The last thing the basic wardrobe for the working man needs is the blue shirt.

The blue shirt works with every colour and pattern, just like a white. The only sense of versatility that it lacks is the highest levels of formality like evening occasions, or very formal job interviews. Other than these most formal spots the blue shirt goes with everything for everything.

It is worth mentioning that the “essential blue shirt” is not a mid or dark blue but a pale light almost pastel blue. This happens to be the most flattering colour a man can wear and works with any complexion.

Texture wise anything subtle is great such as a herringbone, twill weave or an oxford weave is ideal. Very very subtle check or stripes are also good, but should be so fine that from a distance of 3 feet should look plain. This allows maximum combinations with suit and tie combinations

A beautiful herringbone

Here is a great oxford weave


The classic twill weave

Style wise things should be very similar to the white shirt, with a collar style to suit face shape and be both conducive to a tie as well as open collared. One major difference though is the blue shirt can equally be button cuffed as it is a touch more casual and doesn’t need that absolute formality that the French cuff provides the white shirt.
The shirt should be long enough to stay tucked in at all times, there is no such thing as a dressy untucked shirt. Make sure the shirt has shape but isn’t skin tight, it isn’t a nightclub piece but a business shirt.

Obviously from all of the essentials you will need to own several of each shirt before you proceed to fancier options. If these are the only shirts you have you should have 5 as a minimum, so 2 white and 3 blue is a good balance, but can easily go the other way.
If you have both the suits discussed and these 5 shirts then you are ready to proceed to the fun part and adding the more character pieces to your wardrobe, the fun part!!!


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About themaninasuit

I have been involved in the menswear business since university in1997. Have gradually fallen in love with men's suiting and more recently tailor made garments. I am perpetually asked for style advise and things to wear so decided to get some of my thoughts and passions out and about


  1. Cheeni says :

    Loved it! Do check out my blog and fill me in with your comments!
    Cheeni @

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