White shirts are a staple of the Lean Wardrobe. There are a few you need to round out the shirting category in your closet.

Three main types (not including your basic white tee): The white short sleeve polo shirt, the casual white oxford cloth button down, and the white dress shirt.

Yeah, there may be others—the white undershirt, a white henley, a white A-shirt—but I’m focusing on the three main ones you would wear most often.

Here are some options:

The White Polo Shirt

polo j crewFor your warm weather days and casual, everyday occasions.

Looks as great on city streets with a pair of denim as it does by the beach paired with linen shorts or swim trunks.

Keep the fit trim throughout the body and the sleeves. Make sure the sleeves end no longer than mid-bicep for a more modern and proportioned look.

There’s also an option in piqué, if that’s more your thing.

Check out the white polo shirt from J.Crew.

The White OCBD

white_ocbd_spectreAn oxford cloth button down (OCBD) is the shirt that will probably see the most use out of everything in your closet.

Better than a T-shirt in most situations, yet not as formal as a dress shirt, and can be tucked in or left out.

It’s important to nail the fit: trim, but not tight. High armholes and a slim fit for the sleeves are key.

Check out this white OCBD from Spectre & Co.

The White Dress Shirt

white_shirtEvery guy should be in possession of a simple, classic, well-fitting white dress shirt.

We help you pick out a couple (not just white) in the Lean Wardrobe Challenge, but really, even if you don’t “dress up” that often, you should have at least one… just in case.

This should fit similarly to your white OCBD above: trim throughout the body and sleeves. Sleeves shouldn’t be too long, either. If you can fit one to two fingers between your neck and the collar, you’re good.

Here’s a breakdown of the optimal fit.

Take a look at the white dress shirt from Proper Cloth.

A Few Others

In case you’re the browsing type…

White Polo | How to Wear & What to Wear With & Where to Buy

White Long Sleeve Shirt | How to Wear & What to Wear With & Where to Buy

White Dress Shirt | How to Wear & What to Wear With & Where to Buy
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3 Responses

  1. Madhav Sekar from Wardrobe Dom on

    Love this piece! I wear white shirts a ton because they’re simple but look amazing. I’m glad you’re sharing this knowledge with everyone.

    It would be awesome if you did a Three Right Now piece on sneakers or canvas shoes. I think this is a topic a lot of guys are confused or unclear about and definitely one that I’d like to read about!

  2. Patrick Madden on

    Barron, your guides are super helpful. A question: I have a white button-down shirt that looks good on me. It’s linen (I also have a blue linen sports jacket, which I also dig). Is the “oxford cloth” in your guide a strict fabric designation or some other kind of descriptor? Would a linen shirt fill the role also?