This article is part of a series, helping young men to build their professional wardrobe with Indochino. I know I made many mistakes when I started my career and there are some simple steps that everyone can take to make things much easier and better. Most importantly, it does not have to cost a lot of money or take a huge effort. Read on for some essential style advice and an overview of the top 4 Indochino shirts to buy when you are just starting out.
The perfect fit and the right material
In the end, it all comes down to fit and right after that, fabric. A well fitting $99 dollar suit can potentially look better than a $1.000 suit that fits like a bag. The same is true for shirts. But what makes a well fitting dress shirt? In my personal opinion, it has to be slim fitting (independent of how fit you are) and it should not be labelled as wrinkle free or contain any artificial materials. That's the ultimate truth in my personal opinion. Wide shirts don't look good on anyone, skinny or portly. Some companies will tell you they invented the perfect shirt that you don't need to iron and the ultimate tech shirt that is made of a special high-tech polyester fibre and I believe it's all nonsense. Ironing is an essential skill to learn for every man.
In general, follow the measurement guidelines Indochino suggests. You will want to show a bit of cuff, but it can be difficult to achieve if you mix OTR (off-the-rack) and MTM (made-to-measure) clothing. If you order both suit and shirt from Indochino, they will take care of this, but in other instances you may have to shorten (and most likely also slim down) your suits sleeves. You want a result like this, The Satorialist also has a nice piece on sleeve length.
A dress shirt is made to wear tucked and you want to make sure it stays tucked. A whole day of moving around in the office, sitting down, getting up again etc. will cause short shirts to come untucked and you will be awkwardly standing around all the time, stuffing your shirt back in your pants. Like I did for many years. Do yourself a favour and wear them longer, with Indochino you have the choice. Make them as long as your jacket even. Even if the shirt is very long, the additional fabric won't be visible, but it will stay tucked in nicely.
Endless options, different terms, it's confusing. They make you look at shapes of different faces and usually you can't really tell what fits best for you. Make it easier for yourself at the beginning and just get a semispread (Indochino calls it a spread) collar. It's the kind of collar that always works, the medium point that Indochino advertises as the most versatile choice is a bit too conservative in my opinion.
Top 4 Essential Shirt
|White, Blue, Gingham and Striped Shirts are all you need for a good start|
Get two of these essential white shirts and always keep a spare one in your office for emergencies (trust me, the day will come when you need it).
A simple solid blue shirt. Get two of this one as well if you can.
All shirts chosen are part of the basic shirts, prices ranging from $79 to $99. These four shirts are a good start. You can easily combine them with a number of suits & ties without risk. Stay away from solid black shirts and shirts with too many patterns. Impress by getting the basics covered first.
If you get these shirts above, you will start out with 6. That's not a lot, but it can work if you stick to a schedule. Keep 1 of the white shirts as an emergency shirt in your office or car. Needless to say, wear each shirt only for one day. Wash them on a Friday night and iron them when they are still a little wet on Saturday. Wash them at 40°C and do not tumble dry unless you have an extra sensitive setting with low temperature.
Use the coupon SHIRTBUNDLES to get 3 shirts for $229. Get all 6 shirts for $458 (average of $76 per shirt) and save some money to spend on accessories. Or you get just 1 first to get the fit right, might make sense, but also Indochino is pretty good with shirts and they are easy to measure.
Need something cheaper? Several users have recommended Charles Tyrwhitt. You can currently get 4 shirts for $199 and they have an extra slim fit option that apparently fits very well. Maybe worth a try?
What do you think, would you have chosen different shirts or you would recommend a different company? Happy to hear from you in the comments!
Read more next week to find out about the essential shirt customisation options and which accessories to get to complement your outfit.