­ter Work

How should you roll up your sleeves to get comfy af­ter work? First, fold your sleeve un­till the cuff is up over your el­bow. Then fold over that, so the end of the cuff is just show­ing slightly, for a ca­sual look.

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