Basic men’s informal attire: Shirts

Shirts, like shoes, depend on the choices you made earlier in this series while determining other parts of your outfit. Mostly, other pieces of your suit inform the colour and pattern of your dress shirt. The collar of your shirt limits options when it comes to tie knots, too. Fashion requires foresight, after all.

In keeping with the basic theme of this series, more “advanced” concepts, like matching shirt colours with your eyes, delving into the nuances of bespoke dress shirts, modifying existing shirts, and coordinating shirt choices with times of the day lies outside our current scope. Get some experience and find what you like before dropping the cash on a tailor-made shirt. This minimises “buyer’s remorse” in our experience.

Sizing and fit

Previous to grabbing any item from the rack, ask an attendant to take your measurements. This saves you time and narrows the field a bit. Keep in mind that a size 14 or a size S from one company might differ slightly from another. Test them in the dressing room before agreeing to buy.

Ideally, the shirt leaves no extra material billowing around the sides nor the buttons’ straining against the force of your bulging pectorals. When closed, the front lays flat, giving a clean look and not pushing up the tie you wear. Loose shirts give a manlet impression while super tight shirts lend the appearance of a fat guy in undersized clothing. Endeavour to find the perfect fit until your budget allows for custom-made dress shirts.

Ensure the sleeves arrive to the middle of your styloid process (that protruding bone on your outer forearm). This comes down a little further than your jacket sleeves. Our point here illustrates how the shirt acts as a little highlight when your arms hang at your sides. If your jacket covers the cuffs, no one sees the cufflinks (if applicable) either.


Foremost, we reject the notion that the white shirt qualifies as the only acceptable option for business informal. If you believe that, enjoy your mediocrity and lack of individuality. Also, goofs like Roger Stone, Jr. (not Stone from Exodus/Americanus) who say you can’t wear a coloured shirt before 18:00 can get stuffed.

An easy template for beginning to choose a shirt entails using the inverse of your skin tone. Given that you’re Alt-Right (and thus white), you need more darker shades. Try on blues, purples, reds, or whatever tint best complements the path taken in the slacks department. Reference the table below as a starter.

Simple skin and shirt colour combination examples
Skin Shirt
Ibiza vacation suntanned white
ginger green (contrasts excellently with your hair too)
lily white purple pinstriped
farmer’s tan light blue piqué (a.k.a. marcella a.k.a. bird’s eye)


Light blue piqué dress shirt with a blue diamond tie.
Marcella weaving style. Outstanding!

Nothing beats a beautiful weave. Chicks notice these sorts of details and they mark a subtle way for you to display your dress sense. The piqué style mentioned above tends toward formal; however, you can run with it in business informal too—just keep it occasional (perhaps every seven or so outfits). Check out different styles and see what works for you.

In any case, purge any fantasies of wearing a plaid shirt to the office. Unless you are a lumberjack or a filthy hipster, this pattern finds no place in any serious shitlord’s wardrobe. At best, you look like Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite and various other Latin Americans who view it as acceptable to don plaid during the weekday.


Without diving into excruciating detail on all the different types of collars, consider the spread as their most important property. This refers to the distance between the two points of the collar. The spread formality varies as well although most of the options sold in men’s stores work fine for office use. Some manufacturers make button down collars that appear worthy of business informal applications, even though this collar type leans toward business casual.

Above all, you want a stiff collar. Those floppy golf collars lack the required seriousness of a sharp, office dragon. Additionally, some people prefer to starch the collars periodically so they maintain their crispness. When the points fold under, your look takes a turn for the sloppy and no ones likes seeing that.

While we discuss ties in the next article, United Shitlords must address them here briefly only to touch upon how to match your neck noose to your shirt collar. Put quite succinctly: the wider the spread, the bigger the tie knot you need. Take this into consideration before purchase.

One of our greatest grievances against those dressing business informal revolves around their mismatching tie knots with shirt collars. If the sides of your tie show due to improper knot/collar pairings, it makes seasoned businessmen want to blood choke you with that tie. Avoid committing any fashion faux pas here, please.


The ends of your shirtsleeves terminate in either buttons or links. Again, for brevity, we say that three styles exist: rounded, angled (notched), and square. That provides nine (9) different combinations of cuffs.

For linked cuffs, most people know of the French ones. These look quite fancy although you could stave off this type for now, as the shirts trend toward the expensive side plus requiring an array of cufflinks in varying colours to avoid monotony in your outfit. Permit the K.I.S.S. principle to guide you until you end up wealthier and wiser.

Regarding button cuffs, in addition to the three aforementioned styles, you enjoy the options of 1-3 buttons, bringing the total number of possibilities to 12 cuffs. Mix and match according to what expresses your personality best. Here at Shitlord Castle, the rounded single button cuffs receive a lot of wear time.

In closing

As with ties and even more so than slacks, you want shirts to combine well with everything else and not act as some horrific eyesore. Shirts pose less of a danger than a loud tie, and most of the screw ups with shirts centre upon their poor match with slacks and jackets. Let’s expand the colour coordination example table from a previous article to include shirt colours.

Colour coordination examples, extended
Shoes Socks Slacks Belt Shirt
Brown Grey-and-purple-striped Brown Light brown Purple pinstripes
Brown Tan Navy blue Light brown Purple
Brown Blue Grey Light brown Blue
Black Black and white argyle Charcoal Black Salmon bird’s eye
Black Charcoal White Black Mantis

Congratulations, though. You made it over halfway to the new, improved version of your dressy self. Join us next time as we go full autiste with ties, pocket squares, and lapel accessories.


2 thoughts on “Basic men’s informal attire: Shirts

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