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Posted on 15 August 2016


In a formal suit ensemble, a shirt can be the garment that immediately draws the eye, so it is important to get it right. You can have a beautifully tailored jacket, trousers, and even waistcoat, but if the shirt isn't appropriate, the whole look can be ruined.

So what should you, or your tailor, be taking into account when it comes to choosing the right shirt? For those who have a 'round' typeface, you should consider a shorter neck and fuller checks. Button down and narrow point shirt collars may also suit. It has been said that those with a round face should avoid wide spread collars.

For those that have a face which could be considered angular, a medium or wide spread collar is recommended, as is a wide knot when it comes to your tie.

Instead of thinking about the suit first, I recommend thinking about how the shirt combines with the tie or suit first. Prioritising your inner garments means you can easily take your jacket off if you are not happy with the overall look.

Some useful words to heed are that when you are in doubt, you should opt for a neutral coloured shirt (i.e. as close to white as possible). It is the easiest type of shirt to use as a base, and will match satisfactorily with most suits. Pale shades of blue, pink and grey also present a wide range of options when it comes to different suits to accompany them.

For those that wish to take a bolder option, pastel coloured shirts can provide the basis for some eye-catching combinations which should be chosen wisely. When you can pull them off, striking combinations can look very smart and sophisticated. However, fail to get the shirt right and you could give the appearance of a show-off, or someone that can't see colours very well!

Personal taste will always come into it, but by following the advice above, you can go a long way to avoiding a fashion faux pas and choosing a shirt that will do your suit justice.



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