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Would Love Some Direction On White ocbds

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    Would Love Some Direction On White ocbds

    I'm going crazy trying to sort out this dress shirt mess I'm in. I have a charcoal suit that I will be wearing to interviews in the coming months but I need a shirt to pull it all together. I'll be wearing a black tie and black oxfords so a white shirt seems obligatory. My problem is that with all the brands out there, and limited in-person shopping availability, what are some brands that can get the job done? My cap is 30-40 dollars and from browsing the tags I have seen that some of you like the Nordstrom house brand, Express, and other brands. I would just like some advice on a slim fitting, appropriate dress shirt that I can pick up to put my mind at ease.

    I'm 6'4 and 210 pounds, but my size ratios correspond appropriately so I don't believe I will need much tailoring, if any at all (financial issue).

    Thanks in advance!


    Eddie -

    A few things as preliminary items. (1) For your interview and for use with a suit and tie, I would discourage wearing an OCBD. OCBDs are typically reserved for less formal attire. (2) As a general rule, interview attire should be relatively tame (unless your occupation calls for more--e.g., fashion, design). However, in my opinion, a black tie with the charcoal may be too subdued and may even give off a depressing vibe (it seems like something one would wear to a funeral). I would typically suggest going with a classic color (red, blue, yellow) and and pattern/stripe for your tie. Charcoal goes with pretty much any color, so you have a lot of options. has some decent options on the cheap.

    For shirts, you're correct that you should go with a white dress shirt. You're pretty tall and somewhat thin; I'm of similar height, with a few additional pounds (but not overweight), and I typically wear "slim fit" without alterations. For the past few years, I've been wearing Brooks Brothers slim fit dress shirts, which have a good fit, but are a little above your price range. Recently, I've started wearing some Charles Tyrwhitt slim fit shirts, which have a slimmer fit, and they have great sales where you can get shirts as low as $35. With CT, the quality of their shirts varies shirt-by-shirt, but some of them are really nice. I haven't tried any of the Nordstrom/Express/etc., but I assume others can chime in on those.



      Lands End tailored fit might be your best bet. Also, swap that black tie for a navy tie, unless your interviewing after 7PM or for a nightclub manager position. I disagree with Horn on this one. In an interview you're not trying to convey style, you're trying to convey competence. The tie selection should be conservative, but not black. Solids or pindots are your best bet. Again, go with navy. OCBD might not be ideal, but again, you're simply trying to convey competence through your dress. I'm sure they won't hold it against you if your collar is buttoned down. action=order_more&sku_0=::WHI&CM_MERCH=IDX_Men-_-DressShirtsTies-_-Tailored



        What @hornsup84 said about OCBD's and suits... get a real dress shirt. It'll be easier to put your tie on too.

        Make sure you know your shirt size. Too many guys just starting out just guess at their shirt size and things don't fit well. Go try some shirts on at a department store and find the ones that fit correctly.

        I'll 2nd the recommendation for CT shirts. Joe has some cheap options from Neiman Marcus LastCall up on today too.



          I'm not encouraging putting yourself in a financial hole over a shirt, but this is a job interview (or several job interviews). Don't let $10 or $20 prevent you from getting the right shirt for the job, unless of course you're already seriously that broke.

          If you have a Last Call, they have a series of Neiman Marcus brand slim fit shirts, including a number of patterned white shirts - herringbone, stripe, etc. The subtly of the pattern lets you keep the white shirt, but adds some personality. They seem a little thin for my personal taste, but they seem to be fine quality. I just personally prefer a heavier fabric. BTW, a solid portion (though not all) of their slim fits require cuff links. I don't know if you own a pair or not, but you wouldn't be able to take advantage of their full selection without them. These shirts fall in the $35-40 range for the store brand shirts.

          Also, if this shirt is meant for wearing with a suit, don't stress TOO much about how slim it fits. Just get in the ballpark. In the case of interviewing, I doubt you'll ever take the jacket off. So I imagine that "close enough" will do just fine.



            LOL JC. You and I were writing the same thing at the same time, but you beat me to the "send post" button.

            I have several of those LC shirts, and I like them. I admittedly shy away from the plain whites, since they're thin enough to see skin underneath without an undershirt, but I really like my colored ones.

            Side note: I attempted to write a mini-review of those shirts in the blog post's comments, but I had trouble logging in via facebook.



              Thank you for the feedback guys. I definitely feel more prepared now that I have a general direction and some very valid opinions. Definitely thankful to have a sharp community I can turn to when my little bit of fashion sense goes awry.



                I would agree with the others, especially about fit. But I'm still figuring out fit. Here's what I've learned so far:
                <ul>[*]You want the collar to be snug against your neck so that you can fit 2 fingers between the collar and your neck when buttoned. This cannot be tailored, so it has to be right.
                [*]The sleeve length should extend past your wrist and just to the start of the base of your thumb. The sleeve length most likely cannot be tailored (because of the construction - cuffs are often fused to the sleeve, etc.).
                [*]The shoulder seam should align with the edge of your shoulders. This cannot be tailored but usually isn't a problem if the collar and sleeve length are right for you.
                [*]Less important, but relevant if you want to wear the shirt outside of a suit, the length of the body of the shirt:
                [*]Finally! The width of the body and sleeves of the shirt. Every manufacturer's definition of slim fit varies, and almost all of them have gotten discussed on this forum, so the info is out there. Even if you get a tailored or slim fit shirt, you may still benefit from $15-20 in tailoring. But you don't have to worry about that today.[/list]

                Be mindful of getting French cuffs if you don't have cuff links. I screwed that up on my wedding day.



                  Agree with everybody about pretty much everything here. Tailoring can become costly, so as Alan said, you don't plan on wearing the shirt without a jacket, it doesn't need to perfect!

                  I personally avoid the OCBD + suit route. It just feels funny too, the fabric of the shirt gets pulled more against a wool suit. I've found interview-appropriate dress shirts at Marshalls and Macy's, but I agree that the Neiman Marcus and CT sales are where you are most likely to get good off the rack fit and quality. I personally wear a light-ish blue Tommy Hilfiger spread collar, slim fit dress shirt with this tie ( interviews since white looks bad against my skin, with a charcoal suit, and it looks fine.

                  Try to avoid french cuffs so that you can wear this shirt more often and in less formal business situations.



                    FWIW, I do occassionally wear an button down with a suit, but it's more of a pinpoint button down - not your typical oxford cloth. And even then, I don't think I'd wear it to an interview.

                    You can blame it on my love for Brooks Brothers and their subsequent love for the button down collar.



                      As a follow-up, I'm with Alan in that I do also wear button down dress shirts with suits (and with ties even, although rarely and usually in a less dressy occasion than an interview). These shirts are almost exclusively pinpoint. I save all my oxford shirts for casual shirts, that I typically don't tuck in (which have shorter tails so that they look good untucked).

                      For the tie, I wasn't advocating something that's overly flashy. At the same time, I disagree with Albert in that it should be navy or a dull tone. This may vary with what job you're interviewing for, in what location, etc. That being said, unless you're on the fringe (either really flashy or funeral-esque), you'll think about what tie to wear 100x more than your interviewer will think about what tie you wore. And that's generally what you're aiming for in an interview -- not having your attire speak for you, but having it allow the focus to be on you.



                        Agree to disagree, Horn!

                        At least we both think the tie shouldn't be black.



                          Albert - you and horns both advised a blue/navy tie, if I'm reading correctly.



                            He suggested red/blue/yellow with a pattern/stripe, but it doesn't matter. I'm just here to help.