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Casual shirt advice

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    Casual shirt advice

    As those of you who've seen and responded to my posts thus far know, I'm pretty new around here and am just starting the gradual process of finding and developing my personal sense of style. My first step is to build on what I already have and improve upon my existing day-to-day wardrobe, which for me consists primarily of jeans, sneakers (soon to be complemented with desert boots/chukkas), and casual button-down shirts due to my working in an extremely casual workplace with a limited sense of style (environmental consulting firm populated by biologists who buy most of their clothes at REI and North Face, which is what I've also done up until now). Not that I mind the outdoorsy look; my ideal sense of style in concept is a blend of casual outdoor and indie (as much as I hate the term) since two of my main hobbies are being in the outdoors (hiking, camping, birding) and music (playing drums, collecting records, attending indie rock/metal shows). With that in mind, I'm thinking that a variety of plaid, striped, and/or solid casual shirts in earthy tones (blue, brown, brick, green, olive) would work best for me, with one or two brighter colored shirts to mix it up a bit. After culling my current shirt collection, here's what I have left:

    The two in the top photo are both thrift finds and the two in the bottom were bought at Old Navy a few years ago and have seen a lot of use, both in the office and under a V-neck maroon merino sweater during company holiday parties (the ONLY time people in my office dress up, and even then it's mostly poorly). First question: any opinions on my decision to keep these in my wardrobe? Second question: aside from this Bonobos shirt I have on the way, any suggestions for my next few shirt purchases? Third and final question: given that I can't afford to buy all my shirts from Bonobos, Ben Sherman, Taylor Stitch, and the like, can anyone recommend alternative places to shop, online or otherwise, that offer similar styles at affordable prices? Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice. This will likely be the first of many similar questions I'll have over the next few weeks!


    My Opinion on the shirts:

    you need more solid's, I find them more versitile

    that green one is..ugly, green with yellow stripes is probably a good st pattys day shirt to differentiate yourself. I'd go with an emerald solid or maybe a lighter green in a solid.

    Regarding have lots of options, made to measure route can be quite affordabole depending on price range

    just to name a few off the top of my head and by no means a recommendation

    Modern tailor


    ratio clothing

    bold closet

    and many many more, definitely look around and DON'T buy the cheap fabrics or a polyester & cotton blend, you get what you pay for with these.

    And if you want cheap, decently made clothing

    Lands End(LE) or Lands End Canvas(LEC) all the way, wait for %30 off coupons at minimum, they will always show up. You would also be good taking your measurements and finding out what would fit you as LE does offer tailored fit variants.

    Also if you plan on wearing your shirt untucked, the length should be about mid crotch.



      Definitely will need more solids. Recommend you pick up a solid white and light blue dress shirt and then a solid white and blue OCBD. The green isn't too bad imo. It would look pretty decent with gray chinos, a navy cotton blazer and some suede loafers or navy boat shoes i think.



        ^^ agree. LEC should float your boat. LL Bean and Eddie Bauer also align with your style, but EB has a sucky selection.

        Focus on fit - getting clothes that hit in all the right places. And in white, light blue, etc.



          I'd say there's no reason you need to base your wardrobe off of your hobbies. It's certainly a good place to start if you need help, but you don't need to let them necessarily define your sense of style.

          As for shirts, you're pretty good in the striped category, so I would try to add in some solids, gingham/check. Also, try a couple different materials like oxfords, flannels (both good for outdoors), or linens.

          I agree with shad0w4life, Land's End [+Canvas] is a great place to start. I've noticed Izod (you can find them at Macy's) has some decent sports shirts for pretty good prices.



            EG. Casual non solid with a green options, just to pick on the green shirt some more

            %30 off right now as well.





              OCBD's strike a nice balance between dressy and casual, and should work well with your personal sense of style. Uniqlo has great fitting OCBD's at a reasonable retail price ($30), but I'm guessing your work as a wildlife biologist doesn't put you in NYC all that often.



                Thanks for all the great advice, guys, I knew you wouldn't let me down!

                Actually, I already have a light blue Land's End OBCD in 17/34-35 that still fits OK, as well as a light blue Loft & Brownstone 16.5/34-35 casual (I think) button-down that I got from my wife's uncle's closet in NYC (a semi-famous archaeologist!) when he passed away a few years ago, so I'll try to incorporate those into my current rotation. I really need to get a cotton navy blazer to wear some of these with - that's another top-priority purchase for the future but one small step at a time...

                I should also mention that I just ordered the Calibrate navy gingham mentioned on the recent Nordstrom Anniversay Sale Dappered post. I won't be able to wear it untucked but I'm sure it'll look great under a V-neck sweater (need more of those as well) in the winter. Perhaps I can also try to pull it off with jeans and a knit navy tie, as well, although I'm pretty sure I'll get lots of sideways glances at the office on that day.

                That green linen gingham does indeed look nice....damn these sales, they're punching a hole in my wallet!



                  From the "Starting Fresh" thread, in response to my questions about finding shirts that fit my torso in stores:

                  bruschetta wrote:

                  Matt, you're underselling yourself. You do not have a beer belly. I'm fairly skinny and I had the same experience as you with Bonobos shirts. Here are a few ideas:

                  Charles Tyrwhitt slim fit (not tailored fit) shirts might work for you.

                  Brooks Brothers regular or slim fit (not extra slim fit) might work for you.

                  Nordstrom non-iron regular or slim might work for you. The tailored fit would probably be too slim.

                  I would avoid Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Old Navy and J. Crew for quality or fit reasons.

                  Thanks for placating my ego ;-) and all the suggestions. "Beer belly" may have been a bit harsh...let's just say I could stand to lose some pounds in my waist area.

                  Nick wrote:

                  I think it's more of a proportions things for Matt. He's not "a big guy" or something, so he's wearing shirts in a small size, as he should, to fit his neck and chest. The more traditional fits or the next tier of slim fits, like you're suggesting too, would be boxy on someone with a v-shape, but it would work for him. Matt, I just don't want you to be frustrated with shirts and am hoping to get you pointed towards the right fit.

                  Thanks, Nick. I haven't gotten frustrated with shirts yet...I realize this step (finding a shirt brand that fits me well on which to base future buying decisions) may take a bit of time, especially given my somewhat unorthodox body type (tall and lean but not "slim" in the torso). I just hope that my ideal shirt is indeed out there waiting to be found, because most of the shirts in the above photos are rather loose-fitting and I'd like to get some nicer-looking and better-fitting shirts in my closest ASAP (although I know I shouldn't rush these things, either).

                  Rather than visit the above-mentioned stores later this week I think I'll just head to Nordstrom in the city (SF) so I can try multiple brands (I believe they have BB) and perhaps take advantage of their anniversary sale.



                    Which Nordstrom? I live by 19th & Noriega, just down the street from the Stonestown Galleria location.

                    They have a ton of shirts on hangers which makes it easy to try on versus stores that have them all tightly wrapped up. Once you've got the brand/size/fit sorted out, you could buy them like that or buy them online.



                      If you really would like to get a lot of shirts ASAP, I would try thrift stores. Racks of button up shirts for a few dollars. Once you add a few, you can build your wardrobe slowly instead of making too many purchases quickly because you feel like you "need" them.

                      I also think you need to add more solids. What I realized a few years ago is sale racks are full of stripe and patterned shirts for a reason. If you focus more on solids, those shirts will last you for years.



                        Nick - I was just going to go to the one at the Westfield Shopping Centre (above Powell St. BART station) since that's closest. Hopefully they'll have a bunch of shirts on hangers, as well.

                        William - I picked the BR shirt shown above for $8 at Goodwill, although now that I've learned more about fit it is a bit too big. I don't have a lot of time to go thrifting (for clothes OR records!) but that is indeed a good tip. I am indeed focusing on getting basic white and light blue OCBDs for my next shirts in as good a fit as I can find. If I see a sharp plaid while out shopping, though, I'll probably pick up one of those, as well, since I had to return the Bonobos Yorkville.



                          Hey guys, another question. Until I've picked up a few better-fitting shirts I'm unfortunately stuck with the too-large billowy ones I have (XL Old Navy, mostly). I've started tucking them in after wearing them untucked for years (since they all fail to meet the "mid-crotch" length criteria) but then the billowy tent look almost looks worse. Argh! What am I to do until I get some better-fitting shirts? Just say screw it and keep wearing them untucked, or should I stick to my guns and keep them tucked? Not that anyone in my office gives a crap...just wondering from a personal desire to look as unfoolish as possible when walking down the street.



                            Do you, or someone you know, have a sewing machine?

                            Pinch and pin, my friend. It won't look perfect, but until you have shirts that have been cut and sewn properly for your shape it is the next best thing.



                              If your shirts are too large and billowy, either get them tailored or just throw them out. It's not a good look to get a shirt that isn't your size, regardless if it is tucked or not. If you're a size medium and you have XL shirts, there's really no other choice but to throw them out. I had to do that, I mostly gave them to my dad who's a larger frame than me and they fit him a lot better.

                              As for some shirt recommendations, I really would suggest Gitman Bros. They have good quality, made in USA shirts that I think you might like since you described your style as outdoorsy. I have a few button downs from them that I wear casually every now and then. They will most likely have to get taken in on the sides if you have an athletic frame. You can catch them on sale, sometimes with 70-80% off here.