Sunday, 18 November 2012

You Give Me The Shirts! The button-up/collared shirt post



Despite being seen as an international/monumental bitch, I am in fact a staunch nationalist, and very proud of being born and living in this great country of ours: Melbourne.  As a Melburnian (Australian second) I feel a wee bit shit about this next post.
I know you poor pricks, aka countrymen, have been crying out for a true ‘[what to wear in] summer’ post.  However, I need to deliver this next post first for two reasons that are more important to me than being Melburnian/Australian.
Firstly, I have learnt to never give men what they ask for.  They just don’t appreciate it. 
Secondly, I have been trying to give birth to this huge fucking blog- spawn for months.  I have had trouble delivering this reluctant progeny due to some serious writer's block! Part of the problem seems to be that the symbiotic relationship between my writing and booze has been broken.  Even getting completely smashed (usually a guaranteed catalyst for getting the rant flowing) is producing little more than regrettable text messages and a hangover like Beelzebub himself shat on my brain. 

However, the Mistress is no defeatist, so here is *that* post.
This was meant to come in quick succession after the suit post, but I think that a shirt post is always pertinent, because a lot of you poor bastards have PROPER jobs that require you to wear a shirt every day. 
Moreover, some of you even more miserable cunts get dragged to formal events, and then of course there’s the abomination of our contemporary social scene: the night club.  To attend this anus of an establishment, you naturally feel obliged to dress like a wanker in a ridiculously patterned shirt, hoping the garish design will catch a drunken slapper’s obtuse, hazy gaze amongst the sea of other desperate dicks. 
Yes, alas a wind [machine] blown shirt revealing a glossy, waxed chest in a boy-bands latest film clip isn’t the only time this item of clothing has caused a little bit of sick to come up in to my mouth.  Some shirts (wind-swept, wet, being torn from the body or otherwise) are down-right nauseating to those of us with a particular sensitivity to the ‘fashion-fail’.  

So, here are some tips and options for your long-sleeve, buttoned-up, collared shirt selection.  I’m going to look at two categories of long-sleeve shirt here:  the business shirt and the smart-[leaning on the side of] casual shirt.

Business or formal shirt: 

The cut:

Well this mantra will be etched on the Mistress’ tombstone: ‘SLIM, NOT SKINNY’ (along with ‘If You’re Reading This, Please Move, You’re Standing On My Tits’).  Slim fit, like it is for pants, jeans, suits, etc. is all about a neat, tapered cut.  It’s not about something that clings so tightly to your chest that your nipples become an intrinsic part of the shirt’s design.  Be classy and create a little bit of ambiguity about your muscle  tone (or lack thereof)  in the workplace and aim for a shirt that has a little room for movement over the chest and arms, but tapers for a closer more flattering fit at the waist.   You should not look like you’re modelling a male-stripper’s interpretation of ‘business man’. The pic below, blatantly stolen from ThomasPink, aptly employs a twat in a daggy tie to illustrate this sizing concept.

 The colour/pattern:

Plain coloured shirts will always be your ‘tofu and 3 veg(Mistress eats no meat) of the businessman’s clothing pile.  A white shirt has a deep history in summarising a man who does more work with his noggin than his hands (apparently this is *still* a man, just not one that can fix shit) and therefore could wear white without looking more soiled than a mattress on a nature-strip in Frankston. 

However, let’s face it, you guys are generally slobs and/or sweaters so white can be problematic. Light blue, light pink and grey can be a good option without being too radical.  In terms of patterning; stripes are generally passé.  Checks are still do-able but if you’re a large dude, this is going to add about 10 superfluous k-g’s to your physique, so stick to plain colours.  If you do go for a check shirt, make sure your checks are not just made-up of a single thin line of an insipid, light colour or your shirt will just look washed-out and ordinary.  If you’re going to check; then check boldly, for fuck’s sake! See some examples of good check shirts below.
ASOS Double Cuff Shirt -white

TM Lewin Slim Fit Lilac Herringbone Shirt

ASOS Smart Shirt With Double Cuff-Dark Grey


TM Lewin Slim Fit Navy Check Shirt

TM Lewin Slim Fit Pink Check Shirt
ASOS Slim Shirt With Square Collar

TM Lewin Slim Fit Pink Pinpoint Shirt

 Casual shirts:

The fit:

A more casual shirt can be worn a little bigger that the slim-cut if you feel so inclined, however in this case you cannot tuck it in and generally it looks better buttoned to the collar(or as near as you can bear; ‘I feel like I’m choking!’ etc. Fucking sooks!).  I don’t make the rules; I just get much delight in sadistically enforcing them.  If you ‘tuck in’ anything but a slim cut shirt, you will look like a Mr Men[- man] i.e. a bulbous torso and stick legs.  When you wear a loose-cut shirt out, button to the collar or it just looks ill-fitting.  Advice: if you are already confused by these rules, or still throwing a little mental tanty over the idea of doing up some fucking buttons, just stick to a slimmer (slightly) fitting shirt.

The colour/pattern:

Well, you have a bit to work with here.  Most colours and patterns are tolerable in a casual, collared shirt.  However, avoid anything too gimmicky or gaudy in your patterns. I wish this instruction was unnecessary, but alas I feel like I still need to tell you to avoid floral patterns (unless of course you’re a wanker).  And as it is with ties and boxer shorts; no comic-like caricatures (like durr)!   Also, although there are a few exceptions, generally stay clear of stripes and spots.  Stripes and spots are just too risky for the fashion-novice to pick a shirt with this patterning that doesn't make you look like one of those weird dudes that makes flowers and poodles out of phallic-shaped balloons.
Chambray/denim and check shirts are, as they have been for a while, still a sure, sexy, cool option and as a bonus, just look better with age and regular rough treatment.  A good denim or check shirt will only improve with having been rescued from the cesspool of alcoholic spillage under a table in a beer garden or from the front lawn where it resided for a week after a party.  Or the worst treatment of all...a man’s laundering.
Minimum Large Check Long Sleeve Shirt

Minimum denim shirt

Stapleford Denim Workshirt

Suit Block Colour Shirt

Minimum Heavy Check Shirt

Virgin Poets Society-A Trovata Project Allover Print Shirt

Virgin Poets Society A Trovata Project Flannel Plaid Shirt
ASOS Denim Shirt

Lyle and Scott Vintage Shirt in Oxford Cotton

Ben Sherman Clerkenwell Collar Shirt

Charles and a half Dip-Dyed Chambray Shirt

Classic Vanishing Elephant long sleeve shirt Aztec Print

Staple Newbold Oxford Shirt

Vanishing Elephant MIRAMAR Blue Denim

Ok, so that’s the shirt post done for another year.  For more on the topic of button-up shirts check out the ‘Dress Code: NotSo Smart-Casual’ post .  I will now get to work on a ‘summer’ post for you poor bastards passed out in a pool of sweat somewhere, whilst you pitifully wait for some tyrannic instruction on your t’shirt and short selection.

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