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A Hume Guide to Shirt Types

A Hume Guide to Shirt Types

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Shirt types explained. How, When and Where to wear them.

 

Shirts form the backbone of every man’s wardrobe. Each subtly different. Each presenting a series of choices about how you choose to wear it.

 

Every choice sends a signal about who you are, so it’s worth taking time to ensure you know what you’re saying.

 

Oxford

 

The last in production of four shirt types named for universities – Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale. The Oxford is defined by its cloth rather than its style or cut. All Oxfords are made from basket woven cloth. A stronger, horizontal yarn is interwoven vertically with yarn that is often softer, or a contrasting colour.

 

 

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Oxfords are endlessly varied in cut, colour and style: slim, or straight cut; checks, poplin or plain. Some, but not all have button down collars. They may feature a pocket.

 

Tie or no tie

It’s perfectly acceptable to wear a tie with an Oxford. Some people are sniffy about wearing a tie with a button down but it’s entirely up to you.

 

Suitable for

Informal business, smart and casual wear.

 

Dress Shirt

 

Perhaps more easily defined by what it lacks – pocketless and never button down – than its inherent features, a dress shirt is essentially plain in nature. Designed to be worn tucked into trousers, with a jacket and tie, they therefore tend to be more close fitting, and shorter in length. Cut in this way, the shirt sits smoothly beneath a jacket and the bottom of the shirt can be more neatly tucked into trousers.

 

 

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The collars might be Cutaway: a collar that flares outward, looking as if a section has been scooped out (hence the name). Especially appropriate if you favour a tie with a large knot. Or Spread Collar: i.e. not quite as extreme as the cutaway but still featuring outward facing collar points, a quintessentially British style. Or the Class or Point Collar i.e. short, downward facing points with a leaner spread than the previous collar types.

 

Tie or no tie

A tie is pretty much a given if you’re wearing a dress shirt. Unless you’re a Scandinavian architect and you favour the Airtie i.e. top button fastened/no tie.

 

Suitable for

Formal business, evening and formal wear.

 

Tattersall

 

Defined by its pattern Tattersall shirts are all checked. Checks can be of contrasting or complimentary colours, generally woven on a lighter background. They owe their name to Tattersall horse market and are still to this day inextricably linked with equestrian and indeed country life.

 

 

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Whist smart – eminently suitable for a day at the races – a Tattersall shirt could never be described as formal. The cloth is generally woven from cotton or soft flannel. Warm and comfortable, Tattersall shirts are a popular choice for shooting and country pursuits.

 

Tie or no tie

Either is fine. Tattersall’s country credentials make these shirts well-suited to a sporting tie.

 

Suitable for

Country sports, a day at the races, casual wear.

 

 

Denim

 

Forever associated with American workwear denim shirts are now a wardrobe staple. The synonymous denim cloth from which they are cut is a must and a given. Otherwise it’s all up for grabs: skinny fit, yolks and pearl pop fasten buttons for cowboys, classic cut, button down, single pocket shirts for the rest of us.

 

 

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Tie or no tie

Common wisdom holds that a denim shirt – outfit of choice for rebels and outlaws – should never be worn with a tie. However denim shirts with skinny ties are a common hipster folly.

 

Suitable for

Casual wear.

 

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