Collared shirts are the thinking man’s garment of choice for adding a crisp touch to any outfit. And if you think these shirts are only for getting dressed up, think again — because there are types of collared shirts for every mood and occasion.
The EG staff loves these shirts for their versatility.
So we’ve put together a list of the types of collared shirts you’re going to want to wear, complete with styling tips and recommendations for some of our favorite shirts.
Dress shirts are the most formal style in the collared shirt family, and probably the first thing you think of in this category. They’re easily recognizable by their crisp collars and cuffs, and come in a wide variety of cuts and styles — but you’re almost always going to wear them tucked in.
If you want to look your best in a dress shirt, finding the right fit is incredibly important. Beau wrote an awesome guide to finding the perfect fit for a dress shirt, so check that out to get up to speed on your styling.
Twillory’s crisp white dress shirts are a style staple that we can’t get enough of here at Effortless Gent. The double-ply cotton is comfortable but durable, and pairs well with the reinforced seams. Yet somehow, the whole shirt is crazy breathable.
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Short Sleeve Button Down Shirt
The collared shirt of choice for looking sharp when the weather gets hot, short sleeve button downs deserve a place in every man’s closet. Find one with a streamlined fit and sleeves that fall mid-bicep, and you’ll look classy no matter the temperature outside. They’re a versatile shirt style that looks great with shorts, chinos, and jeans.
Uniqlo is a great place to go for these shirts, since you can stock up on colors at a reasonable price. Their linen cotton short sleeve shirt comes in six colors and has a slim fit, with a big Cuban-style collar.
What looks like denim but wears like lightweight cotton? The chambray shirt, of course.
And the weave of a chambray shirt is what really defines it. Known as a “plain weave”, chambray shirts layer one colored thread and one white thread perpendicular to each other. That’s the same weave used for a lot of furniture fabric, making chambray shirts strong yet soft.
Chambray shirts are excellent to wear year-round. Bonobos’ shirts are a great example of the style.
The Cuban-born guayabera shirt is instantly recognizable by its two rows of vertical pleats on its front and back. Made from cotton or linen, they’re a summertime staple in the hottest parts of the world. While more commonly found with short sleeves, they can be long sleeved as well. Some designers incorporate two or four patch pockets.
Cubavera is the go-to supplier for traditionally styled guayabera shirts. Their short sleeve embroidered shirt ticks off all the boxes, from its lightweight construction to its embroidered rows and four patch pockets.
Polo shirts have an almost magical ability to look good on guys of any age. They look great with jeans, chinos, slacks, or shorts, and you can throw one on any time of year. Really, there’s no good reason not to have a few polo shirts in your closet!
Cotton shirts are made from the cotton plant (duh), and linen shirts are made from the flax plant. Yep! The same flax that you might have put in your morning smoothie. Shirts made from linen are lighter weight and more cooling than cotton, making them a perfect choice for the summertime.
They’re not the best choice for wearing to the office though, as they hold onto wrinkles more than cotton shirts.
J.Crew sourced their linen from Ireland's Baird McNutt mill (Irish linen is considered to be the world's finest, and Baird McNutt's the finest in Ireland) and it has an incredible softness, thanks to a weaving process that the mill has been perfecting since 1912.
Aloha shirts and bowling shirts both fall under the “camp shirt” category, thanks to the style of their collars. They’re loose and straight cut, with a no band collar that’s meant to be worn open and unbuttoned.
Obviously, camp shirts aren’t meant for formal wear — in fact, they’re about as casual as it gets. Even so, sticking with a more reserved color palette will open up more occasions to wear one of these. J. Crew’s short sleeve garment-dyed camp shirt is an excellent choice for the style.
Part sweater and part polo shirt, the rugby shirt is a durable midlayer that’s perfect for the fall. They’re made for heavy wear, with a firmer weave and stitched elbow pads that can stand up to the action in their namesake sport.
It doesn’t get any more classic than L.L. Bean’s quilted rugby shirt. Updated with a more modern slim fit, it still features traditional touches like elbow patches, rubber buttons, and a woven collar.
Flannel shirts are made of cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers. They feature a looser weave and a napped (fuzzy) texture that’s perfect for cold weather. And though they don’t have to sport a plaid or tartan pattern, the most iconic flannel shirts always do.
Also known as an overshirt, the shirt jacket bridges the gap from shirts into — you guessed it — jackets. They’re a fantastic mid layer garment that you can dress up or down, layer however you want, and wear all through the fall and winter. Check out Everlane’s heavyweight overshirt to get a better sense of the style.