How to Wear Your Suit Without a Dress Shirt
Hello Gents, we’ve discussed the topic of SUITS severally – How to look better in a suit, Suit Rules All Men Need To Know, How to Wear Suit with Sneakers etc but today we want to get on the topic of How to Wear Your Suit Without a Dress Shirt.
It’s a really under-discussed topic and one that is quite trendy and I can say that I actually like this trend. I once heard that the idea was to look like your grandpa, stylish but careless – sprezzatura if I can say. I am known for not going with the crowd when it comes to trends because I don’t like most of them. However, I feel like the combination of suits with sneakers and swapping the dress shirt for something more casual while rocking a suit is going to stick around for quite some time.
However, before swapping the button-up, you need the right suit.
1. THE SUIT
When choosing the suit you have to be careful. Shiny suits made for formal occasions like weddings and dinners won’t work. They are just too formal and won’t look good. What you should be looking for is maybe a linen suit, or linen and cotton blend. If you’d like you can go with wider notch lapels or even peak lapels, and why not a double breasted suit. Even though the double breasted is more formal, the linen makes it look more casual, a suit made for warmer weather. The linen also gives a more textured look making it seem less formal. But if it was me I’d go for the linen-cotton blend because it gets fewer wrinkles and it’s also more durable.
A. The Color of the Suit
Colors are tricky. Here sticking to the basic black, navy and gray simply does not cut it. Instead of navy, you should try something close to sky blue. Lighter colors are key. Beige, light blue, light gray and even white are the colors that will work best for you. There are some occasions that a navy suit can work, but I’d be careful. In summary, make sure the suit is not too formal.
B. The Fit
The fit is what most men just completely mess up. Buying an off the rack suit is the most common thing people do and often do it wrong. Most of the time an off the rack suit will have some type of imperfection, simply because of your body type and size. If you are looking for the perfect fit you should definitely visit a tailor or at least buy a tailored fit suit.
B. The Trousers
The fit of the trousers is also very important. If your pants are too big you’ll look shorter than you actually are and if you are rocking too much of the mankle you’ll look like you are wearing a suit you bought 10 years ago. So ideally you should be looking for trousers with no break. With the no-break you achieve this slimmer silhouette and sportier look, making it the perfect cut for a more casual look.
RECOMMENDED: A MAN’S GUIDE TO TROUSER LENGTHS | THE BREAK
Now, let’s get to the real topic of this post.
2. WHAT SHOULD WE SUBSTITUTE THE DRESS SHIRT WITH?
There are three basic shirts you would want to start with. The basic v-neck t-shirt, the polo shirt, and the henley.
A. THE BASIC V-NECK
It’s probably the easiest garment to pair that you own. The fit should be nice and I wouldn’t recommend wearing it tucked in, it’s just not going to work. You can also go with a crew neck but the v-neck is way more flattering and better looking.
B. THE POLO SHIRT
The polo shirt is a man staple garment that has been present in the wardrobe of men since the dawn of time. However, to look good in it, you have to nail the fit. The polo shirt is more square when compared to the fit of other t-shirts. Most often if the shirt fits you well in the arms it’s going to be perfect trough the bottom. If you don’t own any yet, it’s time to go buy one.
C. THE HENLEY SHIRT
For the sake of those who don’t know what a Henley Shirt is – It is a collarless pullover shirt, characterized by a 10-centimetre-long (4 in) placket beneath the round neckline, usually having 2–5 buttons, no less, no more. It essentially resembles a collarless polo shirt. If you want to know more about the Henley shirt like fit, types etc. you can go and read this article:
RECOMMENDED: THE THREE BUTTON HENLEY
The color of the Henley shirt is key. Go with a shirt that has a bad color and you’ll ruin the whole outfit. Great colors to use are the solid ones:
• Light blue
• Dark green
If you like to experiment you can also use stripes. Both vertical and horizontal stripes work well and the best colors are:
• Navy and White
• Light blue and White
• Black and White [but be careful, if the stripes are too wide you’ll look like a prisoner from a 60’s movie]
3. HOW TO WEAR IT | 3 BEST LOOKS
LOOK 1 : WITH THE BASIC V-NECK
LOOK 2 : WITH THE POLO SHIRT
LOOK 3 : WITH THE HENLEY T-SHIRT
So, gentlemen, we’ve covered the different ways to wear your suit without a dress shirt. It’s trendy these days and when worn well it’s elegantly stylish but casually sophisticated. Now go on and try them out.
RECOMMENDED READING: 5 TIPS ON HOW TO LOOK BETTER IN A SUIT
Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time – Take care gentlemen.
This is a guest post from my friend Evgeni Asenov at gentlemanzone.com. Evgeni has spent the last 5 years in studying and self-improving. For the past half a decade he has developed a love for men’s style and lifestyle. His love for clothing and helping others has been responsible for the creation of his blog. Visit his blog for more gentlemen style inspiration.